De-Stress for Success - a simple practice with big resultsTweet
There are so many 'recipes for success.' One of them, a once popular book, now over 40 years old, was: "Dress for Success". Based on scientific research, its core advice was to "dress for the job you want, not the job you have."
This came from the tendency (albeit subconscious) to judge others on external factors. One of those is the clothing they wear.
Over the years though, I've discovered there is something we 'wear' that screams out much louder. It has a far more lasting impact than any form of apparel ever could.
It's our stress levels.
When we're stressed, and especially if/when we're not handling it well, everyone around us can tell! And, you know from your own experience, it's not pretty.
Being able to tame our 'stress-wear' is something of critical importance for:
- good leadership,
- effective management,
- engaging influence,
- not to mention our interactions with friends and family.
In other words, when it comes to stress, what we 'wear' in our professional and personal lives matters!
So, let's see what it takes to DE-STRESS FOR SUCCESS -
A Simple Practice with Big Results
START WITH MINDFULNESS, to become more 'present' and to relieve stress.
1. ENGAGE FULLY IN WHATEVER YOU ARE DOING
Get - and stay - focused on one thing or person: whatever or whoever it is you are with in this moment. Let that become your entire world. Your sole focus. Your one priority.
Whether it's the most strategic or mundane task, let it have your full and undivided attention. If it's a person, regardless of their position or title, or yours, do the same. Listen to them as if nothing was more important.
In fact, make it so.
2. LET GO OF EVERYTHING ELSE, FOR THE MOMENT
As you allow yourself to be fully 'here', focused in this moment, let everything else drop away.
I've noticed an expression that a lot of younger people use. It's something my daughter has been saying (and living) for years. With calm and resolution, they'll assert: "That's for 'future me' to deal with."
Be. Here. Now. It does not mean ignoring responsibility or naively sticking our heads in the sand, like an ostrich. It does mean not trying to carry the whole burden of an unknown or uncertain future on your shoulders, now.
It means preserving, not zapping, your vitality, so you can be the leader your family, work teams, colleagues and/or community need you to be.
Feel the grounding effect of that. Notice the relief. Experience the clarity and the focus.
It's empowering. Almost restful. Invigorating, because you can give this person, task or thing your entire devotion. Then, move to the next, and the next. It's a lighter load - not only for our current self, but for your 'future me' too!
When you bring your best to 'now', your next 'then' is likely to go that much smoother!
Next, ADD GRACE, which allows our humanness to shine. What does that mean? From the Latin root 'grata' or 'gratia' it means "a given gift." It's a gift we give to ourselves and to others. How? Through these next third and fourth steps.
3. TURN INWARD, SO YOU CAN FACE OUTWARD
The first element of grace is a mind-clearing deep breath and mini-relaxation. It's the next step of our "de-stress for success - a simple practice with big results", to reset and refresh.
First, take a deep breath.
Long... lung-filling... deep-into-your-belly... shoulder-dropping... deep breath. Notice where you're holding tension. It could be in your face, your jaw or neck. Or, your shoulders or back or gut. Wherever it is, breathe into it, and let it relax. Give yourself some slack. Allow your feeling - that tension in that area - to take on a friendlier quality. Kinder, gentler, more curious and open, vs. tense and closed.
Drop into that relaxation with a second, then third, deep cleansing breath.
4. SHIFT YOUR PERSPECTIVE, and STRESS-LENS
From that place of greater ease, the next element of grace you'll bring in is to think about this...
Bring to mind whatever it is that is causing you stress. Maybe it's a feeling of overwhelm or burden. Feeling taxed. Fatigued. Maybe just too much at once. Even positive stress can become too much, if we let it.
So now, choose a different lens, or perspective. Think different. Move away from that feeling of stressful obligation of what you've 'got to do' and reframe it as what you 'get to do'.
Notice the whole energy and attitude change that takes place. Observe, too, the greater sense of gratitude that comes in.
When we do this, there's like a rush of genuine appreciation. We remind ourselves and acknowledge the privilege of the moment. You get to make a positive difference. That's pretty amazing when you think about it.
Try this deliberate re-focus; and, discover the shift for yourself.
As you move through the 'business' of your day, don't get trapped in its 'busyness'. Click to tweet
De-stress for success - a simple practice with big results...
Drop into being present.
Let go of everything else, for the moment.
Breathe and renew.
Shift your perspective.
It's a core practice for better personal, interpersonal, contextual and situational leadership; and, just all-around good living, too!
Energizing people, possibilities and potential -- I work to create value in every interaction.
Janice Kobelsky Success, strategy and leadership development. 'Your Meaningful Vision, Fulfilled.'