What are you focusing on?
We know managing stress can be difficult. But have you ever considered that you may be contributing to your own stress levels by what you are focusing on?
Have you heard Tony Robbins’ quote?:
“ Energy flows where attention goes”
This quote is a great reminder to look at your own thought patterns and review what you focus on. Especially relevant as this is Stress Awareness Month.
Learning to understand how you can positively influence your stress response can help build your resilience to stressful situations. It can help you to learn how to manage your stress.
How am I contributing to my stress?
Firstly, let’s clarify that not all stress is bad. But, when your body’s stress response system is being triggered by every day activities, repeatedly, then it’s time for you to act.
And because stress is at its most basic level a thought response, you have the option to review your thinking. And if you find your thinking is contributing to your stress levels, it opens you up for growth and change.
Breaking the stress cycle
This is where mindfulness really helps, because it provides a space for the thinking to change.
The simple act of focusing on your breath, of slowing down your breathing, instantly works on the vagus nerve which is part of your stress response system. Moving your body, going for a walk and getting some perspective are all examples of activities that support breaking the stress cycle response.
Once the stress response is broken you have the opportunity to look at your thoughts.
A stress management exercise
In our Wellbeing Workshop we like to encourage our participants to embrace an attitude of gratitude. Can you think of 5 things right now that you are grateful for? The aim is that you carry out this exercise, giving thanks to 5 things you appreciate, on a daily basis.
When you consistently incorporate this exercise into your end of day routine, you will start to notice a shift in your attitude.
Because, as per Tony Robbins’ quote “Energy flows where attention goes”, you will find that more focus on the good that is around you, will put the stress you are experiencing into context.
Shifting your perspective
It’s important to re-iterate here that we know managing stress can be difficult. Therefore, sometimes you may find you will benefit from some external support to help shift your perspective or provide you with the tools to manage.
This is where coaching can really help in the workplace.
We hope you find the gratitude exercise helpful, and if you have any questions about training and development to support stress and wellbeing in the workplace please give us a call.
You may also be interested in the resources on the Stress Management Society Page. There are some really helpful blogs about how to talk about stress and work with stressed individuals in the workplace.