Coach’s Corner : Manage Your Stress – Balance Your Life
Business and private life has become much faster, more complex and fully global over the last years This puts high pressure on individual work-life balance and well-being as the amount of available information and the high pace of changes creates an environment of permanent stress, what can lead from smaller indispositions to serious diseases.
My name is Claus Breede, I have been with SAP since nearly 20 years. In my main role I lead all virtual, digital and online learning and training for our sales colleagues. In addition, based on my passion and focus for life-balance, I am a mindfulness trainer and coach, facilitating mindfulness trainings at SAP and speaking at events and conferences about Emotional Intelligence and related topics.
The Magic Formula to Wellbeing
Studies and research shows that sickness from stress has accelerated tremendously over the last years. Hence, organizations and individuals need new strategies to cope with stress and to ensure continuous balance, health and wellbeing as the basis for everything in life.
With that in mind, wouldn’t it be great if there was a magic formula to cope with stress, to optimize balance and to finally improve well-being ? – For sure ! However, we cannot assume that there is just one objective general state of well-being (same with stress experience), since it is highly individual and triggered by people’s values, beliefs and experiences as well as preferences and resources. Consequently, what is a good recipe towards better stress-resilience for one person, might not work at all for others. For instance, somebody might be able to bring his/her stress level down by doing extensive sports activities, while somebody else might do meditation in order to relax.
So are we stuck without a solution and just need to accept that the human body, brain and soul is much more under pressure in today’s modern world and it is just the new normal that we suffer? – Probably not, since there are commonalities and certain patterns or aspects that usually need to be considered when talking about improved balance and well-being. How these aspects are being turned into action is highly individual as described above. And the good news is, that even with so much automated reactions and behavior, human beings are able to unlearn aspects of behavior that appear to be not healthy and learn new ways of dealing with stress triggers as well as supporting their own balance. Creating new and healthy mental habits by cultivating certain approaches as well as mental practices seems to be an appropriate part of a working strategy.
And here are three simple ways to do this:
1) Turn off the autopilot
The key in short words is increased self-awareness. Focus more on your reality here and now. This can be practiced by attention trainings, in which you simply sit in silence for some minutes focusing just on your breath. Just doing this for some minutes regularly can change the brain in structure and function so that the increased focus and awareness becomes a normal habit.
2) Take control of your own bus
Based on step 1 and your ability to be more aware of what happens in your present reality, you can create purposeful pauses instead of immediately reacting to external (from the outside) or internal (what you think) triggers. Do not sit in the backseat of your bus and let others drive, but take back the control and get into the driver seat. In other words, take control of your reactions and emotions, but interrupt this painful chain and take your time to choose a more mindful response to whatever is approaching you. This goes along with your general attitude to things that happen. Be less judgmental and more accepting and cultivate and optimistic mindset.
3) Manage your environment
There are key aspects in life that influence our stress level, how we feel about it, and how far we are able to deal with it. Some main factors are: Nutrition, Sleep, Physical Activity, Social Environment. Make sure that you drink and eat healthy and in accordance with what your body and mind needs. Have enough sleep and avoid stressful and distracting activities in the evening. Balance your body workout between gym, endurance and stretching. Have a look at engagements with other people and use your social environment to provide you energy through positive relations.
Finally, be aware that your body, brain and soul are always closely connected and whatever you do and believe has a strong influence on your life and your well-being. It is your choice to lead the life that you want within the boundaries that you chose. Get started and change for increased balance, better responses to stress and a more healthy and happy life.
How do you manage stress and deal with your daily challenges? – Please share your comments and tips below.
Check out more blog posts in this series: Coach’s Corner.
Stay healthy – Stay Balanced – Enjoy what you do every day !