Category : Psychology

Six Ways To Manage Work Stress & Anxiety

Did you know that every year around 15 million work days are lost due to stress?

If you’ve been feeling anxious and stressed at work, you’re not alone.

There are steps you can take to manage your stress levels even through those all-important projects and trying daily tasks.

1) Prioritise and break down tasks

If you’ve got a huge to-do list to work through it can be daunting and result in you getting even less work completed, causing your stress levels to rise even further.

At the beginning of each day prioritise your tasks and tick them off as you go along, this helps you to keep track of all you’ve accomplished.

When you’re faced with a big task it can increase your anxiety too, so try breaking it down into small, manageable chunks to ease the pressure.

2) Move around

If your role involves you sitting at your desk all day one of the key ways to alleviate stress is to get up and move around.

Being in one space for long periods can stifle creativity, productiveness, and lead to the feeling of pressure building up.

Take a walk on your lunch break to refresh or take a challenging project to a new part of the office, perhaps a meeting room.

3. Eliminate distractions

Sometimes we can be our own worst enemy.

If you’ve been feeling stressed because of your workload it can make your desire to procrastinate even worse.

If you’re guilty of this, cut out distractions to boost your work rate and, in turn, lower stress levels.

Make your workspace clutter-free, limit unnecessary internet use, and limit the amount of times you check your emails throughout the day.

4) Seek some support

If you’re feeling stressed at work speaking with your supervisors and seeking some support is a good step to take.

Explaining why you feel anxious, whether you have a high workload or are undertaking a challenging project, can help others to understand and create solutions.

5) Eat well throughout the day

The food you eat can have an impact on how you feel throughout the day.

If you often feel fatigued and struggle to maintain a positive mood as the day progresses it could be down to the food you eat.

Where possible eat a nutritiously balanced meal for both breakfast and lunch – full of meats and proteins – and try to cut down on sugary snacks and have healthy alternatives to hand instead.

Don’t forget to drink plenty of water too.

6) Take time to recharge

If you feel like you’re behind or need to get ahead of a project, you can find yourself working in the evenings or over weekends.

But taking time to recharge and do something that you love is vital for reducing stress and anxiety – plus feeling more refreshed and relaxed will improve your work performance too.

What Does Body Language Reveal About Peoples’ Mindset?

Reading body language is a good way to interpret how people feel about a given situation.

Words are only 50% of communication.

Those that can read people well can communicate better, understand feedback, motivate their team and gauge a situation.

Trevor McClintock, personal growth coach and ‘change agent’, talks body language to help business leaders discover what makes people tick and how they can communicate better through the use of positive body language.

Eye contact

The eyes are one of the most expressive parts of our body and convey emotions powerfully.

A good level of eye contact demonstrates honesty and avoiding eye contact can be interpreted as evasive.

A lot can be read from the eyes in terms of emotions as well.

Anger, worry, upset, happiness and excitement can all be found in expressive eyes.

Posture

Posture can demonstrate confidence and authority.

When people stand tall and speak with authority, they reveal a confident, clear-headed, focused mindset.

This is an attractive posture for managers and people in positions of authority as it instills confidence in their work force as opposed to the slumped, disinterested posture of someone who does not convey confidence in what they are saying to their team.

Hands

When someone holds their chin or touches their face while talking, this indicates nervousness or lack of authenticity.

If someone’s hands are fidgeting while they are speaking it indicates the same thing.

Relaxed hands reveal a calm, open and honest composure.

This fidgety individual may feel uncomfortable to be around you or may not be telling the truth.

If they are listening to you talk they may be uncertain about what you are saying so you should enquire if they have any concerns.

Facial expression

Happy, smiling body language and facial expressions enable other people to feel happy and relaxed.

Impatient, stressed or anxious body language can have the effect of causing other people to feel the same way.

As a manager, it’s important to convey a calm confidence to your team in order to make them feel assured and happy with your leadership.

No facial expression can make people feel uneasy and they may not open up to you as a manager if there is no positive feedback.

