THE POWER OF STRESS
Power! Yes, power! I start with this word simply because it’s a word that will hardly be linked to any communication regarding stress. While this may sound paradoxical, it’s actually more relevant both in word and in deed.
Stress has been known to be a topic of many research studies since the 17th Century and its origins and definitions have been known to only connote reaction or resistance to attack, tragedy and calamity.
With time, this communication has become more varied but stress still maintains its position as the number one threat to our wellbeing.
Many studies have linked stress to ill health and disease, physical, mental and emotional wellbeing, productivity and performance inter alia.
The World Health Organization has called stress “the health epidemic of the 21st century” and predicts that its impact on engagement productivity and retention will cost companies massively.
THE “OTHER” THINKING
Different schools of thought have been raised when it comes to stress and performance. Models such as the Yerkes- Dodson Law of the inverted U which was created by Robert Yerkes and John Dodson in 1908, and the Nixon P Stress Response Curve all point to the fact that there are optimum levels of stress which could reach has high as almost near fatigue levels and yet still have the ability to help individuals to deliver high performance. It’s only when the levels get out of control that it begins to have a negative impact.
THE YERKES- DODSON LAW OF THE INVERTED U
THE NIXON P STRESS RESPONSE CURVE
IDEA & OPTIONS
These studies, models and schools of thought all seem to lead to a common idea that stress has the power to make or break, push or pull, catalyze or inhibit humankind. So what are our options?
As a life and corporate coach and a wellbeing expert, I get to connect with different people globally. It may be interesting to note that during my client sessions the topic of stress comes up 100 percent of the time.
The number one sign of stress is disengagement. We usually identify that disengagement can be partial; meaning it will happen in one or a couple of areas in our lives such as work and friendships or full disengagement which happens when we are disengaged in every single space of our lives.
In the area of high performance and wellness coaching there are a number of pillars that have consistently turned disengagement resulting from out of control stress into full engagement.
These pillars also help guide good stress towards optimum achievement levels. Some of these pillars are clarity, energy and productivity amongst others. Energy for example, is generated from our psychology and physiology and channeled through our mind space, body space, and heart space. Key activities such as mindfulness of oneself, motivation through oneself and meditation by oneself have been known to facilitate the process of bringing us into alignment and engagement.
There are many actions and activities that can be undertaken to relieve and lead stress.
Here are some practical doses from the experts to enable us to take on stress on and win.
Be Present; presence requires that we intentionally stay in tune with a particular moment, communication or action. This is usually achieved with consistent daily practice. Presence brings in authentic authority and establishes your relevance. Stay present.
Be Positioned; your space plays a major role in stress levels. Position yourself in spaces that elevate your thinking and activate a growth mindset in you. Be reminded that spaces are not only physical environments but even toxic relationships can be defined as a space. Move out of spaces that can limit you.
Be Resilient; in this context, this simply means saying no to the things that go against your best judgment: things that you have to think twice about or things that have the tendency to throw you out of alignment. It’s okay to go against the grain and do things that challenge you but try to stay in equilibrium when you find yourself in discomfort after saying yes.
Be Ready; planning and preparation drives organization of our systems, activities and sets us up for many opportunities. Readiness creates attraction of the right energy towards you, readiness creates an environment of responsibility around you and readiness cuts through the clutter of your life spaces and keeps stress at bay.
There are a number of self-help activities that we can undertake to help us lead stress. Here are a few that we can start with immediately:
Release; clear your mind space through the process of journaling and documentation. Spend 24 hours documenting everything you think without necessarily creating solutions for each one. Many have discovered that 50 percent of the space in our minds is holding information that can be delegated or detrimental to our decisions
Restore; when we give out energy throughout the day, we are required to giveback between 6-8 hours a day as adults towards rest relaxation and sleep. This includes power naps of 15 minutes if possible in our workspace. This restores our body’s function to take on new responsibilities. Sleep is an integral part of our daily routine
Refresh; our bodies absorption and excretion mechanisms are purely driven by what we take in. Eating and drinking “clean” by “listening” to our bodies food reactions, following nutritional guidelines with only few and occasional “ cheat days” allow our bodies to stay fresh inside out;
Rejuvenate; preventative therapies such as keeping our bodies moving with any form of exercise we enjoy (note the word enjoy), spa wellness treatments of massage and body therapies when done at a consistent rate have been proven to reduce stress by high margins, remove toxins from our systems, reduce illness and increase productivity.
Recommendations will always stay as recommendations unless something drastic takes place: something as drastic as making a choice to start on a stress leadership journey. A journey to power our negative stress into alignment and power our positive stress into your assignment. It simply takes a commitment to start or continue what we have started for our own life and wellbeing.
We have the POWER to transform ourselves with information and practical utilization of what we learn. Today is National Stress Awareness Day. It’s not simply a day to talk about stress but a day to advocate for more awareness of this epidemic and activate our minds to kick start a movement of lifestyle and personal development change.
As we mark National Stress Awareness Day today, let us be reminded that a life of High Performance is not driven by simply managing but rather taking the reins of leadership over stress. The POWER TO DRIVE STRESS lies with us!
Dzigbordi K. Dosoo: The H.E.L.P. Coach
Dzigbordi K. Dosoo is a Certified High Performance Coach, Global Speaker, Media Personality and award-winning Entrepreneur.
She is the Founder of Dzigbordi K. Dosoo (DKD) Holdings; the mother company that holds Dzigbordi Inc. & Allure Spa in The City. These brands provide services in Personal Impact & Development, Corporate Consulting, Wellness & Grooming.
Her coaching, seminars and training has helped many organizations and individuals to transform their image and impact, elevate their engagement and establish networks leading to improved and inspired teams, growth and productivity.
Her area of focus is Humanness, Entrepreneurship, Leadership and Power (H.E.L.P).