In this 2-part article I am sharing 20 ways in which you can reduce stress levels, be fulfilled and keep on top of your game. If you would like to see the first 10 please check them out here. Now onto your intentions…
11. What are your intentions for the day?
I start my day by reflecting on 6 intentions for the day. One of which is to be calm! Why? Because being calm is not my natural default position. By reflecting on the importance of being calm each day, it’s more likely to feed into my self-awareness when I’m getting anxious, frustrated or angry. What are the ways you would like to feel each day and are you setting yourself up to feel these both psychologically and practically?
12. Be patient with others and especially yourself
Sometimes events and people don’t move at the speed you would like them to. You don’t reach your goals and targets as speedily as you would like. Or you reach them and you are just pushing yourself towards the next ones. I often say to my clients and in fairness to myself that it’s good to see progress. Slow down and work on one thing at a time and see the results. We will all go to our graves with an unfinished task list, so see the progress on the journey. How much further have you come than where you were 12 months ago?
13. Reactivity and Proactivity
We all want to provide great customer service. One of our company values relates to “doing what we say we will do”. But you may find you’re just too reactive. A call comes in, an email alert pops up and you react straight away. Have you asked how urgent this issue is? Can you respond in 2 days? Can the meeting wait one week? Your proactivity is structured by having a long term strategic plan and short term action plans. I work on a 3 year vision, a 90 day plan and weekly+daily action plans. I would recommend not letting things hijack your plans if they don’t need to.
14. What can you control?
For many of us we get far too anxious about things or people we can’t control. This is where stress levels can really raise. I have found that focusing on what I can control and influence is helpful and would recommend this approach for you. Certain things we can control. For some things, we can push ourselves out of our comfort zones to make changes. However for other things, we can only go so far with and then we need to accept we have done all we can.
15. Seek help
One of the best things I did in my business 3 years ago was to start using the services of Julia McGinn and the team at Stone Moor Business Services
. Julia will be checking and publishing this blog for me. I find too many business owners and leaders are doing too much. They are not focused on their ‘Key Result Areas’ where they can make maximum impact which is most probably where they are most fulfilled. If you have people who you lead, can you work with them to delegate tasks that are not the best use of your time? If you don’t have people then look to outsource!
16. Develop your emotional intelligence
The first 2 areas of emotional intelligence are ‘Self-Awareness’ and ‘Self-Management’. These don’t necessarily come easy to us. ‘Awareness’ is such a massive concept for me and in my work. Awareness of how we think, how we feel, how our body is reacting. It is so critically important to the way we relate to ourselves, other people and our situations (the 3 areas of ‘Positive Insight
’). Work on strategies to become more self-aware. Even if it starts with a simple focus on your breathing in those heated moments. Then develop some self-management strategies or get some help in doing so.
17. How do you start your day?
How do you set yourself up for the day? Do you hit the snooze button? Do you end up rushing around to get ready and get out, watching miserable news items, missing breakfast and not preparing for your lunch? Do you have no plan for the day? Do you have no intentions for your day? How you start your day sets the tone for the day. I work on getting out of bed when the alarm goes off, meditating, setting some intentions for the day, doing some exercise, starting the day healthily and then setting about my daily plan. It’s not perfect but it is a good foundation. Where could you change your morning foundation?
18. Get outside more
I don’t do this enough, do you? Spending time out in the fresh air, connecting with nature, switching off from devices. This is an area of great benefit and one for me to work on in all honesty. Perhaps you feel the same?
19. Be grateful
One of my 12 intentions for the day is to be grateful. When I reflect on the day I take note of the good that has come my way and feel thankful for this. Like you all, I work hard to make positive changes and moves but I also know that I am often blessed with good fortune. It is good to recognise that.
20. We are born to contribute
And finally a thought on contribution and kindness. One sure way to get the focus off our own stresses and worries is to focus on helping someone else. Maybe it is just listening to our loved ones as they tell us about their day, it’s a positive gesture you can do for someone else. Is giving someone else something tangible? Or giving them your time, your energy and your ear.
I hope you have found these 20 ways to improve your personal wellbeing and stress levels useful. Even if there is only one nugget that makes a difference, it is has been worthwhile. Take good care of yourself as those worrying statistics about stress and depression (that I talked about in part 1 of this article) are very real.
If you feel you need help and support in developing your own self leadership and wellbeing, it would be great to talk.