During my 30 years as a physician I have listened to people describe their experience of stress and how stress affects their performance, health, and relationships. I have consistently worked to develop effective, precise, and practical methods to help people reduce the negative effects of stress. While I use plain, down-to-earth language to explain the methods, the methods are based on a deep foundation including mathematical models of consciousness and chaos, cognitive neuroscience, stress physiology, and Eastern and Western contemplative traditions.

One powerful result of this formulation is a new and unique way of describing stress, the Unease Modulation Model (UM Model). I developed this model to explain stress to my patients and explain why I was asking them to practice specific skills. The UM Model is intuitive, experiential, and easily understood by a wide variety of people. The model gives people precise descriptions of different components of stress and allows them to apply specific techniques that affect specific components. The techniques have helped patients deal with medical conditions, helped first responders improve their performance under pressure, and helped people of all sorts lead healthier and happier lives by reducing interpersonal tension at home and at work. 

While the details of a stressful situation vary widely from person to person, the components of stress described by the model and the problematic feedback loops among those components are the same in each of us. When we recognize those components in ourselves, then we can recognize them in others. We are able to connect and empathize, getting into the shoes of the people we are dealing with and working collaboratively with them, even though our lives and situations may be quite different.

Dr. Joe