Crossed limbs

Your limbs can influence how you appear to someone else.

Folded arms or crossed legs can indicate lack of interest or defensiveness.

Open body language is welcoming and relaxed and invites interaction.

In a meeting situation it is best if people employ open body language in order to engage with those around them best.

Mirroring

Imitation of another person when communicating with them is something we do unconsciously.

When people like each other or are working together, they will imitate each other.

Smiling

Smiling is a universal expression of happiness and confidence.

It’s important to smile in business situations to make people feel relaxed and at ease, but also beware of smiling too much and appearing insincere.

Fake smiles can also indicate dishonesty as well as insincerity.

When someone is smiling genuinely the smile will reach their eyes and it will not seem forced.

Body language goes hand in hand with verbal communication to reveal a lot about a person.

It’s important to consider your body language as well as what you say in words to present the right message in every professional situation.

If you need help or advice on how to get better at using the right body language why not write me a comment below or tweet me.

Stressed Out

Harness & Control Stress To Make You A Better Business Person

Stress is a part of everyday life, in small quantities.

However, it is true to say that some people are more prone than others to being overcome with worry about day-to-day happenings.

When stress overwhelms a person, it can have a significant effect on their health and well-being, affecting all areas of their personal and professional life.

It’s extremely important to learn to manage your stress levels so you can cope with the challenges of your life and succeed in your endeavours large and small.

In this post, Trevor McClintock, entrepreneur and personal development coach, shares his best tips to manage stress.

Talk it through

As with many things, communication is key.

It’s important not to suffer in silence.

As stress can be quite an internal problem, it’s possible your peers may not even realise how bad you are feeling.

Stress can manifest itself in erratic and distracted behaviour, or perhaps in a short temper or emotional outbursts, but may not be noticed by others unless it is communicated to them.

Indeed, many people feel worried about sharing the way they are feeling in case they are perceived as being weak.

This is simply not the case.

Sharing the burden by talking to a friend or colleague can work wonders in helping you to manage your stress triggers and put them into perspective.

It may also help to know that others may have similar feelings and you are not alone.

Communicating will signify to others the pressures you are under and enable them to help you get to the root of the problem.

Don’t suffer in silence!

Take a break

Some light exercise or a tea break can work wonders to break the cycle of stress.

Taking time out can ensure you stay relaxed and focussed and able to deal with your challenges.

Prioritise well

Do not set yourself unrealistic targets.

Prioritise the most important tasks.

Make sure what you set out to do is realistic and achievable.

This reduces the stress of trying to fit in too much in a short space of time.

Manage expectations

It’s easy to fall into the trap of promising the world at work, when in reality you will not be able to achieve a high standard within the designated time frame.

In this case, it is essential that you communicate effectively and explain what you will realistically be able to achieve, this way you won’t get yourself into the situation where you have limited time, have promised something you cannot deliver and are under high pressure to deliver something that is not achievable within the time frame.

That is the perfect recipe for stress and worry.

Managing expectations can reduce the burden.

It’s fine to be honest if you believe something is unachievable.

Don’t just agree to everything and put yourself under unnecessary strain to complete half a job.

In fact, it is preferred by your manager that you are up front about this ahead of the task so they can delegate accordingly and make plans.

This is a key cause of stress in employees.

Don’t be afraid to speak up!

Eliminate distractions and focus

Sometimes we try and do too many things at once and this can overload our brain and contribute to feelings of being overwhelmed with too many tasks and not enough time.

This is a common cause of stress in the modern world with all the distractions of technology.

In this case, you should aim to only be doing one thing at a time in order to minimise the feelings of panic that come with jumping from task to task and creating high levels of stress.

Remember it is completely fine to feel stressed out from time to time.

It’s a natural response to high pressure situations.

Don’t let it get the better of you, make sure you follow these tips to manage your stressful feelings to stop them overwhelming you.

Follow these tips and you will be well on your way to establishing a low stress lifestyle.

——

Follow me on Twitter @Trevorpmcc.

