Leadership Tip

How to get the better of stress

We can have a healthier relationship with stress as we form a better understanding of what is stressful for each of us, how we respond and how we can navigate the process more gently and skilfully. It is empowering to work on creating the mental space and inner strength to choose whether a trigger for stress deserves our immediate attention and action, or not; and to be able to bring a sense of calm and balance, even in the tough times. Here are five tips to help you "flip" stress.

  1. Be self-aware. Take time out to notice what kind of stress you’re experiencing. Making a clear distinction between positive and negative kinds of stress can be useful when it comes to understanding the root cause, managing your response and deciding your next steps.
     
  2. Get writing. Journalling is a great way to stop your thoughts in their swirling tracks and identify what is triggering your current stress response. Writing is such a useful tool; use it to gain a healthier perspective on your situation and to look for patterns and recurring themes that could be causing hurt or holding you back.
     
  3. Take action. Be proactive when it comes to your health and wellbeing. Do the best you can to make informed choices and to take empowered action that will, in time, relieve the stress you’re struggling with. Consider where you can take steps to minimise or eradicate the pressure, set healthy boundaries and ensure you are listening to your own needs in this moment.
     
  4. Go gently. Stress has many physical and mental manifestations. It can show up as aches, pains, stiffness, breakouts, inflammation, irritability, anxiety and poor sleep, to name a few. Try releasing the build-up of tension through stretching, yoga, getting a massage, dancing or any other kind of gentle physical activity. This will help to soothe and calm your nervous system and make you feel much better naturally.
     
  5. Breathe better. The way you inhale and exhale can exacerbate or alleviate your stress levels. Stressful situations often leave you taking short and shallow breaths or even holding your breath in. Instead, taking slow, deep and controlled breaths during challenging times will bring your awareness to the present moment, promote balance and activate a sense of calm within just a couple of minutes.

The above leadership tip...
was sent in response to a question from a participant on our acclaimed 10/10 leadership development and mentoring programme and adapted from How to Turn Stress into a Positive and Feel More Motivated by Annika Rose. Whether you're a first time manager or an experienced leader, straightforward, practical advice on best practice is hard to find. Until now. To find out how you, your team or your organisation can benefit, please join us on our next complimentary webinar or contact us.


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