WHEN I walk around people’s offices, I notice so many faces with “stress” written all over them. I cannot say I blame them as times are generally hard for the general populace.
That said, it is important to remember that a confident and self-controlled persona will go a long way toward increasing one’s value in the business world. No one wants to deal with a person who appears to be a ticking time bomb about to explode.
In this article, I would like to share some insights on stress management written by Sharyn Lynn Yonkman, the founder of Lynn Consulting Group.
A stress-free image is important to the success of any upwardly mobile professional. A confident take-charge demeanour, that is not easily frazzled or flustered, inspires confidence and implies competence. To put forth your best image, you must appear serene, which is impossible while being a victim of stress.
Everyone has some stress to contend with in life, but some people cope better than others. These people are stress-hardy, and their stress-busting skills enable them to overcome and thrive. Yonkman states that stress-hardy individuals have the following characteristics:
Take personal control of their lives. They do not live by chance, but by choice.
Have set goals and commit to accomplishing them. Focus on goals that promote happiness and meaning in life.
Engage in regular exercise. Physical activity stimulates various brain chemicals that may leave you feeling happier and more relaxed.
Seek the company of positive people.
Choose an optimistic outlook. Having a positive outlook helps you cope with stressful situations and helps reduce the harmful health effects of stress on your body.
Espouse spiritual values. Spirituality encourages people to be positive.
Follow good nutritional guidelines. Your diet can substantially influence your tolerance to stress. Water and foods rich in Vitamin B can counteract the effect of stress. These include peanut butter, bananas and sunflower seeds.
Exhibit zest for life.
Have a sense of humour. Laughter increases endorphins (feel-good hormones) into your system, making humour key to your sense of well-being.
Take time out and pamper themselves. Stress-hardy individuals realise the importance of making a concerted effort to be gentle and kind to themselves. They take time out (even during their everyday work schedule). Taking time out can break any negative momentum that might be building up and helps one have clearer vision and prospective.
These are characteristics that we should all strive for in order to reduce stress and subsequently portray a professional image. Having a good reputation is essential for professional success.
Cultivating grace even under fire is a competitive advantage well worth acquiring. It attracts and inspires others to have faith in your abilities. If you are to be successful, both personally and professionally, managing stress would be a life-long commitment.
Nonto Masuku is a partner of an image and reputation management firm