A Guest Post by Julie Morris
Strategies That Keep Your Stress from Getting in the Way of Your Success
Do you feel like you’re carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders and you need to manage at top speed, dawn ‘til dusk? If your efforts to pursue success mean mounting levels of pressure, you could actually be standing in the way of your achievements. Here is how you can lower your stress, maximize your productivity, and even exceed your expectations.
Stress, health, and burnout. Stress is more than the boost of cortisol you might get during a tense meeting or slam dunking a deadline at the last minute. When you are continually under the gun, some studies indicate your chronic stress levels can lead to a number of complications and inhibit your ability to meet your goals. You could experience reduced productivity, you risk burnout, and you potentially risk a number of serious health concerns. Stress is associated with heart disease, high blood pressure, weight gain, infertility, and certain cancers. Being subject to long-term stress can mean a loss of brain cells and reduced ability for your brain to function, potentially even causing your brain to shrink.
Put your needs first. Many business owners and professionals feel like their career is so much a part of themselves, it can seem contradictory to say they aren’t prioritizing their personal needs by putting work first. However, if you aren’t actively engaged in a self-care program and making that your top priority, you can be inhibiting your own ability to perform at your job. Self-care actually involves nourishing your overall wellness, and some of the benefits include improving self-esteem, increasing productivity, and bolstering the immune system. For example, Business Insider points out regular exercise helps professionals lower their stress levels, boost brain function, and better manage on-the-job challenges. Are you getting sufficient sleep? Without enough sleep, you are more apt to miss work due to illness, be more forgetful, and make more mistakes. None of that is conducive to productivity, and it can mean piled-on stress. Self-care is unique to every individual, and your regimen may not align with that of your partner or peers. However, participating in regular activities to fill your tank can mean more to pour when you need it.
Lighten your load. You might be thinking adding exercise or more sleep is impossible with your many obligations. That’s a sure sign it’s time to lighten your workload as well as take better care of yourself. Taking advantage of tech tools is one way to ease your burden. If you have tasks which are repetitive or mundane, you can either automate them or delegate them. Outsourcing is another great way to ease your chores. Everything from marketing to bookkeeping can be left in the hands of others who specialize in those tasks, tackling them with speed and finesse on your behalf so you can focus on bigger and better things.
Management techniques. Finding ways to manage stress when you’re in the moment is a key to reducing the impact of tension in your life. One suggestion is to learn to recognize unhealthy thought patterns. Oftentimes, these come in the form of worries or frustrations, and they are unproductive. Instead of dwelling, choose to focus on other, more positive things. It’s especially important to avoid indulging in counterproductive coping strategies, such as substance abuse. Business Collective suggests managing stressful situations by taking a mental step back, breathing deeply, and reflecting on issues. Look at the bigger picture instead of the details that are weighing on you. Learning some mindfulness techniques can also help you manage stressful situations. These involve looking at your situation without judgment and examining it purposefully.
Lowering the amount of stress in your life can mean improving your personal and professional health. Put your needs first, find ways to ease your workload, and incorporate some stress-management techniques for when tough situations arise. You can hit the ground running and exceed your goals with these smart, stress-reducing strategies in place.