By Patricia Montague, CAE, SNA Chief Executive Officer 2017-12-30 11:20:29
Reassess Your Approach to Managing Stress IF ASKED TO IDENTIFY OUR PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT GOALS, few of us likely would rank stress management near the top of the list—but that would be short-sighted. Read any recent article on long-term health, and you’ll discover that dealing effectively with anxiety and tension is a top recommendation of medical professionals. As detailed in “SOS! Your Body’s Under Stress” (page 24), both acute and chronic stress can have a profoundly negative and long-term impact on your physical body, as well as on your mental and emotional health. Recognize the signs and symptoms of chronic stress and take steps to reduce its harmful effects. Don’t be tempted to compare your stress responses to those of a family member or coworker—it’s a very individual reaction. Some roll easily with the punches, while others may crumble in the face of minor frustrations. Still others seem to positively thrive when living on the edge. I’m proud of how I’ve learned, over time, to monitor and manage my stress. What works for me is having: » a support network of family,friends and colleagues who provide a tremendous buffer against stress. When you have people whom you can count on, life’s pressures don’t seem as overwhelming. » a sense of confidence in myself and my ability to influence events and persevere through challenges, which helps make it easier to take stress in stride. » a positive attitude. Being hopeful and optimistic has made a huge difference in my ability to deal with life’s inevitable challenges. Stress-hardy people tend to embrace these, applying a strong sense of humor, belief in a higher purpose and ready acceptance of change as an inevitable part of life. » an ability to deal with emotions. Knowing how to keep calm and relax when feeling overwhelmed or troubled is key for me. As I have gotten older and wiser, I have learned to just not let things bother me. » more knowledge about the situation. Working through a stressful situation—researching what to expect—makes it easier to cope with anxiety. For example, when a family or friend reveals a scary medical diagnosis, I find it easier to process the news—and support my loved one—once I’ve thoroughly researched the issue. I hope you find this month’s edition helpful in guiding you to the helpful tips that will allow you to manage your stress. Here’s to a great 2018!
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