Thursday, December 31, 2009

Steer Through Stressful Situations

Many executives are both multitasking and not taking breaks which adds to their stress levels. Stopping to oxygenate their brains is a key component to become more effective.

Studies demonstrate that focused breathing lowers blood pressure and stress. The Three Minute Rule: If you can't take three minutes out of your day, you are in a toxic environment.
Set a timer and take one minute breathing breaks three times during the day. ( Busy executive coaching clients in the media use this technique especially when they are on deadline.)

Step One: Take a Time Out.
Even though it seems counter intuitive, stressed executives must take time out during their day.

Assisting executives to lower stress and boost motivation is the focus of my coaching practice, column on Huffington Post and my award winning book, "Funky to Fabulous, Surefire Success Strategies for The Savvy, Sassy and Swamped."

According to a recent survey of working-age adults from the American Psychological Association (APA), 81 percent of men and 68 percent of women between the ages of 45 and 54 report that work is a significant source of stress in their lives. The number of men in this age group who suffer stress due to financial concerns has risen to 86 percent since September 2008.

Step Two: Steer Through Stressful Situations
The best way to deal with any crisis on the job is to take control of your immediate reactions. Stressors are those items that you cannot control. Executive coaching clients find it helpful to imagine driving through stressful experiences the way one might drive a car. Using an analogy of steering a car can assist an executive detach from the troubling circumstances.

"Your windshield is bigger than your rear view mirror." Focus on where you are going, not on the difficulties in your past.

In order to lower stress, grab the wheel and guide oneself around 'knee jerk' reactions. Create a 'road map' of the steps to take to achieve your goal and maintain a steady focus on actions to get you there. 'Fill up the tank' and implement habits that enhance your physical and emotional health. In times of on going stress it is essential to make sure you are doing those things that add to your overall well being.

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