The issue of stress is common to all of us, and whether you have the title of CEO, Marketing Director, Finance Director or whatever, you are just as likely as anyone else to experience stress.
In fact, stress has, in many quarters, got a bad name which I don’t think is totally fair as a certain amount of stress is necessary for all of us to perform at a high level. However, there is a tipping point where it stops being useful and starts to become damaging.
In my coaching business, I deal with many CEOs and business owners and every one of them experiences stress in one shape or another, but that is not the point.
The challenge in many cases is ensuring that we differentiate between managing stress and ignoring stress.
Sadly, for many senior executives, ignoring stress is their version of stress management, and that simply does not work!
The bad news is that ignoring stress does not make it go away – it will just get buried to reappear at some other time. Unfortunately, many times when it does reappear it manifests itself in serious illnesses, both physical and mental.
Stress can make us tetchy, moody and feeling sorry for yourself – sometimes we even want to be competitive and make sure we are the one feeling most stressed, as Gini Dietrich talks about in her article Competing for who is Most Stressed
But having discussed this issue with many medical people, who are far better qualified than I to offer advice on such issues, the common message from all of them would be:
Senior executives must identify their own, individual stress busters and then incorporate them into their life.
Know what they are for you as they are different for all of us. For some it is playing music, for others it is mountain climbing, meditating, praying or being with friends.
Whatever it is, find your version of your stress management buster and incorporate into your weekly schedule.
Yes, I said weekly schedule – as a manager and leader of people you need to make sure that you make it part of your routine, and not just leave it for when the stress is bearing down on you.
Failure to identify your stress busters, and incorporate them in to your schedule, is tantamount to ignoring them.
If, you do not know what your stress busters are then you must find them! Be comforted – they are there and they reside in those things that give you great pleasure and enjoyment. (On a sour note – alcohol may be enjoyable, but is not recommended as a stress buster!! I’m sorry!!!)
So, what are your stress management techniques? Or even, what causes you the greatest amount of stress?
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