Melissa Heisler

“From Type-A to Type-ME: A Framework for Stress Reduction” Helps Improve Health and Provide Tools for Surviving a Challenging Job

New book is a powerful framework for reducing stress, improving well-being, increasing mental clarity, dealing with difficult people and facing challenging workplaces

CHICAGO (May 14, 2014) – After 10 years in the world of theater followed by nearly 20 years in senior corporate marketing positions, the stress of deadline-driven jobs led to author and speaker Melissa Heisler’s own mental and physical ill health. A trip to Peru awakened her to an understanding there was no outside reason for her pain – she was causing the pain she experienced. This awakening is not the end of her story but the beginning of her search for long-lasting means to manage the stress in her life. This journey is the foundation for her new book “From Type-A to Type-ME: A Framework for Stress Reduction.”

This no-nonsense, practical book provides a customizable framework to help readers reduce the level of their current stress and limit the amount of future stress. Heisler believes stress does not need to be part of human lives and she aims to help readers learn how to reduce its impact using tools including the Type-ME Habits of Awareness, Acceptance, Alternatives and Action.

“The American Psychological Association has reported that 77% of adults in the United States population are regularly experiencing physical symptoms due to stress. There is an enormous need to make significant changes to the level of stress experienced on a daily basis to improve not only physical health, but the quality of relationships, work and life in general,” said Heisler. “Through my own experience and those of my clients I know this stress can be reduced by empowering readers to change their lives through daily applications of the tools presented in my book.”

Heisler has launched a crowd-funding campaign to support editing, designing, producing and publishing the final manuscript. Of the total funds raised, 10% will be donated to the Pubslush Foundation for Literacy. The funding budget for this project has been fixed at $10,000.

To learn more, visit the “From Type-A to Type-ME: A Framework for Stress Reduction” Project Page:  



Melissa Heisler is a stress reduction expert, speaker, author, and show host. She speaks to groups including Fortune 10 companies on stress reduction and the myth of work-life balance. Heisler hosts The Empowerment Show with guest experts in health, business, career, spirituality, and women’s issues. She is a contributing author for the books, “Be There Now: Travel Stories From Around the World” and “Defining Moments: A Gathering of Women’s Journeys.” Her first solo book, “From Type-A to Type-ME: A Framework for Stress Reduction” and her contribution to “Experiences of the Light” (Career Press / New Page Books) will both be published in 2014.

“Smart, loving, and clear-sighted, Melissa is just the coach to help you repair your own life and soul, so that you can help others without burning out.” – Martha Beck (Bestselling author of 6 books, columnist for O, the Oprah Magazine, and named one of the best known life coaches in America” by NPR, USA Today, and Psychology Today.)

Hardwiring Happiness

Hardwiring Happiness with Dr. Rick Hanson

Buddha’s Brain by Dr. Rick Hanson is one of the books that changed my life.  In this book Dr. Hanson provided concrete scientific proof that we can improve our experiences by retraining our brain.  The concept of neuroplasticity was instrumental in changing my life and the lives of my clients.

Buddha's BrainIn Buddha’s Brain, Dr. Hanson explores the plasticity of the brain and how religious, spiritual and ancient practices of meditation and pray affect how the brain factions.  His new book, Hardwiring Happiness:  The New Brain Science of Contentment, Calm and Confidence, builds on this concept and provides very practical tactical ways we can rewire our brains to experience more happiness.

Think of it as building your muscles.  If you want to have a strong healthy body, it is necessary to exercise and utilize those muscles every day.  If you had an amazing workout one day and then sat on the couch for the rest of the week, the muscle tone would not last.  The same goes for our brain.

Hardwiring HappinessFor survival, our brains are naturally programmed to focus on the negative.  If we want to program our minds to be positive, it is necessary to continuously exercise the parts of our brains that bring us joy.  One simple way to do this is to be conscious of your thoughts throughout the day and when you experience something that brings you joy, spend twenty to thirty seconds truly focused and aware of this joy.  This simple process helps your brain store this feeling.

