Secrets of Stress Relief

Stress is not in your job description

You may think otherwise, but you don't need stress to do your best work. I would even suggest that being stressed is a detriment to your work. Do you find it easy to make decisions when under stress? What happens if, for some reason, that stress doubles? Are you still able to make the same quality of decision? If you're anything like most people I have worked with, the answer is no.

This probably comes to no surprise to you. What might surprise you is how many methods there are to effectively reduce stress. Things like golf, reading, driving, and spending time with your family, are some that might be on your list. There are also many other methods you can do while sitting at your desk, or in the middle of a meeting. Ways to instantly clear your mind of distracting thoughts, settle emotions and increase confidence. Would that be useful?

I used to be very stressed. I worked over 70 hours per week. I worked after hours and weekends, so I would get fewer interruptions, and get more of my work done. I thought, while I was working hard, I was doing great. My friends and loved ones knew different, however. One Wednesday night, I was finishing my second bottle of Bundy rum for the week, and I thought, "This can't be good. There must be a better way to relax." That began a long search.

One of the first things that I learnt from studying fast and effective change was a technique called Anchoring. This is a method that allows you to take one set of feelings and relate them to another. Can you remember the smell of your grandparents house? If you can remember the smell, I'm fairly sure that many memories will also be recalled. Maybe the face of your grandparents, the sounds of their voice, temperature of the house etc. This is an example of a simple anchor (the smell) being used to assist in recalling other memories.

If you want to use this anchoring technique for a specific purpose you can take that feeling you get after a great golf shot. Take that feeling you have as you watch the ball land 10 centimeters from the pin. Then use that feeling as you sign the budget for next year. Do you think that might be useful? It does take preparation, and when done right works exceptionally well.

The going gets tough!

There is a saying: "When the going gets tough, the tough get going." This can be a great strategy for anyone, however, if this is your only method to 'get going', you reach a point where you can only work while under stress. Do you remember what it feels like to work without being pressured? I can teach you other methods to get motivated. I can also teach you how to teach other people to get motivated. Do you think that might be useful? There are many ways that you can discover how to change what you do to be more effective.

I'm currently writing a book that contains tried and tested methods for stress relief. If you are interested in a copy, drop me a line.

Michael Vanderdonk - 12/3/2004


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