We have all had moments, days, or even weeks where work can be overpoweringly stressful or consuming.
Angus Houston talks about the pressure of his roles within the Air Force and how he believed one of the keys to his success was managing the stress associated with his work by cycling every morning – putting him in a position to walk into the office ready to conquer the day ahead.
In my experience stress can be your greatest ally and your greatest enemy. Numerous studies have been completed proving that intermittent bouts of stress can improve memory, but can excessive stress affect your ability to succeed? I would agree with Angus Houston – it does. Here are my top 3 reasons for finding your own outlet for stress and why you should find it fast:
1. Clarity of mind. When you are stressed and running on adrenalin it is harder to make good strategic decisions. I have had some of my best ideas when I have been out of the office and up in the mountains – a place where stress can be left behind and creativity flourishes. Obviously, skipping town for the mountains can’t happen all the time, but it taught me the importance of identifying some of the negative consequences of not managing stress on a daily basis in order to gain clarity and avoid making bad decisions.
2.Energy. When you are overly stressed your energy levels are drained. If you have a team of people reporting in to you they will be looking to you for energy and guidance – developing skills or outlets that allow you to expend negative energy and focus on your passion will always serve you well. Oprah Winfrey has wisely been quoted as saying, “Passion is energy. Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you.”
3. Good health. Your immune system can be weakened by excessive levels of stress, which can alter your mood and general sense of well-being. Stress has also been linked to varying illnesses from the common cold to heart disease, anxiety, ulcers and cancer. Without your health it is very difficult to do anything successfully.
Managing stress is a personal process – some people meditate, others exercise. Either way, stress is a normal part of life but it is important to strike a balance between productive stress and the kind that leaves you depleted.
For more information on dealing with stress visit the Mayo Clinic
What do you think – is stress management important for lasting success?
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