5 Things to Better Stress Control at Work
We’re all living and working with more stress in our lives these days. What can you do to better control stress at work? The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) in it’s 2017 statistics, reported that the biggest factor for causing stress was workload (44%). Other factors included: lack of support; violence, threats or bulling; changes at work; and ‘other’. It’s of no surprise to also learn from the report that those in jobs related to human health and social work suffered the most stress.
Work-related stress can be particularly problematic for organizational and business leaders who face long work hours, brutal competition and economic pressures. Chronic stress can impair the immune system, contribute to depression and even reduce gray matter in critical regions of the brain that regulate emotion and important physiological functions.
Stress can leave you anxious, short-tempered, distracted and irritable. It can also make you less productive and less likely to make good decisions. This doesn’t sound good for those in positions of leadership!
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to control your stress. Executive coaching is one solution that has been shown to help leaders create a powerful, systemic shift in how they experience stress.
This is how executive coaching can help you:
Better understand your stress response. When you face a threat, stress hormones flood your system, producing a reaction known as the “fight-or-flight” response. Your brain identifies the danger and then sounds the alarm, preparing your body to either stand and face the threat or seek an escape. This response is great when you’re facing a tiger, but you don’t want to be like this with paper tigers. Being able to quickly identify these cognitive and physical reactions is the first step toward learning how to manage your stress.
Identify what triggers your stress. Part of controlling your stress involves becoming more aware of the situations, events and people that set off your stress response. With executive coaching, you can learn to identify when and what situations trigger your stress response, and then learn how to minimize or eliminate your high stress levels. In addition, coaching will provide you with insight into how your leadership style influences interactions at work and how to address the aspects of your management approach that are contributing to stress.
Learn how to better manage your thoughts, moods and energy. Your thoughts and moods have a profound impact on your day-to-day performance, energy level and results – and most people spend the majority of their day stuck in energy-depleting states of stress and frustration, often needlessly. Executive coaching can help you understand how you’re creating those unproductive states and will show you how to get to grips with them to unleash the energy reserves that we all have within us.
Learn stress management techniques. Executive coaching will teach you how you can effectively use mindfulness to calm your brain and build resilience to stress. In the article ‘How Meditation Benefits CEOs’, Emma Seppala explains that mindfulness provides senior executives with a number of important benefits that helps in their everyday jobs. Practicing mindfulness for just five minutes each day should show a significant reduction in stress after just a few weeks. You can also experience increases in life satisfaction, mastery of your environment and positive relations with others.
Create long-term, systemic change. By increasing your self-awareness and practicing these techniques, you will be forging neurological shifts in your brain, leading to new responses to circumstances, conversations, conflict and your environment. You will experience improved professional performance and an increased capacity to change.
Executive coaching can improve your business and personal life in many ways, and stress reduction is just one of the many benefits that can have a resounding effect on performance. By tackling your stress today, you will be better equipped to deal with the challenges you face in the future.
Steve Hemmings: My Professional Experience:
I’ve worked for over 25 years in marketing, sales, and executive leadership positions, mostly in international roles, and I’ve experienced my share of the pressure and stress of a target driven working environment. Having the right mindset has been vital when the going has been tough. When I talk of mindset I’m referring to mental toughness. It’s not about being macho or uncaring or self-centred – it is about being tough in the sense of not giving up and being confident that you can succeed, even if the odds are stacked against you. In late 2008 I started delivering training and coaching, helping people in challenging work roles develop a tough mindset. From 2018 I’m concentrating on writing and speaking about gaining the right mindset, and how to successfully manage stress for busy leaders.
Follow me on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/stevehemmings/