Managing your emotions and staying calm under pressure and in stressful situations has a direct impact on your overall performance.
Sustained stress increases your risk of heart disease, depression, and obesity while also decreasing your cognitive performance. Ensure this is intermittent and not prolonged by using the following strategies.
Avoid asking ‘what if?’
Asking yourself questions such as ‘what if?’ can cause unnecessary stress and worry. Spend less time thinking about the possibilities and know that you can always deal with any potential issues when they arise.
Throughout the day consciously select something positive to think about or to do. This doesn’t have to be a big thing but keep up consistent positive thoughts or actions. Always keep something positive ready to turn to when your thoughts drift in to negativity.
Making sure stress is intermittent is incredibly important to your health, disconnecting temporarily and taking time out can help keep your stress under control. Try and avoid making yourself available to your work every hour of the day, turn your computer and phone off for even just an hour will help you destress. Plan blocks of time to be offline and have as ‘me time’.
Cut down on caffeine
Having caffeine will increase the release of adrenaline in your body, this affects your survival instincts and your ‘fight or flight’ response. This fight or flight response will always favour faster decisions over rational thinking, great for running away from a lion but not so good for responding to an email. Caffeine is found most in coffee, soft drinks, tea, chocolate and ice cream.
Get enough sleep
Sleep deprivation on its own raises your stress levels, couple that with a stressful project and you’re putting yourself under twice the amount of stress. Your self-control, attention span, and memory are all reduced after a poor night’s sleep. So, make sure you’re recharging your battery for at least six hours every night and start waking up alert and clear headed.
Use your support network
This could be a colleague at work, a partner at home, or a close friend. Talk through your stressful situation and ask for their opinion on how you can overcome it. Usually, these people will be able to help you out as they are not emotionally invested and can see things from a black and white perspective.