Kayleigh Pleas, MAPP, Positive Psychology and Wellness Coach

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My deep understanding and appreciation of the human capacity for balance, peace, and joy emerged from a lifetime struggling with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Despite every effort to find relief from doctors and gastroenterologists, who wanted to prescribe antidepressant medication, it was not until I learned to calm my racing mind—through breath, awareness, and self-care—that I brought peace to my manic intestines, and in the process, my life as a whole.

We live in an age of perpetual motion, and many are either unaware, or as was the case for me, do not want to acknowledge that our frantic speed of life, motivated by the belief that we are in some way lacking or “not enough,” has a serious impact on our physical, mental, and spiritual health. Originally I was looking for a quick fix to my digestion issues, but what I found was that I desperately needed a detour; I needed to reexamine how I was relating to myself and cultivate a way of living that restored harmony in my life, physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

I feel so blessed to have reached the place I am today—dedicated to the research and application of the tools we all need to reach our potential. Initiating and sustaining lifestyle change requires so much more than knowing what to do; it requires developing a greater vision for yourself, recognizing and utilizing your strengths, and celebrating the beautiful person you are. As a wellness and coach, I draw on scientifically proven methods from positive psychology, nutritional science, neuropsychology, and integrative medicine to address the entirety of the human person. When you take the best possible care of yourself, the universe has a funny way of reciprocating!

My three pieces of advice:

  1. Develop a mindfulness practice—the untrained mind succumbs to distraction. The capacity to focus one’s attention is the gateway to transformation.
  2. Connect with your deeply held values every day—we cannot show up to live the lives we want to live until we can articulate what we care about most.
  3. Practice self-compassion. Turn toward your weaknesses and challenges with the care and concern you would extend to a good friend. Harsh self-criticism undermines even our most earnest attempts to change.

Challenges by Kayleigh