Great leaders know there is good and bad stress. Good stress keeps leaders alert and on their toes. On the other hand, bad stress can cause disturbances in the physical body as a result of managing layoffs, toxic environment, managing some employees, and more.
According to the Center for Creative Research, Eighty-eight percent of leaders report that work is a primary source of stress in their lives and that having a leadership role increases the level of stress.
Since stress can affect your work performance and cause disturbances in the physical body, it is important that leader effectively manage their stress in a timely fashion. To manage bad stress, here are some tips from my book, Discovery:
- Take deep abdominal breaths often. Get in tune with your inner self and ask for guidance. Think of your experience as an opportunity to learn and grow and lead you to a new level of understanding – something about you or possibly the way you view the world.
- Accept yourself as you are. Know your capabilities and your limits, your personal coping style, values and goals. Remind yourself that you and others around you are not perfect.
- Accept the reality of frustration and discomfort. Know that things will not go as planned at times, so practice patience. High tolerance helps you tackle problems and issues rather than avoid them. Keep taking action steps and engage in activities that help you gain focus. Look at the positive side of a situation and think about how you can help others who may be less fortunate.
- Take time for yourself and get as much enjoyment out of life as you can now. Enjoy your present moment and look forward to the future.
- Postpone pleasures that may cause long-term pain. For example, you may want to drink more alcohol but you restrict your intake
- Be flexible; be aware that change occurs constantly. As things change in your life, take a reasonable amount of time to regroup – modify your plans and behaviors.
Another way to alleviate stress is to get to the root cause of stress. According to the Center for Creative Leadership, you can do this by asking yourself the following questions:
- What are the sources of my stress?
- What can I do differently to relieve stress on my own?
- What support systems offer the most assistance to me in managing stress?
- How do I reciprocate and demonstrate my appreciation for the help?
So, Today’s tip is to take time to identify the root cause of “bad stress” and discover ways to minimize or eliminate your stress.
*This is week four of a six week series to personal growth and leadership.
Discovery: Raise Your Personal Power in a Changing World, Jessica Blalock, 2012
Center for Creative Leadership: http://www.ccl.org/leadership/pdf/research/StressofLeadership.pdf
Dr. Jessica Blalock is director of The Center for Discovery. She offers executive coaching, consulting, books, videos and workshops that helps develop the leader in you through personal growth techniques.
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