How To Leverage Stress And Effectively Lead – Episode 084

LFL 84 | Leverage Stress

Stress is different from encountering challenges because we need challenges to be better. How do we recognize stress? How do we navigate it? Most importantly, how do we leverage it? Patrick Veroneau talks about identifying our ability to leverage stress that is very critical to where we end up with this recent pandemic crisis. This episode will provide deep and valuable insights into the origin of stress and the activities to gain strength from our experiences.

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How To Leverage Stress And Effectively Lead

Stress Has Its Origin In A Perceived Lack Of Control. This Episode Helps To Regain Control.

In this episode, we’re going to talk about leveraging stress and leadership, and how the two things are very much intertwined. What I’m going to present to you is a workshop or a webinar that I’ve conducted a few times for some of my clients, as well as some organizations out there on how we leverage and navigate stress. We need to be able to do that. These are stressful times. There’s no doubt about it, but our ability to understand physically, psychologically and emotionally where stress comes from and how to identify it and then the tools that we can use to manage or navigate stress are going to be so important to us.

I will tell you through my own experiences in many of the episodes, the challenges that we’re going through now. How we come out of this on the other end will be a result of how we deal with this going into it, that there are things that can be positive that will come from this. That’s not to say that there aren’t going to be struggles and challenges. I don’t deny that. We’re all dealing with those, but there is ability here to leverage the stress and challenges that we have. When we do that, that is about leadership. Our actions inspiring others will do that. Let’s get into it.

I’m here to present a very timely webinar on stress management. The title of it here is How to Effectively Navigate Stress in Uncertain Times, which with things that are going on in your own communities around the world, is a time where we all need to understand how we first recognize the origins and the impact that stress has on us, but also the strategies for effectively addressing stress. A lot of the things that I’m going to talk about will be topics that I’ve discussed on the podcast that I run. I also have a company called Emery Leadership Group, where I focus on leadership development, team development, and individual development. It’s around what I would term as leadership re-imagined. It’s how we look at leadership in a much different way.

This stress management webinar that we’re going to talk about is a leadership webinar. The reason for that is our ability to navigate stress, either our own or to help others is inspiring. It’s about actions that inspire. Here’s some of my background. My Master’s is in Organizational Leadership. I established my business in 2008, which was at a time when there was a financial crisis. Certainly, I’m familiar with stress in that regard. The focus of my work is in a few different areas. One is emotional intelligence. One is personality, which I use DISC for that. Lastly, it’s around influence and bias research. A lot of the work that I do, especially in the influence side, is from work that I had been involved with in trainings through a gentleman named Dr. Robert Cialdini.

A quote that I will often use is by John Quincy Adams, “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” Even though this is about stress management, it is a leadership webinar as well because our actions and how we are able to navigate stress has the ability to inspire those around us, whether they’re employees, family members, friends or community members. We do have the ability to impact on a very high level here. The objectives of this webinar are a few things. One is to explore the biological, psychological and social aspects of the human stress response.

I’ve underlined that because this is a response. How we choose to deal with the stresses in our lives is our response. It impacts us physically, emotionally, spiritually and intellectually. We’ll understand different coping strategies that can help us. Lastly, we’ll talk about a model that I created called POWER. It’s based on a lot of research that was done by a number of different researchers. One of them being a gentleman named Shawn Achor out of Harvard University, who created what was called the 21-Day Happiness Challenge. We’ll talk about how those activities can impact your ability to deal with stress.

Coping is the day-to-day ability to control emotions, perceive reality, and think rationally in the ability to solve problems. Click To Tweet

The Human Stress Response

When we talk about the origins of stress, first, many of us are familiar with the CDC. If we weren’t before, we are now, the Center for Disease Control. They have a definition of stress, which is, “Harmful physical and psychological responses when job requirements don’t match, capabilities, resources or the needs of the worker.” All of those, with many people having to work remotely now are feeling those. Even if you’re not working remotely, you’re still feeling, especially if you’re in retail places that are necessities. There is a stress that comes with that, “Am I going to catch the virus that’s going around by being in that much contact with other individuals?”

What’s important here to recognize is this is not to be confused with challenges because we need challenges. Challenges can be very positive. They force us to move forward. The goal as I look at this is, “Are there ways that we can take some of the things that we perceive as stresses and create and turn them into challenges?” The next is, “How stressed are we?” The American Psychological Association survey done in 2014 said, “Stress in America: Paying with our Health.” It looked at four different areas: work, money, family and health. We’re dealing with all of those in terms of stress. This was a little over 3,000 individuals. What they found was that 60% of those that were surveyed considered stress in work to be significant. Also, 64% said financial stress was to be significant.

If you were to take that in 2020, I’m sure these numbers would be much higher. What’s important to recognize here is that emotional support mattered. We talked so much about the importance or the need for social distancing. While that might be good for our physical health, it is detrimental to every other type of health that we have, emotional, spiritual, and intellectual. This is an example of that. When these individuals were surveyed, without support, 43% said that their stress had increased over the year before. Also, 43% said that they had experienced depression as a result of that lack of support. Whereas those that did have support, only 26% said that it had increased over the previous year and 32% had experienced depression over the last year. Again, high numbers, but we can see that emotional support matters.

