As humans in the 21st century, we are experiencing an epidemic of stress. The same technological advances designed to make us stronger and our lives easier--have actually weakened our immunity to agitation, anger and fear--all of which increase our risk factors for life threatening illnesses and unhappiness.


We simply are no longer able to distinguish deathly dangers from normal, everyday stressors. And, it's killing us--mentally, emotionally and physically.


As an expert in Mind-Body Medicine DR. MARC SCHOEN'S years of clinical experience and scientific study have revealed how to tame our brain’s fear center.  Now you can improve your health and the quality of your life by neutralizing destructive consequences that fear, stress, anxiety, anger, and agitation bring to your personal and/or professional life.

After training students, teams, and clients through the years to be Gladiator Tough, hardiness and resilience are skills that anyone can master.


The key to being Gladiator Tough--is consistent practice. Change requires work and discipline.  Are you willing to make the time to try new strategies for a more productive and satisfying life--free of fears that defeat you?  If so--begin by trying out a one of the Gladiator Tough Tips per week. Approach the Gladiator Tough exercises as you would exercise other parts of your body where consistency serves...


Our gut response is to avoid uncertainty.   We are wired to be fearful of uncertainty which leads us to want to avoid it. But in many cases, uncertainty opens the door for opportunity. Practice embracing uncertainty in your life.  When you find yourself confronted with uncertainty, remind yourself that uncertainty can be a friend and that the discomfort related to it is seldom a threat.



Like uncertainty, discomfort can feel threatening, and our instincts instruct us to avoid it.  Although it is customary to say that pain creates gain--this is not always true.  Only well managed discomfort and adversity builds hardiness. Practice those skills that improve your ability to manage adversity.



Generally our instincts lead us to pursue a path of least resistance.  Yet this comfort zone path imprisons us.  As we learn to step outside of this familiar and predictable zone, we free ourselves from the chains that bind us. Test out first in small ways, such as driving a new way to work or school. Later, work up to more challenging situations that make you feel uncomfortable, such as public speaking, dancing, or an improv class.



It’s far too easy to rely on anger for protection in our lives.  Anger may present itself as a tough exterior, but generally masks a weak interior.  It is far more challenging to be kind and open than it is to be angry.  Practice being less guarded and approaching the world and people around you without depending on anger for protection or comfort.



As uncomfortable physical pain is, emotional discomfort is even more challenging, and our instincts will direct us away from it.  But over time, our avoidance of emotional risks severely shrinks our hardiness, while robbing us of our true potential.  Examine those emotional discomfort situations you have avoided, and consider confronting them.  For example, confronting an individual in your life who has upset you, but without relying on anger.

Marc Schoen, Ph.D.

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Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine

UCLA Geffen School of Medicine


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