Dr. Rick Hanson
Dr. Rick Hanson

Listen to the call below for other simple techniques to reprogram your brain bringing you more contentment, calm, confidence, and happiness.  Listen as Dr. Rick Hanson neuropsychologist and member of University of California Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center’s advisory board explores:

How to learn from contemplative practice experts targeted mental activities to target and strengthen the parts of your brain that lead to happiness

  • How to use the concept of neurons that wire together fire together to make changes in how you experience life
  • How to retrain the emotional learning in the brain
  • The two part process to reprogram one’s brain using Activation & Installation
  • The dirty secret of coaching and psychology
  • The “how” of personal growth
  • How to keep the accumulation of negativity from building.


Melissa Heisler, Stress Reduction Expert

Finding the Cause

Seems like there is a new trend I am experiencing.  Being a guest on radio shows gives me a chance to talk about my latest personal lessons and the subsequent gifts I can share with others. Earlier this month I wrote about how recovering from burnout is an inside job after appearing on the On Purpose Radio Show.  Last week I was a guest on Savvy You and had the opportunity to outline the warning signs I experience when things are not quite right in my life. During the show I clearly articulated the sequence I personally experience when something is not right.  Once we are aware of the warning signs of being off our path, it is time to investigate what is truly wrong and how to make it right.

So often in life we look at the symptoms of our pain instead of the cause.  It makes sense that we look at the symptoms because that is where we feel our pain.  However the symptoms are just there to grab out attention.  Once we are aware from our symptoms, aware that something is not right, it is then time to uncover the true cause of the pain.  I was talking to a client the other day who had an issue with a co-worker.  The discussion started in the world of emotions, what he felt and what he was experiencing.  This client expected the co-worker to remove the emotion he was feeling; he thought it was her responsibility.  Yet as we talked, we found the true source of the pain.  The client truly liked his co-worker and was concerned that the co-worker was not aware of how her actions were being received by others.  When we removed the emotions, we were able to uncover the actionable steps to help the co-worker improve her communication skills.

Here are a few steps I take to find the cause of pain so actionable steps can be taken to bring us back to our right space.

Stop:  As in much of my advice, the first step is to stop in order to gain distance and objectivity.  When we are in the midst of the pain, confusion, and emotions, we can not act clearly.  Step aside.  Walk away.  Turn off.  Tune in.  Give yourself some physical, emotional, and psychological distance from the perceived source of your pain.  This does not need to be a lot of time, but one does need to be completely removed from the situation.  It is necessary to step far enough away that you no longer are exposed to or responsive to that source of pain.

Take the Emotion Out:  To help you have clear objectivity on the issue, it is necessary to first clear out all the emotion.  Emotion can be a symptom that alerts us to unrest, but it is not the cause and it tends to cloud up our thinking.  Emotion needs to be removed in order to see the truth of the situation.  Journal, punch a pillow, cry, go for a run, or whatever you need to release your emotions.

Remove the Us-Versus-Them Mentality:  When we are in our pain, we tend to make it us-versus-them.  We make the other the source of our pain when in fact they may actually be an innocent bystander.  Remove any blame toward the other.  They are not causing your pain.  Our pain is caused by our beliefs, actions, or reactions.  When we release any blame toward the other, we are empowered. 

What Can You Affect:  Focus only on what you can truly affect.  We can not change things in the past, others beliefs, or some circumstances.  Look within your own realm regarding what you can affect.  Dig down to the actionable issues.  Don’t focus on fixing emotions or other symptoms of your being off-track.  Focus on changing your actions, reactions, and beliefs.  What are the true facts of the situation that you can affect?

What Can the Other Affect:  Also look clearly at what the other person can do.  They can not and are not responsible for taking away your emotional pain.  Like you, they can only affect their beliefs, actions, and reactions.  Be aware of making the other responsible for other things outside of their reach. 

Take Action:  Look at your needs, the needs of others, the requirements of a circumstance, and the truth of situation.  What are the tangible actionable steps you can take?

Have you recently become aware of being off-course?  What clarity did you gain by stepping away?  What tangible steps did you take to get back on track?

Savvy You radio interview