How to Make Resilience and Stress Effective Life Tools
4 Resilience and Stress Management Tips Every Employee Needs to Know
According to Gallup’s 2018 Global Emotional Report, 55% of Americans report experiencing stress during a significant portion of the day. That means, over half of the people around you are feeling stressed. It is crucial that we learn, practice, and talk about healthy ways to manage stress.
Stress is a natural reaction to challenges or demands. When temporary, stress can help keep us safe or meet goals. But when stress becomes overwhelming or chronic, it may harm your health. Turn to the following tips to learn how to build up resilience and stress management skills.
Change Your Thinking
Running is a great workout and a common hobby. Putting one foot in front of the other as fast as you can lead to several natural reactions in the body. The heart beats faster, sweat is expelled, and breathing rates increase.
Now imagine a runner shutting down as soon as these reactions begin to occur. Their increased breathing makes them nervous and they find sweating to be uncomfortable. They respond to these reactions with unwarranted fear.
Sometimes, we respond to stress in a similar fashion. When our bodies react with stress, we often assume that the uncomfortable feelings are signs we should stop moving forward.
But just as each training session helps a runner run faster and for longer the next time they hit the pavement, stress helps us develop skills to face future stressful circumstances with more poise and control. Stress helps to condition our bodies for the next big life event or a busy day at the office.
It helps to view stress as a training tool instead of a warning system. What’s your current default response to stress? If you find that it holds you down, work on changing your perception. If you push through it by being more resilient, you’ll come out of it as a better version of your current self.
4 Tips for Building Stress Resilience
Resilience is having the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties. Building up your resilience to stress doesn’t mean avoiding it, but rather finding ways to actively cope and return to a state of homeostasis soon after the onset of stress.
If you’re ready to start building resilience and stress management skills, start with these tips to help you change your outlook on stress and benefit from its effects.
- Practice optimism
Are you focused on the problem or the solution? When a stressful moment pops up, stop seeking an event or person to throw blame at. Instead, use your energy to push through the stress and find a solution to eliminate it.
- Be flexible
Stress is often the result of unmet expectations. If you find yourself stressing out when your schedule is thrown off, work on becoming more flexible. Roll with the changes instead of fighting them.
- Remain social
Social support can improve your coping skills and ability to manage stress. When you’re dealing with a particularly stressful moment, reach out to a friend. Whether you choose to vent or distract, social moments help you face stressful times with more optimism and confidence.
- Practice self-care
We’ve all heard it before, but we don’t often listen. Self-care is important. Studies show a link between practicing self-care and lower stress levels. Make sure you’re getting enough sleep, taking in a proper diet, finding time to exercise, and becoming more self-aware of your needs.
When to Seek Help
It’s important to know that stress can reach dangerous levels and that it’s okay to reach out for help. Burnout is now a legitimate medical diagnosis and can be found on the International Classification of Diseases, the World Health Organization’s handbook for medical providers. Warning signs of burnout include:
- Chronic fatigue
- Anxiety or depression
- Anger or irritability
- Physical symptoms like heart palpitations, chest pain, or headaches
If you think your stress levels are no longer manageable, there are several places you can turn. First, start by talking to your boss or superior. If you have some vacation days saved, now is a great time to use them. If not, see if you can come up with a few ways to reduce your stress levels in the workplace.
Next, talk to your family. See if there is a way to split up responsibilities in a way that will give you a little more breathing room until you feel better.
Finally, speak to your EAP. They can help you find short-term counseling and work-life solutions that minimize how much stress enters your life.
Stress is unavoidable. But by improving our resilience and stress management skills, we take away stress’ power.
The next time you feel stress creeping in, remind yourself that it’s a tool. Embrace it with a positive mindset and you’re sure to see the benefits in both your personal and work life.