A challenging project, an overbooked calendar, and even the success you’ve always dreamed of can trigger stress. But far too often, it hits us harder than we think it will. If we miss the signs, we can fall prey to tension and stress.
When stress arrives, here’s how to prevent a flame-out and complete the task at hand.
Resisting Is Futile
Why deplete your energy by lamenting the situation you find yourself in? Resisting where you are is futile and won’t get you where you want to be. Get crystal clear: identify what is most urgent and take decisive action.
Notice, name, and shed the negative thinking that only exhausts you emotionally and psychically. Labeling emotions impacts how your brain experiences them. It helps you stay calm and allows your rational brain to function, making you more effective.
Set Firm Boundaries
When we have unreasonable expectations of ourselves – or when we think others expect a lot from us — we may set unrealistic deadlines, bite off more than we can chew, and over-promise. Set firm boundaries on your time and on your tasks. Renegotiate deadlines if necessary. Where possible, shift work that isn’t in your sweet spot to trusted colleagues.
Decide early on what you will and won’t focus on in any given time period. Assess your priorities and make the tough decisions about where to spend your capital each day. Ask yourself – what one or two things are critical for me to be successful today? And what two or three things must be set aside today to be successful?
Connect with Others and Yourself
Preserve time each and every day to focus on an activity that recharges you and another action that strengthens your connection to others. It could be as simple as taking time to scan Facebook for updates about friends, then going for a quick walk or workout or reading a book while sipping your favorite beverage.
A stressful time is no time to beat yourself up. Treat yourself with care, just as you’d treat a friend going through a pressure situation. Let yourself vent, then forgive yourself and give yourself a pep talk to get things moving again.
Next time you find yourself in stress-filled time at work or in life, survive and thrive by putting these ideas into play. You’ll emerge successfully and more happy than when you started.