Michele Attias Life Coach

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The Only Way To Ditch The Work Stress

There is one important factor which can threaten to undermine your business.

It's not your competitors, profits, customers, marketing or branding. It's how you deal with stress and even more importantly, what you do with it when it surfaces. Let me elaborate further, stress is like a dark cloud that migrates into your region, like an irritating guest who refuses to leave and makes it almost an impossibility for you to see or perceive any clarity. 

Stressful thinking can and does accumulates over time becoming more prominent. 

When we approach everything from this state, it can be catastrophic, because there is no clear thought process. Personally, I have made the worst business and life decisions in the past due to stressful thinking, since when in this state, there is no clear action plan.

Essentially, one of the main struggles that prevent my clients from having clarity, is the sense of overwhelm they feel when dealing with balancing their work and personal life. Is it any wonder they are drowning in overwhelming feelings of inadequacy built up over time? With thoughts such as ‘I must', 'I should have', 'I need to', is it any wonder that once stress sets in and becomes intrenched,  it is pretty hard to wriggle out?

The latest estimates from the Labour Force Survey show:

  • The number of new cases of work-related stress, depression or anxiety in 2013/14 were 244,000.
  • The total number of working days lost due to work-related stress or anxiety was 11.3 million in 2013/14, an average of 23 days per case of stress, depression or anxiety.
  • The industries that reported the highest prevalence rates of work-related stress, depression or anxiety (three-year average) were human health and social work, education and public administration and defence.

In reflecting on the figures above, it is clear that stress has a real impact on our life, our work and can be manifested in the following behaviours:

  • Sleep deprivation
  • Tiredness
  • Headaches
  • Lack of Concentration
  • Memory loss
  • Low self esteem.
  • Irritability or anger

So how do we manage the above when at times it feels as if we are drowning in a sea of stress?

Think about it this way, the body is an incredible monitoring system which has an innate wisdom behind it. If you are exhausted and unable to think further, stop. If you wake up in the morning stressed or unable to think, then pushing your thinking to do so will not be helpful. 

The benefits of running your own business is that you make your rules and work your hours.

I have connected my lifestyle to my business because I believe one feeds into the other, simply because it is during the leisure time that creative ideas are born. I don’t attempt decision making or stressful aspects of my business when stress sets in, I bring more ease into my day instead by walking the dog, going to an excersize class, networking or meeting a good friend.

Essentially, I have been known to create blogs whilst in the park with my dog, sitting in a coffee shop sipping a latte or sitting at the hairdressers having my hair done, as more clarity, ideas and insights come into play during this time. 

I don't have to be stressing at my desk trying to come up with ideas

Living our business has a different connotation to it, it doesn't mean literally living your business 24/7 by behaving as if you have a huge burden of stress on your shoulders, it means being in the flow of your business by incorporating ease into it and this is where a lifestyle business comes in.

Go from stress to ease in 10 steps:

Say No when necessary

Know your limits and stick to them as taking on more than you can handle is a recipe for stress

Technological detox 

Switch off your phone for a few hours, half a day or even a full day. The Internet is an extremely busy medium of communication which we easily get sucked into - take a break.

Avoid people who stress you out  

We can all identify certain people who stress us, limit the amount of time you spend with that person .

Skim your to do list

Be clear about what needs to be done urgently and what can be done in a few days time. Once you skim through the list, deal only with what needs your urgent attention and focus on this.

Time management  

Plan ahead and make sure you don’t overextend yourself as poor time management can bring about stress. Put a timer on each task you do which is a good way of keeping focused.

Stop demanding perfection  

Perfectionism is a source of avoidable stress, set reasonable standards for yourself and learn to be okay with 'good enough'.

Make time for fun and relaxation 

If you regularly make time for fun and relaxation, you'll be in a better place to handle life's stressors. Walk, listen to your favourite musice, get a massage, connect to someone who makes you laugh. 

Join a group of like minded professionals 

A strong support system is a great way to buffer you from the negative effects of stress and this can go a long way.  I belong to a women's group that meets regularly to exchange ideas, discuss the challenges and struggles we face in our business, but at the same time setting goals and motivating each other, which I find is of great support.

Do something you enjoy daily 

Make time for leisure activities that bring you joy, whether it be watching a football match, going for walks, getting together with friends or taking a class.

Keep your sense of humor 

This includes the ability to laugh at yourself as the act of laughing helps your body fight stress.

The most important aspect is to listen when your body communicates stress as it provides a radar system informing you to stop working and bring more ease into your day. The common misconception that busy people have is that if they stop ‘doing’, their business will be unable to take off. Essentially there is a time for doing, but there is also a time for being - Be more and do less by pausing the stress switch and take time out.

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