G-0LXZDGBNQ6 An effective and practical framework for managing stress by Dr. Nina Ahuja - The Holistic Counseling Podcast

Episode 30

Published on:

29th Sep 2021

An effective and practical framework for managing stress by Dr. Nina Ahuja

How can medical professionals turn unhealthy competition into healthy collaboration? What is the significance of emotional intelligence to leadership and stress management? Which frameworks can therapists use to help them overcome self-doubt and negative self-talk?


Dr. Nina Ahuja is a surgeon, award-winning medical educator, senior academic leader, certified emotional intelligence facilitator, founder of Docs in Leadership, an organization established to promote and deliver leadership education to health professionals, and author of the bestselling book "Stress in Medicine: Lessons Learned Through My Years as a surgeon, from Med School to Residency, and Beyond". She is an advocate for emotionally intelligent leadership, mental health, wellness, equity, diversity, and inclusion.

Visit her website. Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.


  • Dr. Ahuja’s ADMIT framework
  • Benefits of frameworks for therapists
  • The importance of emotional intelligence


The ADMIT framework is something that I feel is a very powerful tool to help organize that jumble of emotion and feeling of overwhelm that we experience when we are in high-stress situations. (Dr. Nina Ahuja)

ADMIT is an acronym that stands for five phases of experience which are common sources of stress:

  • A: adapting to new ways
  • D: doing the work
  • M: measuring success
  • I: introspection
  • T: transformation

You can use the ADMIT framework when you are feeling overwhelmed to help you understand which phase of experience in stress you are currently struggling with. Once you have identified which phase, you can dive deeper into it.

I’ve seen success with [ADMIT] implemented with individuals as well as in teams … this could be applied personally and professionally. It can be applied to a personal goal or a team goal. (Dr. Nina Ahuja)

The ADMIT framework helps to uncover the psychological barriers around what we do and what we do not do. It is a tool that you can use to increase:

  • Emotional intelligence
  • Awareness around our reactions to situations


You can couple the ADMIT framework with the Smart Goals framework so that you can uncover those underlying stressors and reasons, and create actionable change to implement a shift that is aligned with your goals.

Combine the ADMIT framework for understanding your stressors better with the Smart Goals framework to make meaningful change in your personal life, and to move through any difficulties in your professional one.

It’s reframing our perspectives and then reprogramming our self-talk when it comes to those things and recognizing that there’s success in everything we do but it depends on how you look at it, and how you’re going to measure it. (Dr. Nina Ahuja)

Use the framework to pull yourself out of the rabbit hole of comparing yourself to other medical professionals.

As much as success in the medical field is objective, it needs to be met with personal strength and growth as well. Nurture a healthy internal dialogue to reframe how you view yourself to others because your journey is different from someone else’s journey.


Emotional intelligence is the foundation of being able to cultivate positive and healthy relationships.

It is about being aware of your emotional response and providing yourself with the ability to choose how to react in any given moment, versus being at the mercy of your unchecked emotions.

The more aware we are … the more effective we can be in managing them... instead of having a maladaptive response … so I believe that emotional intelligence is a key factor in relationships and because of that I think it’s essential for everyone to develop it. (Dr. Nina Ahuja)

Your emotional intelligence is what you depend on when you are reacting and responding to your colleagues, your family, and strangers. You exponentially broaden your capacity to create a positive impact in the world when you work on expanding your emotional intelligence.

Emotional intelligence is important for:

  • Leadership, because it encourages empathy
  • Managing stress, because it allows you to shift emotional responses to situations

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Resources Mentioned And Useful Links:

Find Out What's Possible Through A Positive Mindset with Elizabeth Meyer

BOOK | Dr. Nina Ahuja – Stress in Medicine: Lessons Learned Through My Years as a surgeon, from Med School to Residency, and Beyond

Free 8 Week Email Course with Lisa Lewis

Practice of the Practice Podcast Network

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About the Podcast

The Holistic Counseling Podcast
Answering the call to build your holistic practice
The Holistic Counseling Podcast hosted by Chris McDonald, a Licensed Professional Counselor, inspires mental health therapists to explore treatment options outside the realm of traditional therapy. Yes, Chris knows all about the stigmas attached to holistic therapy, yet she also knows how the client benefits far outweigh the looks, what-ifs, and worries about what people will think of you as a Mental Health Professional.

With a 200-hour Yoga Teacher and Group Practice Owner to her name, Chris specializes in treating anxiety, depression, trauma, and grief in young adults. She has seen firsthand how beneficial mindfulness, relaxation skills, meditation, and yoga have been in supplementing traditional therapy - especially in today’s world.

If you’re a Mental Health Therapist looking for the most up-to-date holistic treatments and wanting to learn how to integrate them into treatments, The Holistic Counseling Podcast is just for you! Chris helps you take your practice to the next level with a thriving holistic counseling service that you can give with confidence. Are you ready?

About your host

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Chris McDonald

Chris McDonald is a Licensed Professional Counselor and holistic provider with a group practice, “Path to Hope Counseling” in North Raleigh. She is a 200 hour Registered Yoga Teacher and offers gentle yoga classes, workshops and private yoga sessions. She specializes in treatment of anxiety, depression, trauma and grief in young adults in transition. She teaches clients relaxation skills, mindfulness, meditation and uses Brainspotting in treatment of trauma. Chris also offers Therapy for Therapists and wrote the book “Holistic Self-Care for Counselors.” She is passionate about helping other Mental Health Therapists and created “The Holistic Counseling Podcast.” Her favorite holistic daily rourtines include yoga and meditation.