Ways To Embrace Uncertainty

Are you letting fear of the unknown prevent you from moving forward?

Uncertainty is a fact of life and should be something that is embraced rather than to be scared of.

Inevitably there will be problems in all areas of your life and things will never go to plan.

Good leaders approach issues with determination and clear headedness enabling them to overcome obstacles and find workable solutions to problems that crop up along the path to success.

Release the mind

Your mind is your greatest enemy when it comes to progressing in your personal or professional life.

Releasing yourself from negative thought patterns and approaching change with a positive mindset can work wonders for improving your attitude to work and life.

There are certain approaches to adopt which can help you manage change and use it positively to achieve success.

Don’t let anything faze you

Stay calm and collected in the face of adversity and things will seem a lot easier to deal with.

Adopting a calm mental attitude when problems occur can help you to assess problems clearly and objectively without getting too emotionally involved.

Don’t rush decisions – especially when you are uncertain about the consequences, but equally don’t be afraid to take a decision when you are in a position of power.

Don’t be afraid to change your mind if you are proved wrong

Obviously, decisiveness is a valuable quality in leadership.

But, good leaders are also able to see when they have made a mistake due to misinformation or uncertainty.

It’s fine to change course when something isn’t going to plan.

Therefore, uncertainty is not an issue and trial and error can be used to find the best solution to a problem.

Never be afraid to admit you made a mistake and change your course of action as the situation evolves. 

Adopt a positive mindset in everything you do

Don’t get hung up on worries about things which may never happen.

The future is a world of possibility and you have the power to make things happen, even if consequences seem uncertain at the time.

Adopting a positive attitude towards life and work can change your life.

It is not what happens to us in life that defines us but our approach towards what happens.

Try negative visualisation

Turn your problem on its head.

What is the worst that could happen?

How would you deal with it if the worst case scenario that you are imagining did happen?

Calmly work through the steps you would take in the worst case scenario in your head and visualise the outcome.

Planning properly as much as you possibly can will alleviate doubt and uncertainty.

It’s impossible to eliminate uncertainty

Throughout everything we do in our lives, there will be an element of uncertainty.

Once this is recognised it becomes easier to make decisions as we learn to be more decisive and follow through with actions with care taken to alleviate negative consequences but not getting too hung up on them.

Unrealistic societal expectations have conditioned us to have full control in every situation but in reality it is never like that and things must run their course.

Remember… if you never take that first step then you will always be missing out, whereas if you achieve the confidence required to take the decisions then you will be continually moving forwards.

It is better to take a bad decision that can be rectified than be paralysed in a state of indecision. 

If you need assistance in achieving your personal growth aims or have any questions, then feel free to tweet me or contact me via email or Facebook.

The Power Of Doing To Transform Your Life

Successful people are continually busy working towards their goals, achieving them and then aspiring to even more impressive feats.

To achieve your goals in life you have to be proactive and ensure you actually do what you think about doing.

It’s important to get on with your plans rather than just sitting around thinking about doing them.

Plan your goals and how you are going to achieve them, set out measurable targets and get on with it. Don’t put off tomorrow what can be done today.

Be active not passive

You have the power to transform your destiny by taking an active role in the daily occurrences of your life.

Too often we busy ourselves with unproductive tasks which only serve to fill time and don’t actually achieve anything.

Keep your goals at the front of your mind at all times and focus your energy on reaching each goal within your target time limit.

Of course some targets will be a work in progress and success won’t come overnight.

With these types of activity, practicing to be active rather than passive will continue to reap success.

Put your dreams into action and bring them into the real world with decisive actions.

Focus your energy on what can be done, don’t waste time procrastinating and make sure every moment of the day is occupied with productive activity.

Having focus and motivation to get things done is a characteristic of every successful person.

How to achieve focus

During difficult or boring sessions of work, focus on the benefits of completing your work.

Ask yourself why you are doing it in the first place and keep this in mind when going through the motions.

It should be your aim to minimise any distractions which are slowing the pace of your workflow including TV, the internet, social media notifications and your mobile phone.

