altLake Monticello resident Cynthia Moore has already received praise for her book Live, Love, Lead: 10 Simple Skills to Transform Stress, a book focused on how to become conscious of joy and less inclined to stress. It features a short description of 10 skills that if practiced regularly can reduce stress and restore life’s balance.

“Although I thought some of these skills would be helpful to others in middle management – as they have been helpful to me – I recognize that for all of us, having more tools in our stress management toolkit is useful,” said Moore.

Moore believes that the daily stress of modern life weighs us down without the balance of rest and renewal, or the pauses nature intended in the midst of chaos.

“Increases in blood pressure and blood sugar as well as risk to the heart accelerate under those chronic stress conditions, contributing to disease development,” Moore said. “That is why it makes sense to intentionally add in some practices to balance the rest and renewal part of our nervous system. Those at a higher risk can benefit from these skills but they’re useful for most of us.” Part of what prompted Moore to write the book was her hope that there would be a benefit to some of the suffering she experienced when in the “squeeze” of middle management. She felt pressure from both upper management and the employees she was supervising. 

“I hoped the book would be a quick-to-use respite for others in the trenches of life or at least a shortcut so others could sidestep suffering,” she said. The skills in this book should become fun and routine enough that they’ll be practiced and available to people when they’re in the middle of a stressful moment, she said.
Moore discussed some of the things people do to relieve short-term stress, including overeating, drinking, spending and excess television or electronic use. While these routine practices may seem harmless on the surface, they may be a signal that stress can overwhelm individuals causing more serious problems down the road. Stress reduction is key to avoiding diabetes and substance abuse.

Moore peppers her book with personal stories and examples from her own life that accompany the instructional coping skills. She encourages readers to give at least five of the 10 skills a try based on reading about how useful the skills had been to Moore. Her belief is that people can recognize and train the brain for better health and happiness.

Moore’s original title was Stress Management for Managers, but was eventually told the book has an application for a wider audience beyond middle-management, including everyday people.

“I recognized that I’d come up with this little motto for myself: Live (fully), love (myself, others and life), and lead (be in my managerial role), and that my motto applied to the book as well,” she said.

Moore has included some of the skills that have been very helpful to her in dealing with work and life stress. Forms of mindfulness and acceptance play a key role in some of the skill practices, including one called “It’s like this.” She described it as recognition of wanting a particular outcome but relaxing and accepting that it’s like this for now.
She uses meditation, breathing, shifting perspectives and what she calls emotional brain training, something she teaches at the University of Virginia. She added that she has seen the power of this particular skill in hundreds of employees and patients.

Moore gave an example regarding physical body postures like “claiming space.”

“One reader from California told me that he and his business partner practiced this skill before going into a planning meeting and got to a place of delight and laughter before the meeting that wouldn’t have been possible otherwise,” she said. “Our bodies need contrast of energy expenditure through work, service, or volunteering with a contrasting energy renewal, rest and relaxation. Getting that contrast is critical to health and wellbeing.”

Moore’s work as a trained and registered dietician, clinical nutrition manager and diabetes educator was a guiding force in sending a strong message about stress and the resulting consequences. She also uses integrative practices of integral yoga, cardiac yoga, and Duke’s integrative health coaching. Currently she is a nutritionist, registered dietician nutritionist and diabetes educator. She is also working to develop an online health resource center called the Hygeia Wellness Park. She and her husband Wayland have lived at Lake Monticello since 2006.

Moore’s book is available at Amazon. It’s free on Kindle for those who purchase one paperback copy.