Being a top executive is tough, and stress is a hazard of the job. But that doesn’t mean you have to live with it 24/7. Here are some quick and easy ways to beat job stress. By Shweta Gandhi
1. Organise your work
Streamlining tasks is a proven way to understand and mitigate risks. Plan in advance and follow an organised schedule to keep yourself on top of things. Understand that stress only comes up when things go wrong, and if you’re prepared in advance with a plan B, the chances of your getting flustered are low.
Stress takes a toll on the mind thanks to the volume of work, the work pace and the concentration level you have to maintain all day. The mind and body work in tandem, and when the mind is stressed, the body feels tired and exhausted too. A great way to look after both is to exercise. Physical exercise bumps up the production of endorphins, the feel-good hormones. It also increases your self-confidence, improves your sleep and helps you forget your worries as you concentrate only on your body’s movements and are present in the moment. So go for a swim, a walk, a run, or a game of tennis or squash and notice the difference for yourself.
3. Take breaks
When you’re a senior executive, it is often tough to take frequent breaks as your calendar is chock-ful and whatever free time you have is spent fire fighting. However, we cannot emphasise enough the importance stepping away from your desk a few times a day. Physically walking away from the point of your stress helps you distance yourself for just a short while. Walk around the office, stop to chat with your team members, grab a cup of tea with a colleague. Or you can do some quick stretches at your desk to help your body relax (also read: 5 quick desk exercises to ease the kinks). The break will help you come back refereshed.
4. Identify the tell-tale signs
Whenever we are stressed, we react in a similar manner, and if you start noticing the patterns, you will be able to stop yourself from going down that route. Pay close attention to how your body is reacting— are you clenching your hands in to a fist, crossing your arms or gritting your teeth? Identify the tell-tale signs. And the next time you see one of them, take a mental step back and evaluate the situation. Clench your fists, rotate your shoulders and take a deep breath. It’s important to bring yourself back from the brink so that you deal with the stressor without causing more harm to yourself.
5. Learn from others
Professional athletes use a technique called the art of recovery, in which they incorporate small breaks in between moments wherein they give their 100 per cent. Successful leaders always take out time for their passions and hobbies, and separate their work life from their family life. Recognise that you aren’t the only person who is under stress—there are others too. Observe how your boss or senior colleague deals with stress. Find out what works for others and see if it can for you too.