Times are changing, even these days you can hear children saying they are stressed. As a baby boomer this word wasn’t even heard of during childhood, you were more likely to be bored.
Depending on your personality or the situation, stress can stop you in your tracks or give you the jolt to get going, there doesn’t seem to be an in-between state
Even the adrenaline junky needs to be careful however, as too much of it can cause physical and mental harm such as insomnia, nervousness and lowered immunity to illness.
Adrenaline is instrumental in triggering the “fight or flight” mechanism which kept our distant relatives alive. These days we are less likely to experience this situation and instead it is noticeable when we are stressed for any one of many reasons.
Sports people experience an adrenaline rush when competing and can use it to their advantage but most sports people also know how to cool down after an event, therefore calming down and lowering adrenaline levels.
When we experience a stressful situation either at work or at home we can feel jumpy, hyperactive or energised. Energised is good but the nervousness is not, as it is out of control. It is essential to recognise the physical changes and deal with them.
Feeling jumpy you need to take yourself out of the immediate situation, find a quiet place and just breathe. Concentrate on your breathing which should be deep and slow, doing this should also quieten the noise in your head, those thoughts which keep going over and over until you feel like shouting or hitting something. Slowing your breathing and calming the brain activity will ease stress and the heart rate and put you back in control, how you should be. If this sounds like meditation, it is close and it is certainly doable.
Maybe only a swami can truly claim to not experience stressful episodes because, for most of us, our daily lives can throw all sorts of stressful situations at us. No milk for breakfast and hungry children to feed, traffic jams, running late for an appointment, the printer runs out of ink, the wrong product is delivered, staff call in sick and you are short-handed on a busy day, you get a parking ticket and so on it goes. Stress can be everywhere if you allow
There is something to be said about going with the flow. No milk, have bread and jam. Traffic jam, listen to the music but don’t get on your mobile phone unless you have pulled over and turned the car engine off. Running late, apologise when you arrive and nail the meeting anyway. Solutions can be found for most things, you just have to stay calm and think it through. It depends so much on your outlook, if it is optimistic then you will find the solution if you are a pessimist you probably won’t even start to think of a solution.
No man or woman for that matter is an island. Don’t try to handle problems on your own, especially in your business. Two heads are better than one, together you could arrive at a solution and sooner than tackling it on your own. You have a team, use it.
Stress can cloud the mind making it hard to think clearly and make decisions and it is usually in stressful situations when decisions have to be made. Sounds like a “catch 22” doesn’t it?
After the deep breathing and calming the mind don’t try to do a dozen things to resolve whatever situation caused the stress. One step at a time will be far more productive, a structured, measured approach will get you to a solution, sorry one more cliché, “low and steady wins the race.”
Use the stress to your advantage, think of it as a spur, not a thorn, a chance to learn and you will stay in control of yourself and the situation.