The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, When It Comes To Stress.

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, When It Comes To Stress.

Katie Maycock | Anxiety and Digestive Health Specialist

There are times when stress can benefit you in the workplace. There are times when stress will limit you. There are times when stress will destroy you. 

I do a lot of corporate talks. There is always a divide whether stress is good or bad for you.

Here’s what I know.

The Good.

I’m absolutely a believer that stress can play a role in business. For instance, attending to customer needs and driving towards goals and targets. 

It can also feel great. It can drive motivation for a lot of people. It plays a role in concentration and memory. 

If stress is managed correctly, it can be used as a tool! 

Here’s how: 

1) Increasing How Alert You Are. 

True story. When you are in times of acute stress, you are more alert. Now, why is this important? Because when you are more alert, you are able to focus and concentration at higher levels. This alertness allows you to function at your mental peak. 

2) Increasing Mental Performance. 

Bear with me on this one.

I want you to think back to a time where you were studying for an exam or test. A time when you had to hit a target or deadline. That stress increases how alert you are, which increases your mental performance. Mental performance is incredibly important for success. Being able to think clearly and accurately is going to lead to more success.

3) Increase In Energy

Stress increases your energy! This increase in energy can help you work harder, faster and longer. Becoming more productive. 

However, sometimes we need that extra energy to be able to achieve our goals and targets. 

Not only can it help with increasing energy and endurance at work, but it can also help with our physical activity. This is because of the adrenaline and cortisol that is produced by during stress.

Note: For all you high achievers and Type A Professionals, continue reading. This isn’t permission to keep burning the candle at both ends.

4) Increase Memory

I know, I know, I have harped on (and will mention later in this blog) how stress limits memory. 

However, there are times when stress can increase memory. This can be hypothesised due to an increase in alertness and becoming more aware. Or even if the acute stress is changing the development of brain cells. 

However, recent studies have been able to show an increase in memory after a period of acute stress. 

Being able to tap into “good” stress and harnessing it, will definitely help you become successful. 

However, there is definitely a dark side to it.

The Bad.

Stress is not a limitless pool you can use to drive you forward every day. Like any resource, it has to be used appropriately. Otherwise, it will hinder you. 

Stress increases a sense of urgency. If used correctly, it can be a very beneficial tool.  

Put into context, if one of your clients or customers has an issue, clearly, time is of the essence. A sense of urgency can lead to a speedy resolution. Which is important! 

However, if used incorrectly, it will really limit your success. 

Here’s how.

1) Making Appropriate Decisions

We can all agree, making decisions is a part of everyday life, not just running a business. 

Making appropriate and clearly thought out decisions, just as important. Especially when you are running a business. It means you can solve problems quickly. You prevent the possibility of mistakes and it realistically it can save time in the long run. 

If you’re stressed or have a feeling of a sense of urgency, this can be difficult. You’re more likely to make to rash and knee jerk decisions. Which may lead more hassle in the long run. 

Otherwise, if you have been stressed for a while and your stress has turned into anxiety, it could potentially leave you unable to make a decision at all. 

Not making a decision is just as bad (if not worse) than making a rash decision. 

Either way, you’re limiting yourself. 

2) Making Frequent Mistakes

A lot of the time, when we are stressed, we are rushing. Whether that’s reading an email, going to a meeting or simple having a call with someone. 

If we feel rushed, we are more than likely going to miss details. 

How many times have you skim read or not proofread an email and sent it realising that there are typos? Or sent an email to the wrong person? 

Yeah, mistakes are never fun. 

Usually when we are stress and rushing our attention to detail is limited. 

There is a simple solution though. 

Slow down, read that email properly, pay attention in meetings and remain focused. Don’t think about the twenty things you need to do. Stay in the moment. 

Making mistakes is wasting your time. It could also be wasting your customers or clients time.

It also reduces credibility.

3) Damaging Relationships

I want to put this into context.

Think about a time when you felt as though someone hadn’t listened to you. 

A time when someone didn’t hear you and responded inappropriately. 

How did it make you feel? Did you feel heard? Did you feel important? 

I’m going to take a stab in the dark and say no. 

When clients, customers, manager or employees feel that way, they aren’t going to stick around. 

If employees don’t feel heard, they will feel under-valued and leave. 

If your manager feels as though you can take direction or listen, you may miss out on growth within that company. 

If your customer or clients don’t feel heard they will take their business elsewhere.

The Ugly.

There is absolutely an ugly side to stress. 

Stress is damaging to the body. It doesn’t just limit you in regards to success, it also limits you physically. 

Three significant ways it is damaging you:

1) Increasing Your Likelihood Of Burnout

I have spoken about this at lengths. However, it really does increase your likelihood of burning out. 

For a lot of people who have burnt out, a lot of them will say it started off as a positive. Which then turned into a very detrimental negative. 

Burnout isn’t easy to overcome. It takes time, its something that changes the way you work and rest. 

