The Top 10 Habits Framework

“Stress is anything that makes your body work overtime.”
– Nicole Porter –

How do you define stress? If you’re like most, you would likely list things like tight deadlines, traffic jams, financial commitments, or a conflict with a family member or colleague. If you’re reading this after March 2020, you’d likely also include a global pandemic in the category of stress!

If this is your list, you’re right – because all of these factors are legitimate stressors.

But stress is more than just mortgage payments, difficult conversations and struggling to find work life balance. And if you’re a typical working professional, you’re likely stressing out your body and mind more than you know.


We are all different, but many of us have the same habits as a result of repeating similar behaviours. As a Stress Coach and Wellness Educator for busy professionals, I’ve defined 10 unhealthy habits that today’s working adults typically repeat everyday. The result of these repeated behaviours is an accumulation of chronic stress that can activate The Stress Response, overstimulating the nervous system, leading to hormone imbalance, and contributing to common complaints like weight gain, low energy, digestive issues, anxiety, high blood pressure, depression, sugar cravings, headaches, eczema, low sex drive, and much more serious illness.

When the body has to constantly rebalance itself to make up for the lack of balance in the body, it’s like working overtime. And this is why I define stress as ‘anything that makes your body work overtime’.

On average, most people can relate to 7 of these Top 10 Unhealthy Habits. How many can you relate to?

  1. Poor Diet & Dehydration
  2. Lack of Sleep
  3. Excessive Screen Time
  4. Imbalanced Exercise Programs
  5. Poor Breathing and Lack of Mindfulness
  6. Overthinking
  7. Multi-Tasking
  8. Lack of Social Support
  9. Negative Mindset
  10. Feeling a Lack of Control


But there’s good news! Once the cumulative effect of these stressors is reduced, you increase the odds of seeing positive results in your physical health, mental health, productivity, and your body and mind are better equipped to manage the emotional and mental stress that life might be throwing at you.

How do you get your body and mind to this stress-less state? You learn how to master The Top 10 Stress Management Habits, just as these clients have learned to do:

  1. Proper nutrition (which does not include being on a diet)
  2. Restorative and restful sleep (without the help of sedatives)
  3. Managing screen time (a habit that has proven to be as addictive as sugar)
  4. Following a balanced, exercise program that does NOT add stress to your body (did you know the wrong exercise programs can actually add stress and therefore keep you from reaching your goals?!)
  5. Proper breathing (did you know most people hold their breath when they’re under stress?)
  6. Listening to your intuition (when you don’t listen to your gut, it can cause stress)
  7. Uni-tasking (the lost art of doing one thing at a time)
  8. Maintaining strong social connections
  9. Maintaining a positive mindset
  10. Feeling a sense of control over your outcomes

The underlying goal of the NPW Seminars, Online Courses, Private Coaching Programs, and Group Coaching Programs is to reduce stress on your cells (in your body and brain) by mastering The Top 10 Stress Management Habits. When this stress load is reduced, your body has less work to do, giving it (and you) an opportunity to function at its best.

By Nicole Porter
Nicole Porter is a Stress Coach and Wellness Educator helping busy professionals master the Top 10 Habits for optimal health, mindset and productivity. She is also a Registered Holistic Nutritionist, Healthy Weight Loss Coach, and Pilates Coach with a background in Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction and Behaviour Change.

Nicole Porter Wellness

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