Stress. It is all around us. We live in a world that is getting faster and faster. We are being constantly asked to step up, make decisions, get better, get more connected, and we are under constant stress imposed on us either by the society or by ourselves. How to cope with such environment? How to stay on top of things and enjoy what we are doing even when things don’t go as planned? How to keep our sanity, energy and passion when faced with obstacles, losses and setbacks? How to maintain positive approach to life?
Learn to laugh
Don’t be afraid to laugh. Too often people feel that in a professional setting they need to be dead serious to be taken seriously by others. If the leader stays serious all the time, chances are that also the team will be afraid to laugh. But what sort of environment do you build where people are discouraged from laughing? A good heartfelt laugh is a great way to remove tension, to dissolve stressful situations, to give some life and enthusiasm to the otherwise serious business. A good laugh is spreading like a virus and helps to build environment where people can have fun even when asked to focus hard on performing their tasks.
See only the best in others
We all have to interact with each other all the time. Most of the jobs in today’s economy rely on communicating and collaborating with others. If you want to keep your sanity you need to have a healthy approach to how you see the people around you. If you are paranoid and you feel like everyone is at your throat and trying to do you harm your will be in constant stress. If you give negative meaning to every single action of your teammates and bosses it will show on the way you interact with them and most likely they will also start wondering what’s wrong with you.
You reap what you saw. If you keep the mentality that others work to the best of their abilities, and that they always try to do what they consider is the best for everyone it will help you to build a more positive approach to communicating with them. And as a side effect it will improve your mental health as you will be able to stop watching your back wherever you move. Just check out this piece about the basic principles of good coaching and you can learn more about the state of mind important for coaching that applies also here.
Enjoy the small wins
Things may not always go as planned. You may work on a long-term project or tasks that won’t see the light of the day for months or years. How you stay motivated and on track? By breaking it down to smaller pieces and celebrating small wins. Every single day there is something that went well and that can give you the energy to continue in your endeavor. Did you just helped to old woman cross a street during your trip to work? Did you just have a great conversation with a customer? Did you get a pat on the back from your boss? Did you receive kudos email from your team member? Did you just code a great algorithm? All these are small wins, small successes that are happening all the time and we tend to overlook them and focus on the bigger things that go wrong.
All it takes is to shift your mindset and focus on the small things that you can impact every single day. You won’t be able to salvage a huge disastrous project in one day, but you can do bunch of small things that will count as wins and keep you positive even when it is raining all around you.
Every cloud has a silver lining
I love sayings and idioms. Every cloud has a silver lining is my favorite. It embodies the basic of my life philosophy. There are always things that are out of your control, but it is only up to you how you will be impacted by them. Or more precisely how you will interpret the impact and feel about it. There are very few situations in life (usually connected with death) that are difficult to flip into positive. In majority of situations that you face every day there is a more positive way how to look at them. Did you just miss a train? Great, more time to read. Did you just crash your car? Great, no one got hurt and you have a reason to buy a new one. Did you just totally mess up a presentation to your boss? Great, he provided you an invaluable feedback and it will help you to grow and be better next time.
Twitter type summary: “To deal with stress, make sure you laugh often, trust others, enjoy small wins and find positives in every situation.”
What is your recipe to stay positive and motivate? How do you get through times when things don’t go as planned?