Today is Wednesday, so this post is on outstanding performance.
Stress is the enemy of outstanding performance. In my research for this post, I came across some great common sense advice on how to manage stress at a website sponsored by Georgia Reproductive Specialists – you never know where you will find helpful and useful information. You can access their suggestions on stress management by going to www.ivf.com/stress.html.
Six Tips for Managing Stress
- Become aware of your stressors and your emotional and physical reactions. Notice your distress. Don’t ignore it. Don’t gloss over your problems. Determine what events distress you. What are you telling yourself about meaning of these events? Determine how your body responds to the stress. Do you become nervous or physically upset? If so, in what specific ways?
- Recognize what you can change. Can you change your stressors by avoiding or eliminating them completely? Can you reduce their intensity (manage them over a period of time instead of on a daily or weekly basis)? Can you shorten your exposure to stress (take a break, leave the physical premises)? Can you devote the time and energy necessary to making a change (goal setting, time management techniques, and delayed gratification strategies may be helpful here)?
- Reduce the intensity of your emotional reactions to stress. The stress reaction is triggered by your perception of danger…physical danger and/or emotional danger. Are you viewing your stressors in exaggerated terms and/or taking a difficult situation and making it a disaster? Are you expecting to please everyone? Are you overreacting and viewing things as absolutely critical and urgent? Do you feel you must always prevail in every situation? Work at adopting more moderate views; try to see the stress as something you can cope with rather than something that overpowers you. Try to temper your excess emotions. Put the situation in perspective. Do not labor on the negative aspects and the "what if’s."
- Learn to moderate your physical reactions to stress. Slow, deep breathing will bring your heart rate and respiration back to normal. Relaxation techniques can reduce muscle tension. Electronic biofeedback can help you gain voluntary control over such things as muscle tension, heart rate, and blood pressure. Medications, when prescribed by a physician, can help in the short term in moderating your physical reactions. However, they alone are not the answer. Learning to moderate these reactions on your own is a preferable long-term solution.
- Build your physical reserves. Exercise for cardiovascular fitness three to four times a week (moderate, prolonged rhythmic exercise is best, such as walking, swimming, cycling, or jogging). Eat well-balanced, nutritious meals. Maintain your ideal weight. Avoid nicotine, excessive caffeine, and other stimulants. Mix leisure with work. Take breaks and get away when you can. Get enough sleep. Be as consistent with your sleep schedule as possible.
- Maintain your emotional reserves. Develop some mutually supportive friendships/relationships. Pursue realistic goals which are meaningful to you, rather than goals others have for you that you do not share. Expect some frustrations, failures, and sorrows. Always be kind and gentle with yourself — be a friend to yourself.
This is some great common sense advice on managing stress. As I mentioned above, stress is the enemy of high performance. However, you can combat stress by using the six suggestions above. What are you waiting for?
That’s it for today. Thanks for reading. Log on to my website www.BudBilanich.com to subscribe to my monthly ezine and for more common sense. Check out my other blog: www.CommonSenseGuy.com for common sense advice on leading people and running a small business.
I’ll see you around the web, and at Alex’s Lemonade Stand.
PS: Speaking of Alex’s Lemonade Stand – my fundraising page is still open. Please go to www.FirstGiving.com/TheCommonSenseGuy to read Alex’s inspiring story and to donate if you can.