Matt Adams Biography
Matt Adams is a stress expert, burnout specialist and anxiety-hacker offering training, speaking, consulting and coaching.
Matt is currently writing a book about his journey with work stress, burnout and anxiety that he suffered at age 24 while in real estate as well as his life-changing panic attack at age 27.
The ‘life and death’ experiences Matt has gone through to overcome stress and anxiety without medication, doctors or therapists have transformed his life and he’s on a mission to help others suffering from work stress and work related anxiety.
Whether you’re an individual looking for stress reduction techniques or a manager in a corporate organization wanting to prevent work stress, burnout and other mental health issues from arising in your workplace, Matt’s expert coaching, speaking and training can provide the solutions you’re looking for.
Matt is a contributing Author to a #1 Best-Selling book on Amazon: ‘Activate Your Life’ (Volume III) – a book featuring 23 health and wellness coaches worldwide who share their top strategy, technique or exercise to create change in the mind and body. (Published Oct 2021)
He’s the Founder and President of the International Work Stress Institute (WorkStressInstitute.org) – a non-profit organization that offers education, training, speaking and consulting to organizations globally to educate and empower their employees to create long-term change in the workplace.
He is also currently writing a book about his journey with stress and anxiety. It’s due to be released in mid-2023.
Matt Adams was born on Norfolk Island, a small island 1400km off the east coast of Australia.
Norfolk Island is the second home of the descendants of The Mutiny on the Bounty.
As one of the most famous Naval mutinies in history, the Mutiny on the Bounty has been the subject of several Hollywood movies starring Clark Gable (1935), Marlon Brando (1962) and Anthony Hopkins/Mel Gibson (1984).
Matt is a 7th generation direct descendant of John Adams, one of the mutineers from The Mutiny on the Bounty.
Matt lived on Norfolk with his family until age 7 when his Dad received a work transfer to Sydney.
They moved to Sydney for two years then onto Adelaide, South Australia where Matt finished school.
Early Success Before Stress
Matt completed a Bachelor of Business (Information Systems) and in the last year of University delved heavily into Personal Development books after being handed his first book from a friend at University.
A week later he went to a second-hand book store and came home with a box full of books.
These books provided inspiration as well as a foundation for Matt’s life from then on.
Matt started his working career in the IT Industry in Brisbane before making a career change one year later in order to learn Sales, starting a career in real estate at age 23.
Within 10 months Matt went from being a Salesperson to Senior Sales Person, and two months later was promoted to Sales Manager.
Four months later he was promoted to Sales Manager of a second office.
He purchased his first house, a brand new car and was on top of the world.
But tasked with hiring new salespeople, running sales meetings, mentoring new salespeople, managing two sales teams as well as listing and selling property, it wasn’t long before Matt started experiencing the signs and symptoms of stress.
After running on adrenaline for several months, taking no time off, then ignoring stress symptoms for a further 3 months, Matt eventually hit a wall.
The prolonged stress lead to severe burnout and he resigned within 48 hours as he could no longer continue.
Matt in his real estate days
When Everything Changed
The stress that Matt suffered in real estate turned into work-related anxiety with every other job he took on.
But this was nothing compared to what came next.
In August 2006 Matt interviewed for a well-paying, high-stress job for a large Australian real estate website.
He was offered the job three days later… but 3 hours earlier the same day Matt had an experience that changed the course of his life forever.
He was driving along a busy road in Brisbane and took a phone call from a friend.
Within a few seconds his heart started pounding like crazy.
He started gasping for air as he pushed himself back into the seat in an effort to get it all to stop.
He thought he was having a heart attack.
He still had the steering wheel in one hand and the phone in the other hand and was unable to pull over due to traffic.
The attack continued for about 8-10 seconds.
When it finished he had a layer of perspiration over any exposed skin and the tip of his tongue was completely numb.
After gathering himself, he thought “what the hell was that?“.
With a doctor’s office only 5 minutes away, he drove straight there.
He explained what had just happened and they connected him up to an ECG machine and…
No sign of anything.
