Thoughts From Our Heads

Thoughts From Our Heads

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Emotional Intelligence #6 - Managing Stress

Sunday 2nd August 2015

 

 

You are under pressure from your boss about the below par performance this quarter. You are having doubts about your job and your future and at home things are stressed and tense. Just a few of the many stressful situations that we will all encounter, at some stage in our lives. Yet when we experience stress the fact that it is a common occurrence doesn't give us much comfort. We need to find coping strategies that will enable us to deal with these crises as they happen and gain clarity in what can be a confusing and overwhelming period. Follow these tips to help you manage your stress:

1. Write it out and talk it out. Things will play on your mind until you either do them or get a plan to do them. Writing things out can help you relax and feel more in control. Talking to a friend will allow you to get a different perspective on your situation and could help you to see things more clearly.

2. Find out what stress reliever works best for you and ensure you do it regularly - it could be going for a walk, having a massage, meditation, exercise or yoga.

3. Focus on the here and now. Uncertainly can cause stress. Will I have enough money for retirement, will I succeed in my role, will I repair my marriage? The answer to these questions will often be - 'I don't know' which isn't exactly reassuring. Instead of focussing on the future, focus on what you are doing right now. Plan and measure how much you are saving for the future, make sure you put in a good days work today and spend quality time with your partner. Focus on the daily routine rather than the future uncertainty.

4. Ask yourself some questions to gain some perspective:
Have I been in a situation like this before?
Did I handle it then?
What is the best possible outcome that could happen?
Even if I don't achieve this outcome is it the end of the world?
Will I remember this situation next week, next month or next year? 

We often underestimate our ability to deal with negative events, we think we can't cope, but again and again we do cope. Humans are extremely resilient, with time we can deal with seemingly catastrophic events such as job loss, death and divorce. If we can get through these things we can get through some bad days in the office and financial stresses.

5. Spend time with loved ones. When you spend time with friends and family your body release a hormone called oxytocin. Oxytocin has been found to help mitigate the adverse affects of stress such as heart problems, cancer and aging. So get out of the office and enjoy family time...it could save your life.