Feeling Stressed? What If You Could Halve Your Stress Within Half An Hour?

research stress
MAP In-House Stress Research

This new in-house study with 346 participants shows encouraging results in alleviating moderate to moderate-high stress levels with MAP.

Stress is one of the most common things we experience in our lives, especially in today’s fast-paced world. An acute state of mental tension can take a huge toll on our creative thinking1 and our overall health2.

While it seems to hold us back in life, stress can help us move forward if properly managed. It highlights issues that we need to face in order to become more centered and resourceful.

Now, the question is: what’s the most effective way to handle stress? There’s no shortage of coping strategies available, but many lack effectiveness and some end up being more of a distraction than a solution.

At the MAP Coaching Institute, we have noticed that clients can effectively release their stress using the Make Anything Possible™ coaching process. Out of curiosity, we collected data during one of our workshops to see how the facts would support our coaching experience with clients.

 

Putting MAP to the test

Therefore, we decided to gather data from our paid introductory workshop to MAP, which is facilitated by Colette Streicher thrice a week, every week. During this two-hour online workshop, participants first get to learn more about the method itself, and then they experience their very first MAP session in a group setting.

Interestingly enough, the group session always focuses on handling a past stressful event. At the beginning of the session, participants are encouraged to pick a specific event inducing a stress level of 6–8 on a scale of 0 to 10, with 0 indicating no stress at all and 10 indicating very high stress. At the end of the session—which typically lasts around 30 minutes—participants are asked to rate their stress level again for the same specific event.

And so, from February to December 2020, we collected the initial and final ratings shared by 346 of the workshop participants. After compiling all this data, the results we obtained were nothing short of surprising:

Over 90% of the participants saw their stress levels decrease by half or more within an average of 27 minutes. This is quite significant, and what’s also interesting is that out of the 346 participants, 157 of them experienced a 90% to 100% drop in their stress ratings (see graph below).

Overall, the MAP group sessions showed an efficacy of 82% on the sample population of 346 participants, with the average stress level ratings decreasing from 8.2 to 1.5.

 

Invaluable insights

These promising results allow us to infer two lessons on how to effectively approach stress. First of all, they seem to point to the importance of using ratings, or what we call SUM (Subjective Unit of Measurement) ratings, to pay attention to the intensity of our emotions. That way, instead of getting caught up in our stressful story, we can take a step back, rate the emotional intensity of our experience, and just stay mindful of the way it changes during the session. This first strategy seems to have been key to effectively processing stress.

The second key strategy was focusing on a specific stressful event. As we mentioned before, the workshop participants were encouraged to pinpoint one experience in particular that induced a moderate to moderate-high stress level. It seems as though bringing more awareness to one experience like, say, a bitter conflict with a loved one, allowed participants to process it better than if they picked a general theme like stress. This is a very useful coaching insight. It would appear that overgeneralization perpetuates a pattern, whereas specific focus enables awareness, presence, and mindfulness. 

Overall, these results show great potential, especially since the sessions were conducted in a group setting online without participants having to disclose anything other than their initial and final SUM ratings. Also, it’s encouraging to have a factual confirmation of our positive impact on clients. If they’re able to reduce their stress by half or more during their first-ever MAP experience, we can’t wait to see what breakthroughs they could achieve in a couple more sessions.

 

Want to test MAP for yourself? If these results piqued your interest and you feel like processing your stress in a gentle yet effective way, we’d love to see you during one of the MAP Experience Workshops! You’ll find more information here:

https://www.mapcoachinginstitute.com/workshop 

Interested in reading more research surrounding the MAP Method? Dr. Vijaya Nair, a Harvard and Columbia University trained physician, is currently researching the effect of the MAP method on trauma. Stay tuned as the results will be published later this year!

 

References

1Wang, X., Duan, H., Kan, Y., Wang, B., Qi, S., & Hu, W. (2019). The creative thinking cognitive process influenced by acute stress in humans: An electroencephalography study. Stress, 22(4), 472–481. https://doi.org/10.1080/10253890.2019.1604665

2Schneiderman, N., Ironson, G., & Siegel, S. D. (2005). STRESS AND HEALTH: Psychological, Behavioral, and Biological Determinants. Annual Review of Clinical Psychology, 1, 607–628. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev.clinpsy.1.102803.144141 

 

Note: “Make Anything Possible” is a trademark of MAP Coaching Institute, LLC. All rights reserved.

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