Stressful Situations: 3 Tips to Focus

man stressed at work

Stressful situations affect people both at home and in the workplace. Statistics Canada has found that people who rate themselves as highly stressed are nearly 2.5 times more likely to go on sick leave than those who report lower levels of stress.

A major contributor to stress and anxiety is the level of control people feel they have over their own lives. Often people who rate themselves as highly stressed expend a tremendous amount of energy trying to claim control over aspects of their lives that they, in fact, have very little control over. People who are less stressed have learned to, as the saying goes: Accept the things they cannot change. Think about your own life and where you’re spending energy attempting to control yourself, others, and your environment.

Focus your time on items that you have more control over and less time on things you do not. 

Things you can control.

This may include what you eat when you sleep, or when and how you exercise. What we say and do, how we think about our experiences and managing our emotions. Successful people focus the majority of their energy here, as they can make decisions that can benefit their lives. 

Things you can influence.

This often includes other people: How we engage with them, how they perceive us, how we connect our own goals with theirs. Things you can influence are areas of your life that while you are not in charge of them, how you act and the choices you make can affect and alter them for the better. Some time spent mindfully on these things can exert influence, even if not full control.

Things you cannot control.

These include things like traffic, critical illnesses, taxes and the weather report. Too often people stress over the rain outside or the bottleneck on the way to work. Make decisions that take into account the unknown variables like weather and traffic but accept that you can’t change them and don’t waste your energy fighting them. Rather than getting drenched walking to work or stressing in traffic, take an umbrella or leave a few minutes early.

Managing stressful situations at work or at home is a big task for many of us, thankfully there are practical steps that can be taken to help start today. The Neutral Zone provides workshops and training that can set you up for success as you focus on building skills for controlling yourself and influencing others.

Contact us for a free consultation and find out how our team can help your organization.

Stressful Situations: 3 Tips to Focus

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