Yet, by 11:00 am you are beginning to feel stressed, not just a little stress like snapping at the copy machine that keeps throwing error messages, but really stressed like just give me 5 minutes in my car to pull myself together stressed. How could this be? Sometimes we can do all the right things and still be stressed. Sometimes it's because we secretly love it.
Many of us are addicted to stress, we feel significant in the face of stress. Stress can make us feel important because we have something to be stressed about. You may be thinking, why would anyone want stress? That's why we all read articles about getting rid of stress! Well, the reason can be a simple biological one.
Some of us love the adrenaline rush we feel when we are stress. That adrenaline rush is what becomes addictive and we begin to crave it. So we look for stress and situations that will welcome us with open arms. We love to tell everyone how stressed we are because it validates our lives and the Ferris wheel continues to turn, keeping us on the adrenaline rush-stress seeking thrill ride called our life.
Studies have shown just how terrible constant stress is for our health. We tend to smoke, over eat or use drugs and/or alcohol to help us cope with workplace stress. Stress can cost US businesses over $300 billion annually. Headaches, high blood pressure, heart issues, diabetes, asthma, arthritis, depression and anxiety are all outcomes that can be related to stress.
Yet, if you still aren't convinced we need to get our stress levels under control perhaps think about how stress is effecting your ability to successfully climb the corporate ladder. TalentSmart, a provider of Emotional Intelligence products and services, conducted research with more than a million people and found that 90% of top performers all had something in common. They were all skilled at managing their emotions in times of stress.
These top performers are able to recognize stressful situations and chose a different path. They receive their adrenal rush and significance from other more effective means.
What this tells me is that while we can come to the office ready to roar, if we can't manage our emotions we are serving as our own worst enemy. The first step in combating stress is self-awareness. It is really about knowing who you are and where your strengths and weaknesses lie.
Stress can be controlled, even if it's a boss that is making your life miserable! Next week, I'll share with you some ways to leap into the 90% of top performers who can master their emotions and their stress!