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CHAPTER 1

About me

Hello again.

My name is Eric Mahleb.

 

I am a behaviour and mental health practitioner and life and health coach with expertise in stress, burnout and resilience.

I have a lot of direct experience with conditions related to stress, burnout and nervous system disregulation, as a coach and as a person. 

As a coach and trainer, I have worked for many years with leaders, teams and employees on subjects related to mental health, mindset agility and the ability to deal with change. In 2022, I also started working with private individuals who are suffering from burnout and life/work crisis.

 

As a person, I have been in your shoes after experiencing two burnouts. I know first-hand what chronic stress is and what the consequences can be (in my case, they were severe).

 

I now use my experience to help others.

Why I can help you

My expertise comes in several different ways:

 

  • 25 years working in the corporate world as consultant, manager, director and founder of a digital agency

  • Six years working as a coach and trainer for resilience, mindset change and personal transformation

  • Certifications as a life and health coach, EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique), ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy), CBT (Cognitive Behaviour Therapy), EMDR (Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing), Agile Leadership Coach, Positive Neuroplasticity practitioner, and as Emotional Intelligence and Mindfulness Coach 

  • Two burnouts (yes, i did not learn my lesson after the first one), both with serious life crisis. I am still living with residual symptoms from both of them. I am not just another person 'talking' about stress. I am myself a victim of chronic stress. I know first-hand what chronic stress is and what the consequences are

  • The ability to listen and feel from the heart and to solve problems cognitively. I create a safe space for you to explore your issues and I guide wisely and empathically towards your own solutions 

My Credentials - Certifications & Education

  • 2024: Acceptance and Commitment Therapy Immersion with Dr Steven C. Hayes

  • 2024: Health & Life Coach - Health Coach Institute - International Coaching Federation accredited

  • 2023: Emotional Freedom Technique - CTAA accredited

  • 2023: Healing Trauma training: Working with Somatic Wounds - The Embody Lab

  • 2023: Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing - IAOTH accredited

  • 2021: Positive Neuroplasticity - Rick Hanson

  • 2021: Neuroscience for Business - MIT Sloan

  • 2020: Cognitive Behavioural Therapy - Achology

  • 2020: Agile Coach - ICP-CAT

  • 2019: EQ, Mindfulness and Neuroscience Coach - SIY Global - International Coaching Federation accredited

  • 2017: MBSR 8 weeks Training

  • 2005: MA University of London UK

  • 1992: MBA Williams College of Business USA

If you have time and are curious, this is my story

It is the not too distant past, and I am unable to walk and even stand. As soon as I try, my entire body begin to shake, my limbs become weak, I am overcome with dizziness, nausea and an incredibly strong headache that makes any type of thinking useless. I feel that i am about to pass out so I lay down again. Once I am in bed, the symptoms are better, but not gone. For months, I am barely able to move and to function 'normally' as a human being and I question every day whether I will ever be able to do so again.

How did this happen?

  • Seven months earlier, I quit my well-paid stable consulting job to launch my new company.

  • Six months earlier, my father, who lives in France, becomes paralysed due to a metastasized cancer in his body. I leave Berlin temporarily to take care of him while putting my mother in a specialised home due to her dementia.

  • Three months earlier, my father dies.

  • One month earlier, my mother dies.  I am now experiencing very high levels of stress and anxiety with strong symptoms in my body.

  • Finally, three days earlier, my partner leaves me after eight years together, due to the high stress and pressure of living with someone with a highly disregulated nervous system.

But my story actually already began nine years earlier with my first burnout. I ran a small digital agency in Berlin and we experienced financial problems that led me to feel high levels of stress. I also had problems at home (previous relationship). A bacterial infection triggered an immune reaction, which led to all kinds of issues, which my already over-stressed mind and body could not cope with. I began to experience chronic fatigue and pain, my blood sugar was all over the place and I simply could not function normally for several months. After visiting twenty different doctors and finding almost no answers (except for one diagnosis of Fibromyalgia), I went on with my life and learned to 'live' with all kinds of symptoms. I continued almost as I did before, thinking this was the new normal. I learned a bit, but not enough. I did not change my ways enough. More importantly, I did not change my beliefs and mental patterns enough. I did not learn to listen to my body with trust and love. I tried to solve my problems cognitively, which means that I did not solve them at all.

The events that happened to me more recently would destabilize most people. But perhaps not to the point that it did me. Such a strong somatic reaction happened because my nervous system was already unstable. I never took care of myself well enough to reset my nervous system to an acceptable level. I just applied 'band-aids' and assumed (and hoped) that I had done enough.

If I go back far enough in time, I can see clearly now that my inability to deal with stress goes back to my childhood, even to my birth. How I wish now that someone would have taught me how to deal with my stress better and how to regulate my nervous system earlier.

Each one of us is different. We all have different ways of reacting to the same triggers. But it is not wise to overestimate our ability to deal with stress. Or to minimise the potential impact of a disregulated nervous system on our well-being. Stress can be beneficial, but not in the way many people experience it today, in a society where we feel the need to constantly 'be on' and to 'toughen it up'.

Today, I am much better. I work, I travel, and I am fairly active. I found a way out through different tools and techniques. I have built new pathways in my brain and broken some of my old patterns. If you see me, you will see a normal, healthy looking person. But I would be lying if I said that I am 'normal' (what is normal anyway?). All these years of stress have left their marks.

I want to use my experience (the good and the bad) to help you. 

So that you do not have to go through what I went through.

Think you might have a Burnout?

Symptoms and impact of chronic stress

Some of the symptoms of Chronic Stress are:
 

 

  • Structural changes in the brain

  • Changes in hormones and neurotransmitters (cortisol,serotonin, adrenaline, dopamine, sex hormones...)

  • Chronic pain and fatigue

  • Insomnia

  • Increased anxiety and depression

  • Decreased absorption (vitamins, minerals...)

  • Decreased digestive function (less enzyme and bile production,less gastrointestinal blood flow, less motility...), less gut floradiversity with higher risk of dysbiosis, SIBO and Leaky Gut

  • Decrease in thermic efficiency and regulation

  • Increased risk for high cholesterol and diabetes, heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure

It is important to note that, while some of these are also present in a Burnout, a state of chronic stress tends to be associated with some kind of ability to still function. Thus, many body functions are still activated to make it possible for the person to still engage in certain activities.

 

Chronic stress is connected to hyper or over-activation (fight or flight), while Burnout is connected with hypo or under-activation (freeze and shutdown).

Burnout Coach Eric Mahleb

15min Free Discovery Call

Let's chat and decide together if I can help you

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