The way we handle stress is always a factor in our success in challenging times. Unmanaged, stress can hold us back from being successful Once managed, stress propels us to new levels of success.
When you learn how to manage stress, you benefit in the following ways:
Improved health and decreased incidence of disease Improved mood Improved memory and thinking Improved sleep Improved relationships Reduced absenteeism Improved productivity Improved workplace environment
The following are five stress management secrets that will allow you to fulfill your career, business, and life ambitions while living a happier life:
1. Set Realistic Goals
Many times, I ask people, “What do you want in your career?” Frequently, I receive an answer stating what they don’t want. They do not realize that this is not the same as focusing on what they want to include in their career. If you don’t have a clear, concise vision of what you want in your career, business or life, you can easily be lead down a path which will cause stress for you in the future.
Set clear goals in several areas of your life: family, health, career, finance, and spiritual, among others. By setting realistic goals in each area, you will create balance in your life, have a clear direction of what you want to accomplish in each area, and reduce your stress level because you will have purpose.
2. Master Your Attitude
We can choose to have a positive attitude or we can choose to have a negative attitude. The choice is all ours. A positive attitude will create more opportunities and leave you refreshed at the end of the day. A negative attitude will close opportunities and leave you tired and stressed at the end of the day.
During downturns and challenging times, negative attitudes become the norm. Make it a choice to start your day on a positive note and carry that attitude through the day. “Check yourself” throughout the day to ensure you are taking actions that guarantee a positive result. Also, protect your positive attitude when interacting with others. Use your goals and positive affirmations as motivators for success.
3. Master Stress by Focusing on the Big Picture
During chaotic and challenging times, you will be tempted to be pulled into activities and tasks that are not important to the overall big picture. Then, you will ask “Where did the time go?” or “Why didn’t accomplish what I needed to do today?” These small or unimportant tasks create a stressed state of mind. Prioritize each and every day so that you maximize your productivity and are ahead of other employees in the same situation. Master your time management skills by taking a time management class, reading a time management book, or using a time management software package, such as Outlook, to keep you on track towards achieving your success goals. Remember, this is an investment in yourself, and the knowledge gained goes with you wherever you go in your career.
4. Master Stress by Managing Your Work Style
Organize yourself for career success. Do you like to have piles of paper on your desk and jump from pile to pile without accomplishing much? Do you allow any distraction distract you from accomplishing more in your career? If you do, it doesn’t get better during very challenging times. It becomes worse.
Take the appropriate actions to manage your work style and manage stress. If you have piles for paper on your desk, remove them from your desk and place them out of your line of sight. Put these piles behind you if necessary so that you can concentrate on the task at hand and achieve more in less time. If you are easily distracted, make your work area distraction proof. Turn off the Outlook e-mail notification bell, turn your desk so that it doesn’t face the door, and control when and where you are willing to have conversations. By taking these simple steps, you can easily relieve your stress level at the office.
5. Master Stress by Living a Healthy Lifestyle
When we are confronted with challenges, we tend to go for “comfort” food. Comfort food makes us feel good but isn’t nutritious. These foods are counterproductive when we are faced with challenges, and actually increase our stress levels. Fried foods, foods high in sugar, and dairy products can increase stress levels and decrease productivity in the long run. Fruits, broiled chicken, and plain yogurt with fruit added are much healthier choices and help to keep stress levels down.
Make it a part of your healthy lifestyle program to exercise 3-5 times a week. It can be as simple as taking a walk around the office building or the community in which you live. Concentrate on stretching and breathing techniques that reduce stress, increase your thinking ability, and help you become more energetic and gain more energy to face challenging situations. By implementing a rigorous exercise program, you will deter the onslaught of hypertension, which can lead to other illnesses.
Follow these five powerful stress management secrets and you will be able to make stress work for you in challenging situations.
Ed Sykes is a highly sought after expert, author, professional speaker, and success coach in the areas of leadership, motivation, stress management, customer service, and team building. You can e-mail him at mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org, or call him at (757) 427-7032. Go to his web site, http://www.thesykesgrp.com , and signup for the newsletter, OnPoint, and receive the free special motivational report, “Jump Start Your Success.”