To alleviate stress, you have to strike an equal balance between work, rest and play.
I write a lot about inspiration and what leaders should be doing well. I am always keen to describe how we should have a vision and use reaching strategies and behaviours to make things happen. Significant action is often my cry. I’m a big advocate of emotional intelligence, intellectual agility, resilience, unity consciousness and how we relate to each other, for example.
I read and share a plethora of intellectual, insightful and inspirational articles and blogs about what makes a great leader, manager, boss, HR Director or whoever may be paving the way for others. Leadership development is a passion. Many people out there tell us how to live our lives and what to strive for. They tell us how to do things well, improve, be better, be best, and yes, I do that too. For the majority of the time, I love it. I love finding new ways to motivate interest, excel and go the extra mile.
It’s great to be just ok.
But there are times when thinking about how efficient we should be, or how much we should challenge and push ourselves that sometimes it’s great to be just ok, in the here and now, right now, without any wish to be, do or think anything else. The world is mainly in a queue, a whirlwind, aspiring to something, wanting to improve, getting better results, being more honest, moving forward, changing at the speed of light, a hive of activity which can be true in our personal lives as well as at work.
Stress is one of the biggest reasons for absence from work.
Stress is one of the biggest reasons for absence and one of the highest costs of presenteeism at work. There are several causes of stress, and most of them are caused as we live out the challenges of moving quickly, changing lives, work, roles, partners, houses, jobs, and the way we do things, and many more. And we don’t have much choice. Unless everyone stands still at once, we need to keep up with it all or risk being left behind, and that is our fear and why we tolerate stress.
Sometimes we need to stop and do something different. Taking time out is essential for anyone, whether you are a leader, a team member, stay at home or business owner. The world would be a better place if everyone gave themselves a real break. So if you are endlessly busy and the adrenaline is wearing thin. Or you are too busy, too worried, stressed or in the throes of any change: The following are some of my suggestions about how you can give yourself a respite from the madness of your daily life:
Accept everything entirely as it is and make a decision just for even half-day or so, not to wish for anything different. Just accept and surrender to where you are right now. Stop wanting people, situations or ourselves to be different. You don’t have to be happy about “what is”. Just make a decision not to be unhappy about it. That’s called being at Peace. And it’s refreshing.
Be with yourself
Watch yourself, feel your feelings, and feel happy to indulge yourself and feel the happiness. If you feel sad, then permit yourself to. Know it isn’t going to destroy you. Feel negative emotions instead of repressing them; don’t act on them. Your emotions are simply a guidance system. If they are happy, you are on the right track; if they are sad, they tell you something you believe that is not true about yourself. Feeling and releasing negative emotions can feel brilliant, as long as you don’t wallow in them and don’t identify them as being who you are.
Get away from the hustle and bustle if you can. Breathe in some healthy fresh air and enjoy the feeling of taking the stand into your lungs and right into your body. When you are breathing, you are relaxing your body and giving it a rest. Conscious breathing is like having an inward shower; your cells and your whole being benefit.
For years I struggled with being able to meditate. I read all of the guidance, and yes, of course, the thoughts crowded in when I tried to stop thinking. Once I realised the true purpose of meditating is to focus on the gap between the thoughts, I cracked it. The beauty of concentrating on the gap is twofold. Firstly you are in touch with your higher self which is all-powerful and wise, and secondly, by being in the gap between your thoughts, you are giving yourself a well-earned break. Thoughts are energy, and too much thinking depletes us, yes, even if most of our thoughts are happy ones.
Gratitude is a brilliant state to be in. Appreciation is even better because you tend to be grateful for something you have earned or have been given. You can appreciate situations, people and stories which have nothing to do with you and as a result, you are simply appreciative of the world around you. Appreciation is akin to real love because real love is unconditional, all-encompassing and not limited to the personal self. Therefore feeling appreciation is restful, energising and soothing.
So go on, give yourself some much needed time off and practice some of the relaxing ways of “being” described. If you have your ways of de-stressing or relaxing, please let me know; I’d love to hear from you.
I help leaders develop self- mastery, helping them to become confident in their own inner guidance.
I collaborate with leadership experts, managers and HR professionals to help them get their own message and unique services and products to a wide audience.