How To Deal With Life’s Stresses

How To Deal With Life's Stresses

“If you are in a sporting team or leaders of a company needing to be performing at an optimal level, if you are under stress and your body’s feeling that, then you can’t perform at your best all the time.”

Shaun Sullivan


You do not need 90 minutes sitting on the side of a cliff with the sound of rain to get into a nice calm state – although Luke and Shaun can arrange that if you like. These two brothers take people into nature and out of their comfort zones in order to get them feeling comfortable with the uncomfortable, after all life doesn’t always go the way you planned all of the time. Just ask the young people up at the Frank Baxter Juvenile Justice Centre where Luke and Shaun run the Outdoor Recreation and Wellbeing Program through the Girrakool Education Training Unit. Those most at risk and challenged 16-21 year old juvenile offenders have had things go wrong in their life from the ‘get-go’ and Luke and Shaun deliver programs designed to teach them how to deal with life’s stresses.


It takes the right type of person, backed by a really good team, to work in an environment such as a juvenile justice centre. Luke and Shaun Sullivan began their careers as personal development, health and physical education teachers and have now formed a team building, leadership and wellbeing company called Teams Challenge Australia. They, along with Luke’s wife Emily, are passionate about getting the best out of individuals and bringing them together, as a team, in nature.


Luke and Shaun grew up knocking around, playing footie and doing all the regular activities that young kids do. They lived for outdoor adventures and when they weren’t playing rugby they were down at the beach surfing, submersed in a culture where they constantly pushed themselves. It is thanks to the opportunity of receiving some specialist training, along with the support of role models up at the juvenile centre, that Luke and Shaun now deliver Cert II in Outdoor Recreation to the young adults in this unique environment. 


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The youth at the juvenile justice centre are the product of stress. They are young men who have lived in a survival situation every day of their lives and their response to things we would consider quite trivial, sends them into a meltdown which can put themselves and other people’s safety at risk. By being in nature and working together as a team, Luke and Shaun are teaching them values such as trust, resilience and mental grit.


The results of stress can produce short and long-term effects and everybody reacts differently. Luke and Shaun have developed breath, mind and body conditioning as part of a holistic stress prevention training. They have successfully delivered their program to a wide demographic participating in alpine adventures, rock climbing, ocean activities and cracking an ice bath in the middle of winter. Real life practical ways to improve overall health and headspace.


Learning the strategies needed for breath and mind control, then conditioning them together, is very powerful in the journey to dealing with current lifestyle pressures, especially during a time when we are all changing and adapting to living with COVID.


Related Post: Leadership Lessons in a Crisis – Matt Spindler


Join us over at The Culture of Leadership (TCoT) Podcast as we have the opportunity to listen to two perspectives on the value of looking for opportunities to get back to nature and how the breath can be used as a prevention technique to reduce the heart rate and high blood pressure.


The human body can survive without food and water for a length of time, but it can’t survive without oxygen for much more than three minutes and that one thing is free. Can you apply it effectively when it is required?


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