Posted by Holly Carberry
Stress is probably one of the most common concerns among the clients I coach and businesses I work with. Too much stress can make it hard to enjoy the good things in life, and make it more difficult for us to reach our full potential – it takes up a lot of ‘mental space’ that could be put to good use elsewhere. I’ve spent over 23 years developing a range of resources and trainings to help people combat stress: here are my top five tips for managing stress and being the best you you can be.
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Understand that stress is a good thing
This might seem like an odd statement if you’re currently feeling stressed and overwhelmed – but in fact, some stress is a good thing. A little bit of stress pushes us to do our best and stay motivated; it encourages us to work hard and stay focused. If you’ve ever had a job where you were completely un-stressed with absolutely no pressure to do well, you’ll know what I mean. What’s important is finding a balance between ‘no stress at all’ and ‘so stressed it’s affecting you negatively’ – that’s the sweet spot that’ll help you achieve your goals.
Think ‘life balance’, not ‘work life balance’
Work-life balance is great, and very important – but I like to think of it instead as ‘life balance’. This takes into account all the facets that make up our lives: personal development, family, finances etc. In my Stress Management Toolkit course, we’ll work through an exercise I developed to help you evaluate what’s important to you in your life, what your life balance looks like now, and how to work towards a balance that makes you feel fulfilled.
Take time to pause
If you’ve had a busy or stressful day, it’s really important to take time out to stop, breathe and reset. This is especially important if you’re working from home, as it’s easy for your workday stress to carry over into the rest of your time. Think of the glass of water analogy – holding on to our stresses and worries all day will make them seem much bigger than if we can learn to put them down and step away from them every so often.
Accept that you’re doing the best you can
One of the key concepts of NLP is that we’re all doing the best we can with the resources we have available. Managing work, family commitments, and your own personal goals and ambitions can be challenging, but adopting the mindset that you’re doing the best you can will take the pressure off, and make you more compassionate to yourself and to others.
Only YOU are in control of your stress
It might seem like stress arises from external causes: too much work, a difficult-to-manage team, too many personal commitments. However, if you accept that you are in charge of your mind, and only you decide how stressed you are, suddenly you’re the one in control. It’s really empowering to consider that you have the ability to decide how you react to any given situation: you can react with stress, or you can choose to react in a more measured way that’s much easier to manage.
If you’d like help with managing stress, try our online Stress Management Toolkit course. For more focused support, we also offer one-on-one coaching – get in touch to find out more about how we could help.