You may be wondering why a leadership blog would focus so often on stress relief. We focus on stress because we live in a chaotic, fast-paced world that naturally creates stress. No one can be a great performer with a stomach in knots, a racing heart and little sleep. Even the most knowledgeable and well-intentioned person will falter under extreme stress.

You owe it to yourself and your people to take action.

Many companies recognize the impact of stress and are teaching techniques to manage it. A recent Wall Street Journal post profiles Dow Chemical and Union Pacific as two examples of organizations that are helping their people chill out:

“…meditation techniques like breathing and bringing thoughts back when they wander, says Diana Kamila, a senior teacher at the university’s Center for Mindfulness. Participants also learn stretching, yoga and “body scans”—noticing their responses to stress, softening their muscles through breathing and tuning in to the feelings and sensations of the moment.

Employees learn to practice periodic “check-ins” while working, walking, driving or eating. And they are encouraged to blend the techniques into their daily routines, at their desks, in meetings or during talks with colleagues.”

Forbes posted about the best workplace stress relievers, including:

  • Adjust work hours, if possible, to suit your personal body clock. Not a morning person? Try to adjust your hours so you can come in later and work when your brain is most ready.
  • Plan for delays when traveling. If your flight is delayed or cancelled, take a long walk around the airport or work out at the nearest gym.
  • Keep perspective by asking, “Will I care about this in ten years?”

How can you help your organization manage the stress that is part of the job? A disciplined focus on wellness, including managing stress productively, ensures that your people get a handle on stress and bring their best selves to the job at hand. Make it clear that you value people who take care of themselves on their off hours as well. “We must have a pie. Stress cannot exist in the presence of a pie (David Mamet).” 


Need to manage stress and remain productive? Contact Humanergy.

Photo from istockphoto.