One of the tools I use to uncover situations which can be improved by coaching is the Energy Leadership Index. This is an 80-question assessment which shows where a person lives energetically during mundane, day-to-day situations and where they default to energetically in times of stress. During stress, most people choose either victim energy (I am going to lay low and hope it blows over without touching me) or fighter energy (self-explanatory). Both choices have their places and serve valuable purposes, but take their toll on the person experiencing them. This can be see in anti-social behavior, emotional disconnection and even physical discomfort. CNN Medical Producer, Trisha Henry, reported today ( that "a new study found people who experienced severe anger outbursts were more at risk for cardiovascular events in the two hours following the outbursts." The bottom line on how to minimize the risk is to "find ways to cope with stress and anger."

Usually this is easier said than done. There are 5 other energy choices you can make in stressful situations. To give you three months of coaching in a paragraph, you can explore each of these options when a stressful situation occurs and see which becomes your tool of choice.

You can rationalize and justify the situation. (I win. If you win, it is ok, but not necessary).

You can become more concerned about the other person. (You win. If I win, it is ok, but not necessary).

This is an opportunity for us both to win.

There is no win or lose, this is just happening. Pain may be inevitable, but suffering is a choice.

This is all an illusion and I am in control of how I want to perceive it.

I know those last two get pretty difficult to grasp, because the represent living at a higher resonating energy level. You have to build up to those and it usually is realistic to expect to go up one level at a time. So, If you are living in victim mode, becoming is fighter is actually a raise in energy from no energy and apathy to at least, fighting for what you believe in.

So, when you have advanced notice of stressful events, do some planning on how you want to get through them. Make a conscious choice and take back control. In surprise stressful situations, when you catch yourself defaulting to victim or fighter energy, take a moment to breath, consider your options and make a more positive choice. It is all right to default to the lower energies. It's normal, since you have probably been doing it for years; however, the empowerment come by identifying this default situation and pulling yourself out of it quickly.

Have a default-free stressless day.