While searching the web I don’t limit myself with Google for number of years. Their rankings (for the fear of all online marketers) keep changing, search results change based on personal search history and in majority of times really good content is hidden somewhere deep. One of the tools I use to filter noise is buzzsumo.com and while playing around with different keywords I came across most shared (2.8 million times) LinkedIn article “How successful people stay calm” and could not resist to shorten the message and share the briliant peace of advice with my network. It also was interesting to test, was it content, concept or personal brand Dr. Bradberry that made such an impressive numbers. Even tho framework and the ideas are learned from this source, rest is my personal opinion outlined here for your education and entertainment. So how can you also be coping with stress like a successful person?
1. You need to appreciate what you have
One of tips for successful stress management would being grateful for something every single day. YouTubers SoulPancake carried out research which proved, that showing gratitude increased happiness levels for sample group. So in addition appreciating someone else’s achievements, we can start appreciating what we have (me included) even it is something small. There is always be someone richer, and always be someone poorer. Reminding yourself about something positive would create positive state of mind and would reduce levels of cortisol (stress hormone), seems like a winner to me.
2. You need to stop asking “what if”
In most cases stress is caused by negative thoughts about a past, or due the skewed interpretation of future. I remember talking to a friend about choices he made in his life and how it did affected his present. Yet because of those choices he became that person he is with all the personal growth he accomplished. Future concerns are common, and I am guilty for over-thinking it too. Nobody knows the future and there is absolutely no valid reason to plan about it in negative way. It can even lead you to that negative outcome as you subconsciously make decisions leading to that outcome. Thinking “what if” will distract you from making correct decisions when its needed. Personally if I have to plan “escape route”, I ask myself “How I will” instead, it not only gives me sense of control but also provides solid creative solution to a problem.
3. You need to stay positive
Now every single time someone has a negative thought or a feeling stress hormone is released. More often it happens more easier it is to the body to come back to similar state. Neurons form links, which becomes clusters creating more clusters and making operation more efficient. Now it works in the opposite direction too. More positive emotions you have, more likely you are to stay in that state. There are number of ways to maintain positivity, I like to eat very good food, fix something, help someone. If you are really stuck exercise can be reliable quick fix. Did you ever noticed that after running or other exercise, day becomes a little bit better? Even if you experience stress, is not the end of the world, it is your bodies natural reaction to stimulus and you can also see it in positive light. Your body prepares you for challenge.
4. You need to Disconnect
Because of current available technology it is extremely difficult to stay disconnected from work. Constant emails bombard your inbox, phone is burning with text notifications, calls, missed calls, voice-mails. Now when at work or during weekdays it is impossible to switch off your phone. But simple off day on the weekend can positively change your your stress levels. Often I feel a need to get out of the city and even go camping. Waking up far away from the city with basic necessities, like cooker to have a morning espresso (I still need my luxuries) gives me total reset from all of the thing that worries me. When I come back, I am better myself. Also making fire and seeing instant results on my effort, watching flames play in the dark always put a big smile on my face.
5. You need to Limit Caffeine intake
Actually this is a hard one, I love coffee, and always try to squeeze cup or two every morning, but drinking too much will increase level of adrenaline, fight or flight hormone and may affect your rational thinking. It is ok to make fast decisions when it is actually needed, but in a common office environment it is not desirable. More subtle long term oriented approach to problems is required. And after every high comes massive low, known as, “caffeine crash”. So better leave coffee for allnighters.
6. You need to Sleep
Now here I have mixed feelings, from one side it is good to have a good sleep, but also it is good to have a habit to wake up early, currently my early is 7 am. There is even a “secret” 5 am club of people in all positions in life who stand by the insanely early morning. Explanation, they feel so much better being awake before anyone else. However sleep is necessary to regain strength for next day, hours by my opinion does not matter that much, as long as sleep is good, invest in blackout curtains, make sure there is no light source as it can inhibit sleep. I personally experiment with different ambient sounds, such as ocean, night forest, or rain.
7. You need to breathe
While completing my last year in University is often was surprised how calmer I was in comparison to some of my classmates. I actually had a secret hack. Whenever my exam stress was taking too much of my thoughts, I was rushing to my car and listen to visual imagining CD. In the beginning calm deep voice was asking to breathe deeply. Concentrate on breathing. Rhythmically, slowly, as every breath I took, was bringing new energy into my body and, every exhale was releasing all the problems I had. Focusing on something simple like breathing allowed me to forget about my worry and this 20 minute quick fix got me 2nd class honor just by being more tuned in.
8. You need to use your support system
Every single person on this earth needs someone to talk to. Successful or not human being needs someone to share their trouble with. I would love to become better listener, as it may be very likely for me to continue my career as a consultant. Listening to clients worries and concerns would make my clients feel better. This way making me a better at my job. Sometimes it is difficult to talk about your worries with my partner. Yet I have network of friends in same position or those who got similar problems in a past. It is beneficial to provide support for others, hormone released then supporting other acts as remedy for stress caused damage to oneself. Oxytocin is a hormone which fine tunes your brains social instincts. It primes you to do things that strengthens close relationships, it makes you seek support and tell someone. Either way you help or being helped your body releases it counteracting negative effects. But If nothing else is available on the spot, I would self support myself by writing it all down or to quote Jim Rohn – “Best place to solve problem is on paper”.