Have you ever noticed that no matter how much you are successful, how much you wish to be happy or to have peace of mind, life has a way of placing you in the same stressful situations?
That is because, until you have learnt to deal with these stressful situations, they will keep showing up.
For example, if you try to avoid someone who stresses you out, you will constantly run into that same person until you deal with your feelings about that person.
It is therefore important to learn how to cope with these situations and find the right methods to address your stress.
Wondering how to cope and effectively fight workplace stress?
Why are leaders stressed in the workplace?
Stress is inherently part of life and stressed leaders have seemed to become the norm. Leaders are mostly stressed at work due to:
- interpersonal conflicts,
- poor time management,
- poor work performance,
- a lack of financial freedom,
- drastic and sudden changes,
- excess meetings, policies and procedures.
Stress has a direct impact on the corporate culture, on the leader’s leadership style, performance, and health.
People express stress differently: some people get angry, some get exhausted and withdrawn, and others go into fight or flight mode.
11 Best Strategies For Leaders To Fight Workplace Stress
There are several ways to remain calm under pressure, manage your stress and use it to your advantage.
#1. Be more self-aware & develop your emotional discipline
It becomes critical to always take a step back from a situation, seek deeper insights in your thoughts and behaviors to identify stress triggers, weigh out the outcomes of the situation. How important is this situation for you?
To be more self-aware and develop emotional disciplined:
- Confront your painful situation and identify your triggers.
- Identify your strength, weaknesses and limitations.
- Be aware of the first physical symptoms of stress. Observe how your body responds to stress. During stressful times, some people are tense, can’t sleep, can’t eat.
- Control your emotional reaction to the situation.
- Write down the things that bother you.
- Put a name to your emotions.
#2. Change your mindset
Your mind has everything to do with your behavior. To change your mindset:
- See stress as a motivation.
- Influence your brain to accurately interpret a high pressured situation. We have a tendency to distort situations through our lenses and either make them grander than they are.
- Assume strictly positive outcomes of the stressful situation and speak positivity into reality.
- Be open to new opportunities and new experiences.
- Stay calm and positive. Positive attitudes can become difficult to maintain in challenging situations in the workplace. But once acquired, it is a habit that can help you overcome bad situations.
#3. Be grateful
No matter how hard it gets, you are still breathing. This means that you have one more day to change your situation and to create a better life.
To dispel stress:
- Be grateful for your day to day.
- Make a gratitude list to remind yourself of what you are thankful for.
- Appreciate where you are in life, even where it’s not where you want to be.
#4. Prioritize & stick to the essentials
When deadlines are set and cannot be moved, when we are late we tend to stress out.
Prioritizing is all about honing your decisions making and time management skills in order to achieve more. To do so:
- Understand that it’s OK to miss out on things.
- Learn how to say no and to set boundaries.
- Learn to prioritize. When you have your priorities in check, you are able to know what is essential, what you are able to handle in your work day and who you are able to see.
- Apply the 80/20 principle.
- Don’t try to be perfect.
#5. Create a better work-life balance
Your professional and your personal lives are tightly intertwined. Creating work-life balance is not giving equal attention to both work and life.
However, it means that you are satisfied with your contributions to your life and work, that you are able to create a sustainable synergy between both so that you are fueled by them on a daily basis.
To create a better work-life balance:
- Don’t stay too long at work.
- Don’t take your stress at home.
- Take long drives before getting home.
- Spend more time with family and friends.
- Figure out if you can work from home.
- Create a morning routine to kick off your day on the right foot.
- Take care of yourself first and boost your leadership self-esteem.
- Align your daily activities in life and work with your values, principles.
#6. Learn how to delegate
Most leaders want to control people, do everything themselves, be on top of everything all at once and find it hard to delegate.
However, to remove stress due to work overload, it is important to learn how to delegate and automate some of your activities.
Delegating will allow you to take all the load off your shoulders. To delegate:
- Demonstrate confidence in yourself and in your team.
- Select experts in their field, clarify their roles, give them the authority to do their jobs, allow them to fail and to grow.
- Create clear progress measurement tools and milestones.
- Avoid micromanaging people but measure their advancement.
#7. Learn to communicate
Great communication skills will improve your leadership credibility, your self-confidence, your relationships with others, your feelings of belonging and will decrease your stress level.
They will also drive change and increase team motivation.
To decrease your stress level:
- Learn to effectively communicate your grievances.
- Remember that everyone is different and won’t communicate the way you do.
#8. Emotionally detach yourself from your job.
Obsessing about work is problematic and unhealthy. Most of the time, being emotionally attached leads to being sensitive to feedback and to being unable to see the bigger picture.
Unfortunately, most people who succeed are those who put in work and yet are detached from their work.
#9. Filter out your entourage
Leaders and employees have to make quick decisions while getting along with everyone, in multicultural contexts, with people from various backgrounds.
So, if your relationships brings you more stress than necessary:
- Surround yourself with people you can trust. Build real connections and learn to discern the authentic relationships by observing their actions.
- Confide in your mentor and ask for advice.
- If you can, get rid of toxic coworkers or relationships.
- Isolate yourself if needed. Sometimes, it is good to remove yourself from society, to contemplate solitude in order to enjoy yourself, your thoughts.
- If you are unable to avoid negative interactions, isolate the information that you need from the interaction. Write down that information and do not rely on memory or distorted thoughts.
- Do not compete with people and stay focused on your job.
#10. Exercise and take regular breaks
Exercise and regular breaks will allow you to break your routine and mindless actions.
- Plan your breaks.
- Take time off to disconnect and enjoy your holidays.
- Listen more than you speak to give your brain a break.
- Make sure that your habits and exercise routine fit your lifestyle.
- Do activities that you enjoy in the middle of the work day and on weekends.
- Unplug from the internet and from your phone on your breaks and on the weekends.
#11. Let go & let God
At some point in life, you must:
- Understand that you cannot control everything.
- Control the controllable factors (like your reactions to the situation) and release what you cannot control. Worrying about people or events beyond your control is a waste of energy.
- Know that your situation is temporary and that you will come through the other side. Meanwhile, be kind to somebody and help someone.
Last Words Of Advice!
Remember that, as a leader, people are closely monitoring your behavior.
They will be looking to you for inspiration and for a sense of calm in challenging situations.
Finally, make sure that your passion for your job outweigh your level of stress on the job. If it doesn’t, then it’s time to quit.
Hope that I’ve helped you get it together on your way to leadership!
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