10 Ways to Handle Stress Like a Boss
There are many different reactions to stress that can drive us crazy, and sometimes those who handle things so calmly can even make us feel crazy. How do they remain calm in disorderly situations?
Sure, some of us handle stress better than others, but it’s not because some people are just “built for stress.” It’s most likely because they’ve built up the coping skills to handle high-stress situations in a calm matter. Here are 10 things you can do to stay calm in any situation, no matter how chaotic it may be.
Stop Before You React
This is something they teach in grade school and even at day cares. Before reacting, count to five—or ten if you need extra time—breathe, and allow yourself to physically and mentally calm down. This way, you can avoid overreacting and stay professional instead of sending that passive aggressive e-mail you might have fired off in the heat of the moment.
Breathe In, Breathe Out
Don’t always reserve deep breathing time for when you’re frazzled. The 4-7-8 breathing method has proven successful in relaxing the mind and body, so if you’re prone to anxiety, this is a good exercise to make part of your daily ritual. It can be something you do in the mornings when you wake up and before you go to sleep, or try practicing this a few times during the day. What you want to do is sit up or lay down comfortably (if you’re in the office, you’d probably would want to choose to sit up), take a deep breath in for four seconds, hold it for seven second, and exhale slowly for eight seconds. You’d be surprise on how calm you can become after just three or four rounds of this.
Check out the desk of every low-stressed person and most likely you’ll find a planner. That’s because people who handle stress well tend to be very organized. A great way to handle the stress of your workload is to write down a to-do list for each day, so you’re not constantly trying to remember what you need to do or leaving work asking yourself if there was something you missed.
Leave Work at Work
Avoid taking work home if you can. Your home is supposed to be your place to relax. This way you don’t get burnt out quickly. Making your list of things you need to get done the next day helps the thought and worry leave your mind, and you can come in the next morning feeling refreshed and ready to tackle your to-do list.
Just Say “No”
Getting overwhelmed is an easy way to lose your cool, and agreeing to every project or responsibility inside or outside of work is a recipe for feeling overwhelmed. Before you give your teammate a definite answer whether you can or cannot take on a task, take a look at what you already have on your plate and realistically evaluate the time frame of each project you’re handling. We’re not advising you to say no to everything that comes your way; just remember that you shouldn’t say yes to everything if you’ve already got more than a full plate. This will leave you feeling stressed and your teammates feeling like you’ve let them down.
It’s easy to pick at yourself over what you could’ve done better, because as they say, “You are your own worst critic.” It’s time to say goodbye to dwelling on mistakes and hello to moving on. Cut yourself some slack. If you’ve made a mistake, then learn from it, move on, and be sure not to repeat it. You’re only human. It’s what you do with these experiences that will either tear you down or build you up.
If you’re in a predicament that seems unresolved, dwelling on the problem or complaining isn’t going to solve it. Try to turn on your rational thoughts and find a solution. A good way of doing this is writing down your irrational thoughts (these could be your initial assessments) and then finding a way to rationalize them. For instance, an irrational thought might be: “We’re running out of time, I’ve made this mistake, and my teammates are going to hate me.” This is not conducive to success for anyone. Instead, try thinking: “There’s still time. We just have to fix this one thing. It will take teamwork, but we’ll manage.” That’s a more productive and effective way of thinking.
Find an Outlet
Running, cooking, video games … Find whatever seems to soothe you or makes you feel happy and allows you to zone out, and go for it. Having a hobby and healthy habits outside the office is a great way to take the stress off at the end of the day.
Care for Yourself
Similar to the the previous point, we also recommend developing a relaxing habit. Running and cooking are great for exercise and releasing stress and excess energy; however, you should still find the time to rejuvenate your mind. Maybe take daily bathes, do a spa day once per week, or catch up on some reading (for pleasure, not work). If you take care of yourself, your mind will take care of you.
Make a point to get enough sleep. When you’re overly tired, your body isn’t alert enough to find a sensible solution to fight off stress. So if you’re debating whether to watch another episode of your favorite Netflix show, or, go to bed, take that into consideration. Choose sleep.
Though it’s impossible to completely eliminate stress, these tricks will help you stay cool, calm, and collected during any hectic situation. Have any tips of your own? Let us know in the comments!