It is often said that being a business leader or executive comes with executive size problems. I think many people would agree with that. Sometimes with success comes a greater load of burdens to bear, and being successful in life can also lead to being stressed in life. Fortunately, there are some easy, free, 100% self- service stress management techniques that we can all utilize so as not to feel so overwhelmed.
It may seem like a cop-out, since you hear this advice so often, but it has real merit; try exercise. Exercising, whether it be running a marathon, or going for a leisurely stroll with the family dog, can really help cut down on those stressful feelings. Blame it on the science: physical activity actually releases cortisol (the “stress” hormone”) from the body, and replaces it with feel good hormones. So, even if you are not an athlete, just getting out of the office and getting on your feet will have you feeling better in no time!
Take Time Out.
When work or business situations become too much to bear, you have to know when to step away for a bit, and recharge your personal batteries. A few hours with your kids, a movie with a friend or lunch with your partner can put things back into perspective and help you to recognize the positive things in your life. Go out with some friends, take a breather from whatever stress you are facing, and enjoy the happy things in life for awhile. Sure, the stress will be waiting for you when you get back, but at least you will be better able to deal with it after a break.
Know When Worry Won’t Work.
As business professionals, we tend to think that we are the ones who control everything. We have to have a plan to fix any problem that may arise. But, that is not always possible. Some problems are simply out of our control, and beyond the realm of what we can “fix.” Often, realizing that something is just out of your hands can really take some of the stress away. There are times in life where no matter how much you stress or worry about something, it will be what it will be and no amount of worrying will change it. Recognize those times and don’t waste your energy on things you can’t change. Try asking your higher self or your higher power, as with the serenity prayer, for serenity in acceptance of what can’t be changed, courage to change what you can and wisdom to know the difference.
Let It All Out.
Sometimes, you just have to let the stress out. You can do this several ways: talking to a trusted family member or friend about what’s bothering you (you can even use your dog if you don’t trust a human with your worries!), or keeping a stress journal can really help. I don’t know what it is about getting something off your chest, but just talking to someone or writing it down can make you feel physically better.
These are just a few of the many options for stress management. The more of them you are able to utilize, the better you will feel and the less likely you will be to need to manage stress in an unhealthy way.