It is a well-known fact that the lives of business leaders are quite stress-packed, making it all the more necessary to ensure sound physical, mental, and emotional health. Indeed, leading an organisation comes with new challenges every day, and unchartered territory requires decision-takers to perform at their best in the most trying circumstances.
Some of the most common stress triggers at work derive from having an excessive workload or losing connection with the team, and sometimes stress could even come from sources that business leaders have no control over, at times even leading to feelings of loneliness. Different people have different responses to stress; however, it is important to point out that stress is almost never perceived as positive, which is why it cannot be left undealt with.
There are many ways in which one can stay on top of work-related stress, however, this is very much a personal decision based on individual preferences. Here are straightforward, tried, and tested tips that can go a long way toward ensuring stress levels are kept to manageable levels.
1. Take deep breaths
As overestimated as this may sound, it works. Physiologically, when we are stressed our heart rate tends to go up. Controlling our breathing by taking deep breaths is a way of lowering the heart rate and hence, calming down.
2. Imagine things / people you love
Nothing brings a smile on our faces like thinking of a loved one. When things get tough at work it is highly recommended to take a few seconds to flip through the photos on your phone and look at some nice memories or at things that make you happy. This could be your family, or your pets, or your friends, or just photos of beautiful places you’ve visited. Reminding yourself that there are other things going on in your life that make you happy is a way to remember that there is more to life than the stressful moment you’re currently facing.
3. Invest in your mind and body
Taking time out of your daily routine to go for a walk or do some exercise is a way of investing in your mind and body. Sport is known to help people deal with stress more effectively because it is a way to unwind and burn off some steam at the end of a stressful day. Whether you prefer going for a run, or simply a walk, or going to the gym…remember that being active helps you both physically and mentally.
4. Get support
Whenever you feel that things are getting too much, do not insist on facing challenges alone.. Seek the support of colleagues, a mentor, or even a person outside of your workplace with whom you can discuss issues.
5. Establish boundaries
One of the biggest forms of stress on the job is the inability to say “no”. It is important for people to learn how to establish boundaries. Sometimes, with the best of intentions, business leaders try to make themselves available 24/7, without considering the possibility of burnout and the impact this can have on the team. Try enforcing an e-mail response cut off-time, or a brief portion of the day with the phone switched off.
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