There is no question about it, we live in a stressful business virtual roundtables world. Sources of stress are plentiful and varied. Paradoxically, the sources of stress can be both happy and sad events. In spite of that, stress generators are inevitable. Work can produce the never-ending pressure of chronic stress. When this happens the body constantly releases the stress hormones of adrenaline, noradrenaline and cortisol. If this is not controlled, chronic stress can eventually kill us. However, there are tactics and techniques to deal with the unrelenting combination of stressors, work, relationships, financial pressures and domestic situations.
One of the most important factors in tolerating stress is optimism. The belief that things will improve in the future. The second most important factor is the ability to choose behaviour for coping with stress in such a way that you can control or influence the stressful situation by keeping calm and maintaining control.
Optimism and stress tolerance are very closely linked. If you are strong in one area then you will develop mastery in the other. It is imperative that you maintain a positive and optimistic outlook on life and have the confidence that you will successfully cope with life’s challenges.
Stress tolerance has an important influence on your ability to sustain the quality of your life. If you cannot tolerate stress, then you cannot enjoy a high quality of life. Constant stress leads to physical and psychological damage and severely limits your effectiveness in the workplace. Stress reduces creativity and productivity as well as limiting decision-making options. From a managerial or executive point of view, stress is the number one enemy of business effectiveness.
What most managers and executives don’t realise is that there is a strong relationship between stress management and impulse control. When you control your impulses, you are reducing your potential stress factors.
Learn the techniques to manage the psychological and physiological impacts of stress. Develop the methods of structured breathing and optimistic visualisation. Refuse to be drawn into the heat of stressful situations. Take time out to think and consider rather than just react. Get more exercise. Check out someone who tolerates stress well. Go and talk to them and find out how they do it.
Think “laid-back.” Develop a response mechanism to crises. Practice a “laid-back” response. When faced with a potentially tense situation, pause and then produce your “laid-back” response. Another strategy is to move from stress producing to stress reducing activities, these may include recreation, exercise or even short but frequent vacations. Often because of time pressures, busy executives and managers often avoid stressful issues instead of trying to sort them out using constructive discussion. If you can improve your ability to resolve difficult issues, then you can deal with these matters without being unduly stressed.