I thought I was pretty immune to secondhand stress. Then came the coronavirus and massive change, economic pressure and working remotely. A Management Tip of the Day from Harvard Business Review reminded me that no (wo)man is an island when it comes to picking up stress from others. (I feel stressed just by typing a paragraph that repeats the word “stress” so often.)
It makes sense. Even thinking of a person you experience as tense can make your pulse quicken. Imagine the effects of being with stressed out family members and remote coworkers on a regular basis! What do you do to inoculate yourself against secondhand stress? Shawn Achor and Michelle Gielan advise in Make Yourself Immune to Secondhand Stress:
Change your response: Seeing stress as a challenge, not a threat, reduces the negative effects by 23%. Remember that stress can have positive effects, like making you mentally tough and helping you focus on your priorities.
Create positive antibodies: Meet others’ stress with a deep calming breath and a smile. Start conversations with, “I’m happy to talk to you,” rather than “Wow, this is so hard.“
Read the whole article for the rest of their tips!
Staying on the calm side of life requires you to get and stay in tune with your body and mind. Know your personal signs that stress is taking its toll (tight shoulder muscles, dull headache, etc.). Pay attention and take action right away to relax. Exercise, meditate, share gratitude or do whatever works to help you lean into the positive aspects of stress.
Have a proven method for keeping stress in balance? Comment below or message us.