Stress is something every leader will face. Most likely on a daily basis.
Yet so few of us effectively deal with stress. This is a problem!
Stress robs us of our health. Stress affects our relationships. Stress plays games with our minds.
Stress is a killer.
That’s why we need to talk on ways we can deal with stress.
Let me be upfront. Over the past few months my battles with stress haven’t gone too well.
Between searching for a new vehicle to a major ERP upgrade at work to a frustrating iPad repair, there’s been a lot of stress.
My nights have been restless (My wife has said I’m throwing punches in my sleep). Anger has become an issue. I’ve even slipped into gossiping (I’m sorry Matt! I know what you say about gossip).
Stress has been winning but I know it doesn’t have to. There are ways we can combat stress. I’d like to share what’s worked for me and hopefully will work for you.
1. Step away from the stressful situation: We can become stressed when we’re too close to a situation. The stressful environment stares us in the face every day. It’s almost like stress taunts us because we’re so immersed in what we’re doing.
When you’re facing stress, step away for a bit. Get out and go for a walk. Go to the gym and exercise. Do something that separates you from the place where the stress resides.
2. Talk with someone: During the iPad repair, I consulted with a friend who’s done many iPad repairs. He calmly walked me through steps I hadn’t tried and tested solutions that had worked for him in the past.
In the end, the iPad repair was successful but stressful. Had I consulted with someone early on the stress level would have been much less.
Now, don’t go using this as an excuse to gossip or blast another party. Your talks should be about the subject at hand and with someone that can help you deal with the problem.
3. Work on another project: The truth of the matter is that we don’t do well with multi-tasking. Our brains weren’t designed to quickly recover from moving rapidly between high brain level activities.
But if we switch from a stressful activity to a less stressful activity, we can often find breakthroughs we wouldn’t have by being focused on the issue causing us trouble.
I’m not exactly sure why this works but it does. I’m sure you’ve been in a situation where you can’t find a solution only to switch gears to another task and the answer comes to you. Use this to your advantage!
4. Tackle the problem: The last thing I want to mention in dealing with stress is that we need to face the situation that causes us stress. Leaving the situation without a resolution only causes the stress to continue.
Find a solution and get to solving the problem. If you don’t, the stress will hang over your head until you’re done.
Those are the ways I should have dealt with the situations I was dealing with. I didn’t and I had to deal with the issues that came along from holding onto the stress.
You don’t have to be like me. You can tackle stress. You can overcome stress.
Put these steps into action and you can destroy stress.