Simple Stress Management Techniques Leaders Use

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Fast-paced, high-pressure environments are quickly becoming the norm in the modern workplace. Add to that a global health crisis and it’s no wonder that burnout is slowly escalating, especially among middle managers and women.

While it can be easy to overwork yourself when running a business, let alone juggling multiple projects, the accompanying stress can cause sleepless nights and other physical issues that can make you wonder if worth sacrificing your health. The most effective leaders know this and take steps to ensure that their endless to-do lists have built-in practices that help them better manage their stress.

From therapeutic baths and musical pastimes to two-minute breathing exercises, no two leaders are alike in the way they monitor and respond to stressful situations. Their consistent rituals and techniques speak to the idea that little extra habits can change lives.

With the World Health Organization defining burnout as “a syndrome resulting from chronic stress at work that has not been successfully managed”, it is essential to take matters into your own hands by identifying and managing our stress factors.

High quality work and maximum productivity are hampered by a sense of burnout, no matter how ambitious our goals. Let these words sink in as you become familiar with the inspirational stress relief tips of the most influential people of our time.

Stress Management Techniques of Highly Successful People

barack obama

Leading a nation is certainly not an easy task for anyone, especially at a time when multiple crises require your attention. The former President of the United States has taken steps to reform the health system, end the American military presence in Iraq and deal with both the global financial crisis and climate change.

Her daily ritual of walking for a minute along the colonnade at the start and end of each day helped her mentally prepare for what awaited her at work and at home.

“On my way back to residence in the evening, my briefcase crammed full of papers, I used the time to clear my mind, anticipating my dinner date with Michelle and the girls, and an exuberant greeting from the dogs,” posted Obama on Instagram on November 11, 2020.

One of the biggest losses of remote work may be the contextual markers that create clear distinctions between work and play. Obama’s brief outdoor trips are a powerful reminder of their importance by providing a moment of respite and reflection.

In an interview with The Huffington Post Obama explained that his steady temper, consistent morning exercise routine, and family time also helped him keep stress at bay.

“I’m very consistent in spending time with my family,” he says. “And when you’re having dinner with your daughters – especially teenage daughters – they’ll keep you in your place and teach you something about perspective.”

Gwyneth Paltrow

The founder of Goop, whose business revolves around self-care and wellness, insists the secret to a good night’s sleep is a bath at night.

According to New York-based dermatologist Dr. Bobby Buka, our skin releases endorphins in the presence of hot water.

“I’ve always been a big bath, but this bath – it’s called The Martini – has become even more critical over the past few months,” Paltrow admitted at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The entrepreneur turned to the expertise of his acupuncturist to curate the perfect therapeutic bath, which includes chia seeds, passion flower, valerian root as well as wild-crafted frankincense and myrrh .

For Paltrow, a mother of two, her daily bathing ritual is a symbolic gesture to wash up during the day and disconnect from technology.

“I really started taking them when I was 22 and shooting Emma in London,” she explains. “I fell in love with the ritual of it – lighting a candle and having a cup of tea or a whiskey, depending on my day.”

Richard Branson

The British billionaire and co-founder of Virgin Group devotes 60 minutes of his day to his health, even if it means waking up at five or six in the morning to play tennis or kitesurf. Without this regular physical training, Branson could not perform as well as he does.

“The only reason I’m able to do everything I do and stay in control of a busy schedule without being too stressed out is because I stay in shape,” Branson says.

Research suggests that exercise makes our brains more resistant to stress and less likely to interfere with our normal brain function.

Melinda Gates

As a philanthropist, Gates knows the key to helping others is to take care of yourself first. Being aware of your personal warning signs of stress can help you manage it better.

“Sometimes I get short of breath. I start breathing right from my throat and I can really hear myself,” says Gates. starting to feel it, I know there’s been too much going on in my day.”

Like Obama, Gates doesn’t always have time to spend more than a few minutes to replenish during the day. Instead, she’ll search for her favorite meditation app — Headspace — or a breathing app and choose an option that takes about three to five minutes to bring her back into balance.

“We don’t always have 20 minutes to meditate, but I learned from a great meditation teacher that if you sit in small increments throughout the day, those times will add up like beads on a string. “, she says.

The advantage of this approach is that “at the end of the day, you have a necklace of beautiful pearls”.

Marc Benioff

An advocate for workplace mindfulness, the Salesforce CEO has had meditation rooms installed on every floor of one of the company’s newly built offices in San Francisco in a bid to cultivate more innovation. The idea was started by 30 monks who visited Benioff and commented on the amount of workplace talk.

“There’s a ‘mindfulness’ zone where employees can put their phones in a basket or whatever, and go to an area where there’s quiet,” Benioff said in 2016.

Five years later, Benioff says meditation is still a daily practice, but the CEO has also learned that balance is an important aspect of his stress management.

He explains how his morning meditation ritual helps him approach the day refreshed and open to possibility. Beyond this spiritual practice, Benioff prioritizes exercise, family time, and the demands of work.

“All of these things are important. And when I do all those things, I feel pretty good every day. And when I suddenly forget to do one of those things, I don’t,” he admits.

Mark Bertolini, former CEO of Aetna, and Arianna Huffinton, founder and CEO of Thrive Global, are among the top business leaders integrating meditation into their busy schedules.

Jeff Bezos

For the founder and executive chairman of Amazon, stress comes when we don’t act when needed. He describes it as a thought looming in the back of your mind that needs to be addressed for the stress to dissipate.

“I find out as soon as I identify it, and make the first phone call, or send the first email, or whatever we’re going to do to start resolving this situation – even if it’s not resolved. – the simple fact that we take care of it greatly reduces any stress that may arise from it,” explains Bezos.

Indra Nooyi

Growing up in a family where Nooyi and her sister role-played at the table gave the former PepsiCo CEO the confidence she needed to deal with stressful situations. Imagining herself as president as a child served as a powerful reminder in her adult years of her immense abilities.

Nooyi recited to herself, “I can do it better than anyone else, and if all else fails, they’ll come to me and say, ‘Fix it,’ because I know I’m wrong. that good.” she said Business Intern. “Remember, I could be President of India!”

warren buffet

While Buffett’s well-known public displays where he plays the ukulele are fun and entertaining, research from the National Library of Medicine indicates that leisure activities help people recover and resist daily stressors.

According to former Google career coach Jenny Blake, hobbies also help us generate ideas.

Read next: Foods that sharpen your memory and boost your cognitive performance

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