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Tip of the Day

Latest on dealing with Stress

By March 15, 2018October 3rd, 2023No Comments
Leadership Coaching Tip on Stress 

How we perceive stress can increase stress and mortality! It sounds obvious and a simplistic statement, while it is actually more complex. The good news is that if you can implement strategies that create acceptance around feeling stress, you increase resilience and can more easily move through moments or days when stress seems higher. More about these later.

Feeling stress is okay, but its what we do with that feeling or thought that can make all the difference. Some of us will avoid people or activities that are important to us, as a way of trying to decrease stress. But do this actually work? Do we then feel more stress for doing that. Some of us might get into conflict “vent one’s spleen” as a way to relieve stress. How have you felt 5 minutes or 5 hours later when you have used this strategy?

Stress is part of our modern day to day lives, a lot of it we can’t control (e.g., unexpected events and others behaviour). What we do have more control over is what we choose to do next. Do you over think the situation, go in to panic or avoid or argue? Can you instead have some self-compassion around the experience of stress and still do what is important to you?
Yes, I know this is often hard to do. Particularly when it feels like stress is being “thrown at you” by another person.
When a close friend or family member is stressed, do you then tell them they are weak for not coping and to stop thinking like that? And if you have done that, do you think it helps? Think about a time when you were feeling overwhelmed with stress and someone told you to stop feeling that way. Did you feel better or did you then feel worse?

We are all very hard on ourselves most of the time. There are some good scientific reasons for this, which are largely because our brains have a negative bias which influences negative self-talk.  Most people I work with, are not aware of this fact.  Negative bias was created to protect us from being eaten by a lion – preparing for the worst outcome. But now in 2019, when we feel stress it is not a lion that is about to eat us (unless on safari), but gosh, some days it does feel like it! So what do we do?

The solution is actually more simple than the cause. We simply need to create acceptance around the experience and feeling of stress, try not to struggle or analyse it or make it wrong. By doing this we create a new relationship with the experience of stress which can allow us to unhook from our old coping strategies, and instead engage in our lives. I give this anaology to the individuals and teams I coach:

“It is like being invited to a party or event you dont want to go to”. It takes effort to go (thoughts of “this is only going to increase my stress and not get rid of it”), but you go anyway.  And how is it when you show up for things like this? Is it as bad as you thought? Most people tell me, it was actually often better than they thought. And they felt better for going!

3 simple strategies for stress:

Leadership Coaching Tip #1

Mind-Break “5 senses” walk – notice what you see or hear that you havent before, how does it feel to have the sun or rain on your skin, what can you smell or taste on the walk. When you notice your mind thinking and analysing, bring yourself back to the walk – what can you see, hear, feel, smell and taste.  Your mind will go off many times, and thats okay.

Leadership Coaching Tip #2

Practice Mindfulness – see http://www.connect-inspire-transform.com/your-daily-vitamin-for-achieving-more/

Leadership Coaching Tip #3

Self-compassion. Treat yourself like you would a loved one when they needed kindness. Here is some ideas about compassion at work. http://www.connect-inspire-transform.com/compassion-workplace-sounds-wishy-washy/
I hope this information was of value.  If you would like to know more about how to better manage stress why not book a 30 minute phone or video consult with me, your first one is on me.  Book here

Warmly, Margie Ireland
Leadership Coach | Workplace Psychologist

Margie Ireland is the author of The Happy Healthy Leader – how to achieve your potential even during a crisis. Margie is a registered Psychologist, Leadership Coach and Workshop Facilitator, highly sought after to help Leaders and their teams navigate stress and change with healthier coping strategies, leading to happier, healthier and high-performing teams. For more information visit www.margieireland.com

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