By William Arruda from Forbes.com
Stress impedes success and it prevents you from building your personal brand in productive ways. When you’re stressed, you don’t think clearly and behave in ways that are counter to who you are. You become paralyzed and less productive. You impact relationships with your team and colleagues. All of this has a negative impact on how people perceive you – on your personal brand.
Let’s face it, work can be stressful. In fact, occupational stress has been defined as a global epidemic by the United Nations’ International Labor Organization. According to ComPsych’s 2012 Stress Pulse survey on the effect of stress on daily productivity, 41% of respondents indicated they lose 15 to 30 minutes of productivity a day and 36% said they lose one hour or more per day.
Workplace stress makes people behave in off-brand ways. When they’re stressed, they become the person people avoid or complain about. Do you know that person? Are you that person?
The impact stressed people have on those around them is what workplace stress management expert Jordan Friedman, aka the Stress-Coach, calls “second-hand stress.” According to Friedman, “Second-hand stress impacts you and those around you and it’s hazardous to your brand. Stress shuts down two-way communication, hinders problem solving and sends an ‘I’m more important than you’ message.” It is a major brand detractor. You may feel that workplace stress is outside your control – and with some stressors, that’s certainly the case.
Regardless of what causes your stress, you need to deal with it if you want to build a consistent, powerful brand. How you deal with stress is something that is under your control. That means, know your stress triggers, and learn what type of stress reduction works best for you. Friedman says “Stress impacts performance and job satisfaction. Knowing how to recognize and manage your stress is the single most valuable leadership skill you can master.” To help you find the stress reduction techniques that are right for you, here are five resources you can put to work… at work:
1. Watch. In this brief “Quick Calm” video, you’ll learn a simple but powerful technique to instantly reduce stress. Bookmark it or add it to your playlist so you can get to it quickly when stress mounts.
2. Listen. Get a free account at live365.com and subscribe to the meditation channel. When you need a calming break, listen to ‘The Cosmic Island” for a minute or so and watch the stress drip away. If you prefer Songza, the Thunderstorm Sounds playlist will do the trick.
3. Read. This workbook by Elizabeth Robbins Eshelman and Matthew McKay gives you step-by-step techniques for calming the body and mind.
4. Learn. Take a class. Learn it Live features hundreds of classes – many are free – focused on health and well-being. Here’s a popular webinar with some truly helpful tips: It’s recorded, so you can watch it during your lunch hour.
5. Download. This Stressbusters app from TheStressCoach.com is replete with stress-busting tools and techniques to make even the most type A person chill. There are so many great resources, you’re sure to find one that will take you from distressed to de-stressed. Don’t add “stress-case” to your brand attributes. Identify the best ways for you to reduce stress, then practice them when you feel a bout of ‘hair on fire’ coming on!