All was normal… supposedly.
Although he initially accepted the new job, he resigned three days later on the Sunday to avoid having to go to the one-week induction training.
Experiencing the panic attack just a few days prior, the though of being ‘stuck’ in the training all week bought up all the stress feelings from the past, only now, there was the added anxiety of having another panic attack.
He called his Mum, saying, “I don’t think I can ever work again’.
Three days later he was working in a factory making ladders.
He’d received the most random of phone calls from a recruitment agency that he’d put his resume with a year prior, saying, ‘we’re not sure if you’re interested but we’ve got a manual labor job… no interview required, you can start tomorrow afternoon.’
It was perfect.
A no-stress job meant that Matt could focus his time on fixing his stress once and for all.
The next 4 months were the toughest 4 months of Matt’s life.
For the 4 months following the panic attack, Matt was experiencing up to 100 heart palpitations per day, lightning-shock feelings in his heart and sensations and thoughts of “I’m going to die“.
One night he literally did not sleep, not even for a second. His reoccurring thought was: “if I go to sleep, I won’t wake up”.
He was almost fired due to taking too many sick days off.
At least one morning a week for four months, Matt would have the reoccurring thought/feeling: “If I go to work today, I will die“
After 4 long months of suffering, learning and trying different things to try to fix himself, he had a breakthrough.
In December 2006 he came across a technique in a book that changed his life.
Implementing the technique immediately, he reduced the daily heart palpitations to almost zero and completely eliminated the lightning-shock feelings in his heart.
And he took just one day off work in the following 7 months.
After 10 months of self-rehabilitation through this technique and others he either discovered or created, he developed the confidence to believe that he was ready to return to full-time work in his field of expertise.
Rehab, Reset, Relaunch
Due to these life-changing experiences and events in Matt’s life, he focused all his energy, attention and time on figuring out how the mind and body work.
He went organic, began meditating and tested just about every alternative therapy, mind technique or body healing strategy he could come across.
Through his self-rehab and self-discovery, Matt started jogging for the first time in his life.
He started with just 1 lap of a soccer field, then 2 laps, then 4 laps, and continued until he was comfortably running 5 x 6km (3.7mi) per week.
After a year of running, he then began stage two of his self-rehabilitation by joining a local gym to build muscle and strength.
He found a training partner and started lifting heavy weights 4 times per week.
Over the next 4 years he gained 15kg (33lbs) of lean muscle mass, going from 78kg (171lbs) to 93kg (205lbs).
With his history of stress and anxiety, this was as much a mental accomplishment as it was physical.
Matt has continued his dedication to health and fitness ever since.
Sharing His Passion
Despite the extent of his stress, burnout and anxiety, Matt never took one pharmaceutical drug, visited one doctor or therapist to treat the symptoms he was experiencing.
He was able to overcome stress, burnout and anxiety 100% naturally.
Matt’s experiences with stress turned him into a “health-hacker” of sorts, by having to figure out a way around the stress and anxiety symptoms he was experiencing.
He decided that it was time to share his knowledge and passion for health and well-being.
In 2017 Matt launched Exercises.com.au – an Australian exercise and fitness website.
Over an 18 month period he filmed 523 exercise demonstration videos (and 59 full workout videos) with business partner and Personal Trainer Dmitri Simons as well as other trainers.
Exercises.com.au is an exercise and fitness website for an Australian and International audience and Matt continues to work on growing the website.
Having never lived overseas and seeking a life change, in April 2018 Matt left Australia and became a digital nomad, living in Vietnam, Moscow and then Italy for three years. He now lives in France.
The Next Chapter
Matt is currently writing a book about his journey with work stress, burnout and work related anxiety, detailing the techniques and strategies he used to recover from the panic attack and associated symptoms and rebuild himself mentally, physically and emotionally.
His book will be available by July 2023.
Matt, a digital nomad, lived in Moscow in early 2019
Matt outside the Krelim in Red Square, Moscow
Matt lived in Italy from 2019-2022