The Neuroscience of Stress and Resilience with Janet Sperstad

by Feb 28, 2024

In this episode, I explore the neuroscience of stress and resilience with special guest, Janet Sperstad, CMP-Fellow and Faculty Emeritus for Madison College.

About Janet

Janet Sperstad’s professional history reflects her lifelong vocation: driving excellence in meeting and event management execution and education. She has dedicated her career to defining the competencies and career pathways that articulate meeting planning as a design discipline requiring skills in the social sciences, executive leadership, and the cognitive sciences. Her contributions are global in scope and rooted in over 25 years as a meeting professional and executive leader in the corporate and non-profit sectors.

As you listen to this episode, you’ll learn that Janet grew up with the philosophy of “a rising tide rises all boats”, and that has been how she has lived a life of helping others. In turn, it has proven to help Janet in many ways.


About this Episode

Through curiosity, Janet started finding out clear connections in what we do in our events around education and saw the connection in social science. On this personal journey, Janet was able to go deep and see things about how we work as event professionals.

According to Janet, there are two main major takeaways she’s learned in all of her studies that she wanted to share in this episode are this:

  1. With threat, we run from danger. We look for threat and we respond to threat.
  2. We love happiness. We feel good and love laughter and relaxation.

This means, the brain goes towards threat, and it wants to keep you safe. So, enter the conversation on how stress can have an impact on your brain and how you can lessen the impacts and become more resilient. Furthermore, here are some other great gems that Janet gave us in this episode around stress:

  • In essence, we run from threat, and we walk toward reward.
  • If you’re feeling stressed out as an event planner. It doesn’t have to control you. Let it go. As soon as you let it go, it loses power.
  • “We can’t handle the externalities that come for us, we can only handle how we react to them.”


Recipe for Stress Relief

Janet gives us a brief solution on how you can relieve stress in the moment, whether you are at your desk frustrated at an email or onsite having to deal with a high-stress situation

Wash your hands with warm water, take three big breaths…pull your shoulders back and walk away.

It’s as simple as that. In conclusion, this episode is full of lots of hidden gems for you to use to help you not only understand how your brain works, but give you tangible tips on how to combat stress, and tough times in this industry so that you can stay in the game.


Links and Resources

Janet Sperstad LinkedIn

Thank you so much for listening, until next time, stay on purpose!


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