The ability to identify and manage stress is key to succeeding in any leadership position.
Is this you? > > > Leaders are so busy trying to lead that they lose focus of their personal well-being.
However, in order to become the successful leader you believe you are, you must begin with taking care of yourself. If you are unable to manage your stress, how will you be able to lead effectively??
No one likes stress, but we all have it. What we need to realize is that good stress is ok, but it can be massively destructive if we don't learn how to cope with it.
"80% of workers feel stress on the job, nearly half say they need help in learning how to manage stress"
Whoa. We need to work on lowering this statistic!
I manage my stress by working out each morning and meditating in the morning and then at night before bed. This combination gives me the power to supercharge other areas of life....giving me intense focus for a few hours at a time.
Here are some ways you too can manage stress in your life:
Yes, breathe. No joke, we can often forget to breathe deeply during situations, which can increase the supply of oxygen to your brain and stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system, leading to a state of calmness (per the American Institute of Stress).
So take a few deep breaths in the situation and learn to practice meditation breathing at least once during your day. You'll be amazed at the results!
Not like when you were a little girl and recorded all your deepest dreams, but kinda. Journaling reduces stress by removing the worry and thoughts racing over and over in your mind. You move these worries, concerns, hopes or dreams out of your body onto paper. From there, you can determine whether to act on those thoughts and turn them into something positive. Seeing your thoughts on paper changes the perspective.
Do affirmations seem silly? They can, until you practice saying positive, uplifting phrases out loud to yourself. Research indicates every thought and emotion creates a chemical release into our bodies, which affect our mental, physical and spiritual health and well-being. Negative self-talk is damaging; and who wants to follow a leader who has negative self-talk?!
Some good affirmations are:
- I am worthy and loved
- I am enough
- I am relaxed and calm
- My tension is melting away
4. EXERCISE AND HEALTHY DIET
Yes, how many times do we hear this throughout our lives? A lot because it's true! Well-nourished bodies better cope with stress. Get moving for 20-30 minutes a day. It doesn't have to be some crazy regimen - why not just do some squats or push-ups in your bedroom? Dance in your office with the door closed (or not!). Take a walk at lunch time.
Make sure you eat breakfast and it's a nutritious one too. Whether it's a veggie omelet, meat and veggie skillet, or a fruit and veggie smoothie, make sure your breakfast (and the rest of your meals and snacks!) contain whole foods. Reduce your sugar intake too!
5. GET ENOUGH SLEEP
Each of our bodies is different - some can function on less sleep than others, but per the research, most of us need between 6-8 hours of sleep each night. Adequate sleep fuels your mind AND your body. Feeling tired will increase your stress because it may cause you to think irrationally. And no one wants to deal with someone who has had a lack of sleep!
So let's all relax. Although stress and anxiety may arise in your workplace and personal life, there are many simple ways to reduce the pressure you feel.
These tips often involve getting your mind away from the source of stress. Laugh. Smile. Shrug it off. Most of the stressful situations won't matter next week, month or year. Enjoy life!