Process and discipline

All the most successful people have a lot of discipline in what they are doing.

They will plan their time carefully to maximise productivity.

If you find it difficult at first to maintain consistent focus then try tactics such as taking frequent mini breaks, going to different locations for a fresh perspective and taking deep breaths to improve focus.

If you need a break you should allow yourself to have one.

Make sure you do this when you feel frustrated or have low energy.

Regular short breaks can improve overall productivity so don’t be afraid of taking one.

You will return to your work re-energised and ready for action.

Employ relaxed discipline

Sometimes if you are too harsh or critical towards yourself this can have the effect of restricting your productivity.

A tiny bit of stress can be productive but too much and you will find yourself becoming drained and unproductive.

Remember to celebrate your achievements

When you celebrate your achievements then you are looking back at everything you have achieved so far and how you have progressed.

Keeping this focus when working towards something both keeps your mind positive and ensures you continually raise the bar and have something new to aim at.

Keep the momentum

Once you have committed to doing something make sure it is carried out.

Don’t employ procrastination tactics to prioritise other less important things which may deter you from your path to success.

Keep your goal in mind all the time to make sure you do what you need to do to fulfill it.

If you need some further advice on how you can transform your life through the power of action feel free to get in touch via the comments below – or via email, Facebook or Twitter.

Changing Your Mindset To Overcome Self-Doubt

To achieve success in your personal and professional life, challenges need to be approached with an open mind.

For those who experience self-doubt in their everyday decisions, uncertainty can lead to inaction as it triggers fears about making a mistake and the possible consequences.

For these people, it is important to understand you have the power to train your mind to enable self-confidence in your decision making.

Put yourself in situations where you are given the freedom to try new things and surround yourself with positive energy.

Putting yourself in the right situations

It is essential to put yourself in the right settings where you can grow as a person.

You may learn to cultivate self-doubt by being in situations where you have been restricted.

Perhaps you have spent time in a blame culture where mistakes are not accepted as a normal part of progress but rather punished.

This can lead to unhealthy thought patterns which can hold you back from achieving your true potential.

People achieve their best work when they are in a good environment with the right people.

You can help yourself by putting yourself in the right situations with the right people to maximise your personal growth and professional development.

Loss of perspective

Create a system which will help you track your progress.

Sometimes the reasons for doubting yourself stem from an inability to appreciate how far you have come so far.

Don’t forget to celebrate your achievements to date!

Sometimes we are so busy looking forward that we forget to appreciate what has already been achieved.

The world’s best thinkers make consistent progress, have an awareness of what is going on around them and understand the importance of celebrating past achievements.

Train your mind to see positive things in every situation rather than spending time focusing on the negative as it is wasted energy that could be used productively in finding solutions to issues.

Ignore negative people

Sometimes other people can dent your confidence by being negative about your abilities or by disparaging your achievements.

In order to achieve consistent progress, you must distance yourself from these influences and focus on your own goals.

Find a positive mindset and a positive environment and you are well on your way to overcoming any lingering feelings of self-doubt.

Mind training

So how can you create a positive mindset when you encounter obstacles?

The practice of being successful begins within you.

Begin changing your doubts into positives by focusing your mind on your goals single-mindedly.

Stop a negative thought in its tracks as soon as it emerges through training the brain to respond to problematic situations in a constructive way.

See problems as challenges and respond in kind.

Embrace problematic situations as personal challenges and approach with a positive attitude.

 “Everything you have ever wanted is one step outside your comfort zone”

It is a fact of life that to succeed you have to push yourself each day to do things that you are not comfortable with to make progress happen.

If you just do the same things each day then chances are you are holding yourself back and not testing yourself.

If this is to do with self-doubt then you must focus your energies on summoning the internal strength to step outside of your comfort zone.

You will reap countless rewards in improvements in confidence as a result of your success and then you will find the sky is the limit.

Is self-doubt holding you back in achieving your goals?

Contact me via the comments below – or ask me your burning questions via email, Facebook or Twitter.