What are the causes of stress? I have causes of stress response and perceived lack of control. When we’re talking about stress, stress is the result of a lack of control. If I’m stressed financially, it’s because either I’m not making enough money or too much money is going out. If I’m stressed about work, there’s a piece of my job that I don’t control. Either maybe I’ve got a manager that is difficult right now or I’m in a role that I don’t feel like I’ve got control over my career. If we pull this thing back, we can find that our stress, generally, the root cause of it comes from a lack of control. There are two kinds that we’ll talk about.

One is external causes, family, work, economic, school, major life events, unforeseen events, and also isolation. We talk about social distancing being important and that social distancing can be a very high reason for our level of stress. We talk about internal causes or the other cause for stress here, worry, fear, attitudes, and unrealistic expectations. Maybe it’s past experiences or histories that we’ve had. When we look at signs and symptoms of stress, we can see right across the board. Whether it’s cognitive, behavioral, emotional, or physiological, it impacts every aspect of those. Cognitive is decreased concentration and memory.

Our ability maybe even to do very rudimentary tasks are impacted when we feel like we’re in stressful situations. Behaviorally, it can increase irritability and cause withdrawal and violence. Emotionally, it can create fear, anxiety, depression, and fatigue. Physiologically, we know there are so many studies out there that talk about the negative impact that stress can have here, increased blood pressure, increased heart rates, respirations, somatic sleeping issues, and also decreased immune responses, common stress associated diseases. This isn’t to say that these diseases the origin starts out primarily in stress. It’s simply to say that stress has been identified as a component of each one of these that is listed here.

Next, we talk about the effects of a wandering mind. This was done by Harvard researchers: Matt Killingsworth and Dan Gilbert. It was published in Science of 2010. The title of this was A Wandering Mind is an Unhappy Mind. What they did was they sampled 2,250 adults and it was done on their iPhones. Randomly throughout the day, they would get a text. When they received that text, what they had to do was answer these three questions, “How are you feeling right now? What are you doing right now? Are you thinking about something other than what you are currently doing?” What they found was that in almost 47% of the cases, there was mind-wandering.

LFL 84 | Leverage Stress

Leverage Stress: We all have equal ability to resourcefulness. Nobody can take that away from us except for ourselves.

 

More importantly, what they found was that people tended to be considerably less happy when their minds were wandering. Now, we are in one of those places that our minds can wander often if we don’t have routines or structure in our day. There are many people that are now working from home and environments where there isn’t structure. This could be either I’m working with a group of people that are in our house together or maybe I’m an individual. I live by myself and this is creating a real problem for me as well to be able to set up a routine or structure. This can have very damaging effects on us because what we tend to do is if we don’t have structure, our mind can easily wander.

When we think about this in terms of thinking traps, I’m listing three here. One is this idea of the victim, “Other people or circumstances are the sole cause of my setbacks or problems.” We look to other people to blame our current condition on what happened somewhere else. In each one of these, we can go down a very dark road. The next one is catastrophizing, which is around ruminating about irrational worst-case outcomes of a situation. We’re in that where many people can look and say, “It seems like all the news is about how many people are dying,” without looking in terms of saying, “Not that it’s not a serious situation we’re in, but the great majority of individuals will get well.” Even financially or whatever other struggle that we’re dealing with, eventually, we will come out of this.

The next one is helplessness. Negative events are going to impact all areas of your life and you have no control, so back to this lack of control in terms of stress. If we were to go back around a wandering mind, we can think, “If I have too much time to think about these things, it can get very unhealthy.” We’ll look at this from two different approaches in terms of positive coping, which to me is around responding, and negative coping, which is around reacting. The positive helps us to be able to resolve stress or become resilient. The negative coping, even though it might feel good in the moment, in the long-term, it is more damaging to us. We’ll explore both of those.

First, activities that promote positive coping. One is realistic expectations. Set realistic goals or expectations for your day. Remain positive while planning for challenges. I have here Sully in US Air. If people remember Sully from US Air puts his plane down in the Hudson River and people ask him, “How could you do that?” He said, “It was something that we plan for.” He had practiced that many times, not necessarily landing in the Hudson, but similar type of situations. Even though the expectation is for a positive situation, it’s preparing for, “What am I going to do if things get stressful? How am I going to deal with this?” Setting realistic expectations may involve, “I have to work from home for a full day today, knowing that this is not going to be like when I’m in the office. I need to give myself some cushion here to understand that this will not look the same as when I’m in an office.”

Next is about routine. Maintain a schedule. It’s important in terms of keeping a schedule, get dressed, take a shower and wear the clothes that you would normally wear if you go out to work. Lastly I’ve got listed here is limit news streaming. Pick only certain times in the day that you’ll check the news. Maybe it’s for ten minutes in the morning and ten minutes at the end of the day. Do not leave a TV on streaming because when we do that, all it’s doing is feeding negative information. We don’t need to know what’s going on every minute of every hour on the news because I guarantee you, there aren’t going to be many positive stories that are going to be uplifting. It’s simply going to put you into a downward spiral.

