Melissa Heisler

Melissa Heisler is a Stress Reduction Expert. After 10 years managing and directing theatrical productions followed by a Masters in Integrated Marketing Communication and 17 years in corporate marketing, the stress of high pressure, deadline driven jobs led to her own ill health mentally and physically. This started her search for a long-lasting means of approaching each situation with more ease, contentment, and power. Melissa is committed to guiding professionals to improve their health, increase their mental clarity, easily deal with difficult people, and find peace in their current jobs all through reducing their stress levels.

Melissa is the host of The Empowerment Show and also 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 is being published in 2014. She has also contributed to Experiences of the Light, to be published by Career Press / New Page Books in 2014.

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Recent Releases

Entries by Melissa Heisler

Do You See What You’re Missing?

My eyesight, or lack thereof, has always taught me lessons. Back in 2008 and in my recent book, From Type A to Type Me: How to Stop “Doing” Life and Start Living It, I shared my experiences of having poor eyesight before receiving my first glasses. I learned a lot about myself through my microscopic view of the world due to my near-sightedness. Then, once I had the right glasses, I began to see the beauty and interconnectedness of the world. Now my eyes are ready to teach me the next lesson. A few years back I received Lasik surgery. For… Read more.

The Cost of Business as Usual

Most individuals in current business environments have the feeling of being chained to one’s desk for an inhuman amount of hours, running to endless meetings, and being bombarded by constant emails and calls. Many employees are doing the work of two or more people these days. Associates are being held accountable for unrealistic sales goals. Everything is a crisis. The result is stress. And a lot of it. The irony is that the more hectic our day, the more stress we experience and the less productive we become. When we are stressed, our fight-or-flight system kicks in, the same unconscious… Read more.

Moving Forward Through Ups and Downs

Do you have a goal which seems far away? Are you working toward something but keep hitting obstacles? Are you uncertain you are on the right path? Have you lost your path and are not sure what is next? Lately many of my clients have been going through a confusing, frustrating, up and down time. Nothing seems stable any more. What used to be is gone, but what is next has not yet shown up. As our brain loves the familiar, it senses change as a danger knocking us into the blur and cloudiness of stress. Now not only are… Read more.

Stop Trying to Escape Your Life

The other day my friend told me her family goes on “adventures” not “vacations.” “Vacations,” she said, “makes it sound like we are vacating our life.” The concept struck me powerfully. How often are we vacating our lives? How often do we want to escape, to get away from our every day? It is all too common to believe we have to get through three hundred days of boredom, frustration, stress, and angst in order to have a few days where we vacate the normal and actually live! What if we didn’t need to vacate our lives? What if instead… Read more.

Death to Multitasking

I love going to Mexico. For every task, there is a “guy” who does it. They do not have jack-of-all-trades handymen. If you are working on your house, you do not call one person, but have to contact a separate plumber, electrician, and painter. And it is not just about home repairs. If you need your shoes shined, there is a guy for that. Our Mexican friend would never consider shining her own shoes; it is not her role and she would be taking away someone else’s job. She looks at us with a quizzical face when we talk about… Read more.

How Stressed Are You?

We may not realize how much stress affects us. The Price of Stress When we are stressed our limbic brain takes over, shutting down all body systems which do not help us fight or flee danger. Our digestive, reproductive and immune systems are turned off momentarily to move all our power and energy to our muscles to run or defend ourselves. Once the immediate danger is over, our systems revert back to normal functioning. The problem is today our stressors are not momentary physical dangers but a constant bombardment of mental stress. We rush the kids to school. We get… Read more.

5 Simple Techniques to Get Unstuck

It happens to each one of us at one time or another. We become stuck. We enter a state of lethargy. Whether it involves our work or our home life, there are just days (and unfortunately sometimes weeks and months) where we feel stuck. We don’t seem to have the energy to move forward. We feel the need to get things done but can’t find a grain of momentum to make it happen. After a while we know we have to do something, yet we sit on the couch like an immobile brick. Stuck. When this happens, remember that feeling… Read more.

Become the Project Manager of Your Health

Visiting doctor after doctor, none could diagnose my pain. They would prescribe a pill with the hopes of relief. Finally one doctor, after still not providing a diagnosis, said, “Let’s give you a hysterectomy. Maybe that will help.” This experience led me to become the project manager of my own health. Two issues currently exist with our Western medical system. First, our current system no longer treats the patient but treats the symptoms. Medications are administered not to remove the illness but to relieve the symptoms. Pharmaceutical companies market to patients and doctors offering quick fixes to our discomfort. Secondly,… Read more.

When Control is Out of Control

Margie was the best hostess. She greeted everyone at the door. She passed appetizers and offered drinks. Margie ensured that everyone had a good time and that absolutely everything was perfect. The problem was – this was not Margie’s party. She was a guest at the party like everyone else and yet she acted as if she owned the place. Margie is a control freak. She needs to be in charge. She needs to be in control. I used to be like Margie. When I was in the height of my Type-A days, I was a major control freak. I… Read more.