Preventing burnout is the best way. Seriously, don’t think it can’t happen to you. Waiting until you drop down from burnout is not very practical.

2) Increasing Digestive Issues 

Yes, you are increasing the likelihood of developing IBS, allergies, intolerances or even worse an auto-immune disease. 

Having prolonged stress has an immense effect on the way the human body digests food. It limits the blood flow to the digest tract, reducing the way we absorb nutrients and increasing inflammation in the gut. 

Fun fact: 70-80% of your immunity is linked to your gut.  

3) Increasing The Likelihood Of Lifestyle Disease

Such as diabetes, high cholesterol, cardiovascular disease, obesity and the list goes on. 

Stress increases inflammation throughout the body, which then increases the likelihood of disease. 

Stress can be a vicious cycle on health, if not managed. 

What can you do?

The first step is to admit that you are in fact stressed. A lot of people don’t realize they’re stressed. Or they perceive stress in a different way that leaves them living in denial. Never a good place to be. 

The second step, look at how you work. Do you constantly work under a sense of urgency or agitation? Ask yourself, is this a good time to have a sense of urgency? Become more aware of appropriate and inappropriate times to work from that space. For instance, skim reading an email or rushing through a call to get to the next task, may not be the right time to have a sense of urgency. 

The third step, start looking for tools and techniques that you can implement every day. If meditation doesn’t feel right, don’t force it. Go to the gym instead, go for a walk. Even taking a moment to step outside is beneficial. 

Not all tools and techniques are created equally. Find what works for you and utilise them. 

For more blog and videos on burnout, stress and health and wellbeing in the workplace, head over to my website. 

If you want to reach out and see how I can help you or your organisation, reach out.

15 Powerful Habits To Embrace

15 Powerful Habits To Embrace

Simon Alexander Ong | Life Coach & Business Strategist

1. Read every single day. The diet you feed your mind is just as important as what you feed your body.

2. Take care of your wellbeing. Both your mental and physical health.

3. Plan your day the night before.

4. Focus on progress over perfection.

5. Stop comparing yourself to others all the time (I call this “comparisonitis”) and focus more on being better than who you were yesterday.

6. Focus on possibilities over problems.

7. Surround yourself with extraordinarily inspiring people.

8. Reflect on how to grow and contribute more.

9. Be accountable to someone for your visions.

10. Get more sleep and renewal periods during the day. Sometimes we need to slow down in order to speed up!

11. Embrace positivity and cultivate an attitude of gratitude.

12. Worry less about what you can’t control and focus more on the present, and what is in your control right now.

13. Embrace an experimental mindset such that you are overthinking less and taking action more often on those ideas that pop up in your mind.

14. Do more of what makes you feel most alive.

15. Listen to understand instead of just listening to respond.

What else would you add to the above based on your personal experiences? 
Contact Information & Social Media links:

Website: https://www.simonalexanderong.com
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LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/simonalexanderong
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YouTube: https://youtube.com/user/simonong

Why taking responsibility is a super-power.

Why taking responsibility is a super-power.

Katie Maycock | Anxiety and Digestive Health Specialist

Taking responsibility for a situation or scenario isn’t always comfortable. Especially if the outcome was negative. However, being able to take full ownership of your choices is a huge super-power.

Here are three ways how:

1) It Empowers You.

Yes, my friends, you have heard me correctly. Owning your actions and taking responsibility is incredibly empowering.

Initially, it doesn’t always feel good. You can feel as if you are a really big screw up.

However, after that initial knee jerk reaction, you feel empowered. You realize you have options. It opens the door for other possibilities. It helps you to get into solution based thinking.

2) It Provides An Opportunity For Positive Change

Instead of feeling like a victim or playing the blame game (which is incredibly negative). You can clearly see the actions or behaviours that led you to a certain situation or outcome. Once you’ve accepted that, you can choose to change.

You can stop reacting and start becoming more proactive.

3) It Leads To Better Outcomes.

Once you can see how your actions and behaviours played a part in a scenario, you can see HOW to change. You can clearly see the consequences of your actions. Helping you to make better decisions and choices in the future. Instead of feeling like bad things are always happening to you, you can start to take a more direct approach.

Taking responsibility for your actions and choices can completely change your life. You will make better decisions. You will feel more in control.

Now we know why it’s important to take responsibility and fully own it, but how to achieve this super-power?

Self-Reflect.

Look at situations and see how you could have handled them differently. Look at what role you played to create that specific outcome. Ask yourself questions. What could I have done differently? What steps could I have put in place?

Don’t dwell for too long on the past. Look for the potential solutions and move on. Don’t beat yourself up, this exercise is there to help you learn.

Taking responsibility and fully accepting it can be really confronting. It can be uncomfortable, however, lean into the discomfort. Learn from the experience and how you can change in future.

If you want more information about stress, burnout or anything related to health, head over to my website. There are loads of videos and blogs! If you want to chat about any of the above, let’s connect

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