6 steps to help you through the pressures of modern work life
High performers have one thing in common – a real drive and determination to succeed. This is an admirable trait for sure, but in a hyper-competitive world constantly in flux, it’s one that can be a barrier to progress if not handled well.
Add relentless change to the insecurity that comes from working in a volatile business environment, and it’s no wonder that so many high performers struggle to cope with the pressure.
The good news is that much of this pressure is self-imposed, so can be dealt with on an individual basis, with perhaps a little help from friends and colleagues.
If you want to make life easier for yourself whilst maintaining those high levels of achievement, here are six steps you can take to make it happen.
Dealing with Change
Our minds are complex, amazing things but are prone to fatigue and distorting reality. When the pressure piles on, this naturally leads to feelings of inadequacy or a lack of control, and keeping frustrations bottled up is the worst thing you can do.
If this happens, talking to someone is the best and easiest remedy of them all. Even better, if you can talk to someone with an understanding of your situation, or someone who is able to help change your predicament, then you are more likely to come away with a positive mindset and be able to put things into perspective. If you don’t know anyone, consider hiring a coach who specialises in mental well-being.
2. Consider Mindfulness
Mindfulness is often recommended for people under intense pressure. "An important part of mindfulness is reconnecting with our bodies and the sensations they experience,” says Professor Mark Williams, former director of the Oxford Mindfulness Centre. “This means waking up to the sights, sounds, smells and tastes of the present moment. That might be something as simple as the feel of a banister as we walk upstairs.”
It is scientifically proven that exercise, as well as a balanced diet, have a direct impact on your mental health. Exercise is an incredibly successful stress reliever and increases your sense of well-being by pumping up endorphins – the neurotransmitters in the brain that promote the ‘feel good’ factor. It also helps you forget about the cares of the day, so provides a welcome break from all those anxious thoughts and feelings.
4. Change environment
The old adage ‘a change is as good as a rest’ holds true when you are feeling the pressure. This goes double if the environment you are in, such as a noisy office or a room full of distractions, gets in the way of clear thought.
Changing your environment stimulates the brain and helps you develop a more realistic perspective on things. This could be as simple as taking a 10-minute break or going for a walk in the park. Indeed, immersing yourself in nature, if you have the opportunity, is a great way to unwind.
You could even change where you work. Getting away from the places we associate with stress work wonders on your well-being, so find an alternative to the office and work in a library or coffee shop.
5. Reflect on what is going well
When something goes wrong, we tend to exaggerate the problem if we are feeling tired or anxious. When several things go wrong at once, and the world seems to conspire against us, it’s easy to lose sight of the things that are going right.
If you’re having ‘one of those days’, take time out to write down all the things that are going well for you right now. It could be a recent sales success or compliment from a client. It doesn’t even have to be work related. Perhaps reminding yourself that you’ll be heading home in a fancy car, to a warm home with a loving family, is all that you need to feel good. Reminding yourself of the positives in your life will help you create a positive mindset.
6. Look for the warning signs of frustration
For those of us working in high-pressured environments, there are usually stress triggers, such as reading negative emails or paying too much attention to social media.
Making a note of all your stress triggers can help you deal with them more effectively. So, for example, you might choose to only read emails at certain times of the day or lay off Twitter for a while. Learning how to avoid or deal with these triggers will help you stay positive in the long run.
Also, don’t be afraid to release some of the pressure by taking a step back and reviewing projects plans. It’s not always a failing when things don’t go well, so make the necessary adjustments to do the job properly and move on.
A lot of stress comes from managing change. Cegos deliver a variety of programmes on how to manage this including a virtual class on Change Management, which includes more advice on dealing with the pressures modern society presents us with. Contact us to find out more.