You Had the Power All Along

Like the Scarecrow, Lion, and Tin Man in the Wizard of Oz, I sought an expert to provide me with what I already held. Over a decade in corporate America led this Type A into physical distress. I was fatigued and irritable. My muscles were tight and painful. My digestion and reproductive systems were broken causing intense issues and discomfort. I was a wreck. Visiting doctor after doctor I was told there was nothing wrong. No illness. No disease. Prescriptions of all sorts were recommended – none of them really worked. After more than three years, I was frustrated, tired,… Read more.

4 Ways to Manage Workplace Stress

Workers seem more and more stressed every day. Technology has created expectation of an immediate response 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Short-term thinking and planning based on the focus of quarterly stock reports has increased the sense of importance for every project. We feel everything is an urgent priority needing instant attention. The “doing more with less” mentality has increased the amount of our responsibilities and what is expected of us. This has created a culture of inefficient multi-tasking. Below are four ways you can reduce the amount of stress you feel at… Read more.

4 Ways to Accept Where You Are

“Now that I am trying to change, I don’t like who I am.” At some point, many of my clients say this or something similar. When they finally see a new way to be, but are not yet capable of acting that way, they begin to attack themselves. “I am a horrible person.” “Being this way is bad.” “It is wrong to act like this.” These thoughts are natural, but not helpful. There are some very simple ways to begin accepting who you are so you can move into who you want to be. See the Truth When I work… Read more.

Is Worry Holding You Down?

My husband and I love the Baja Peninsula, visiting it frequently over the past few years. On September 14, 2014, Hurricane Odile hit. With no phone or internet service it was days or, in one case, a week before we heard from our friends who live there. Without communication, I became obsessed with any reports I could get from the area. I looked at photos of damage. I worried about the lack of food, water, and electricity. I concerned over my friends safety as desperation looting began. That week I was also hit with a massive cold. You see, worry… Read more.

Safety Checklist

Recently a client admitted to falling back into an old undesirable habit. Ashley had once again become a tyrant at home. She was obsessed with the cleanliness of her house. She worried about getting things done on time. She stopped interacting with her family. The only time she spoke to them was when she was barking out an order or reprimanding when something was not done correctly or on time. Ashley was obsessed with her to-do list. She was frantic to complete each item. She was becoming very stressed by all she wanted to complete. The first thing I told… Read more.

What Have You Lost in Constantly ‘Doing’?

In our fast-paced, multi-tasking, on-the-go-deadline driven work, we are often caught up in the act of “doing.” We move from task to task on our to-do list. We rush from work to class to home. We keep pushing ourselves to do more and do it better. But what is the cost? Do you have hobbies? Do you have passions? Or have you lost who you are to all of the things you are doing outside of yourself? Do you sleep well at night? Are you fit? Do you feel good in your body? What is your blood pressure? How is… Read more.

Why Are You Reluctant to Stop Doing It All?

When the behaviors of a Type A are out of control, we can take responsibility for situations and outcomes, for the feelings and experience or others, and for absolutely everything around us. We think everything is our responsibility, and thus, within our control to affect. We fear if we don’t take care of everything needing to get done, there will be horrible consequences. The stress coming from being overtaken by our Type-A tendencies, eventually takes a toll on our mood, mental clarity, relationships, work satisfaction, and our health. The goal of this book is to help reduce these negative side effects of… Read more.

Have You Become a Type A Personality?

The concept of a Type A personality has not been around for long. It was actually identified in the 1950s by two cardiologists, Drs. Meyer Friedman and Ray Rosenman, who were studying coronary heart disease. They found a link between personality types and heart disease. According to their research, they identified three types of behaviors: Type A, which they labeled as competitive, ambitious, impatient, aggressive, and fast-talking; Type B, which is more relaxed and non-competitive; and Type C, which is hardworking, but becomes apathetic when faced with stress. Those considered Type A were more prone to having high blood pressure,… Read more.

Beyond Money and Power

Lately I have been experiencing a ground swell of desire for a new way to be and live. I expect to see this from my clients, however I am seeing it in places and people I would not expect. Arianna Huffington shares her thoughts about redefining success in her new book, Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom and Wonder. Instead of focusing solely on money and power, she calls us to look to a third metric centered on the quality of our lives. A relaxing weekend at a friend’s summer house becomes a discussion… Read more.

Feeling Creatures Who Think

Last week I shared Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor’s TEDx Talk with you and the idea that choosing to stay angry affects both your body and your mind. This week I’d like to share another powerful concept that Dr. Jill makes: that we are feeling creatures who think. We are not thinking people who feel, yet this is what our society believes and values – which is at the heart of many of our issues. Here is the science and biology behind it. Our limbic system is constantly asking, “Am I safe?” If things feel familiar to our limbic system, then we feel calm and safe. The system… Read more.

Why Stay Angry?

“Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.” – Mark Twain What was the last thing that made you angry? The bad driver cutting you off? Your kids not picking up their toys? You were passed over for a promotion? How long did you stay angry? An hour? A day? A week? According to Harvard-trained and published neuroanatomist Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor, your anger should only last for ninety seconds. To feel an emotion we need to think a thought which then stimulates an emotional circuit… Read more.