The next is around reframing. Change the way we look at things, “How will I get stronger from this?” Ask yourself better questions. Journaling can be a powerful one in terms of helping us to process information. Writing them down, but also on a positive note. The next one here is around nutrition and hydration. This was one that was given to me by one of the fitness trainers that I interviewed on my show. He talked about generally, we don’t get enough water. His calculation that he used was to say that we should multiply our body weight by 0.6. That will give us the number of ounces. If I weigh 200 pounds, then what that’s going to equate to is about 120 ounces of water that I need to drink in a day. It’s almost a gallon. The importance of that is that when we’re bored or we don’t have structure, do we look to eating? I know I’m guilty of that. I’ve seen it in our household that we eat because it’s there. It’s something to do. If we’re drinking more water, it fills up our stomach and makes us less hungry as well.

Secondly, limit the number of processed foods. Try and have fresh fruits, vegetables, or small things that you can snack on if you’re going to. The next is around relaxation. Learn relaxation techniques. Take time out. There are many different apps out there for mindfulness that are important. I’ve got here that says, “Find your happy place.” What I mean by that is, as part of your routine or day, I know it can be difficult for many of us, but find a place in your house that is not about work. Try and isolate what you do for work and that routine to a certain part of the house, apartment, or wherever you live. What’s important is, if I want to sit on the couch where the television set or the living room is, then I want that time to be about relaxation. I don’t want my mind to confuse the two of, “I work in this space, which is stressful. I come to relax and what has become acquainted with me to a place of stress.”

Admit when things are a struggle. Nobody has the answers all the time. Click To Tweet

Lastly, discuss the problem. Utilize existing social supports to problem-solve. Talk to people, whether it’s FaceTime, Zoom, Skype, social distance walking, whatever it might be, find time in your day. I don’t care how much of an introvert you are that we need each other. Isolation is damaging to us. Find regular check-in times that we can have with people to be able to address this. The next part is about avoiding negative coping. These are the reactionary ways that we cope, avoiding and withdrawal. We run that risk when we talk about social distancing. If we’re afraid to be around other people, this works against us on every other aspect of our health.

Negative attitudes, especially if you were in a house with other people, it creates a contagion that my negative attitude will bleed out to other people and that will create negative attitudes in them. Before we know it, in a sense, we’re not flattening the curve in our own house as it relates to negative attitudes. Anger outbursts, they feel good in the moment. They don’t work well long-term. Alcohol and drugs act as depressants. Negative self-talk, it’s never going to get better when we fall into that trap. This is part of that wandering mind. Resentment, “It’s somebody else’s fault that I’m in this situation.” Lastly, violence. That coping mechanism becomes such an extreme that we lash out at people violently.

Coping Strategies

When we look at coping and resilience, we can think of this in two different ways. To me, the coping is the day-to-day, ability to control emotions, perceive reality, think rationally, and problem-solve. Those are our day-to-days. I might be able to problem-solve for three days in a row or think rationally and then all of a sudden, it becomes too much for me. On day four, I can’t do this anymore. This is where resilience takes over. This is the long-term ability for us to bounce back and a positive coping capacity to deal with this. What does it do? It provides resistance to negative events. The more resilient we can be and the more we can train for this, which we can, the more we’re able to deal with this long-term.

When we look at this, I have here resourcefulness. We can think of two different things, resources and resourcefulness. We are always going to lack resources. “I don’t have enough time, money, or the right space. I’m too tall or too short. I don’t have enough here. I’ve got too much here.” I don’t care what it is. We will all lack resources. What we all have the equal ability to leverage is resourcefulness. That is around, “How am I going to deal with this? If I don’t have enough money, what can I do? What things can I control?” That’s where we need to come back to. That’s the resourcefulness piece of it. We all have equal ability to resourcefulness. Nobody can take that away from us except for ourselves.

When we look at some of the resilience builders, I’ve got some listed here. Positive role models, humor, optimism and expectancy, religion and spirituality, social support, thought record, and lastly, what I’ll talk about in a little more detail is the POWER Journal. When we talk about positive role models, why is that important? First, they create just as we talked about a negative contagion, positive role models create a positive contagion through their attitudes. Maybe they’re optimists. We’re around people that are uplifting. This doesn’t mean that somebody is a Pollyanna or they never look at the downside, but they’re people that generally are able to roll through resistance.

Those are people we want to try and attach ourselves to in many ways. People that have high values or have values that are important, empathy, generosity, or competitive here. People that are saying, “I’m going to find a way through this. I’m not going to let this thing dictate my life.” You want to be around those people because they can be inspiring. Skills, people that are good at problem-solving. There might be people that are out there that are good to bounce questions off, challenges that you’re dealing with, “How would they deal with this?” Lastly, behaviors. I want to surround myself with people that are good listeners and encouraging in terms of their behaviors. How important that is.

The next is around optimism and expectancy, positive beliefs. There’s a cognitive reframing that we’ll talk about called the thought record, and our ability to believe that there’s a meaningful cause. What we’re going through right now, there’s something that will be positive that will come from this. This is not to say that you’re a Pollyanna because the green triangle with the X in it speaks to the other aspect of this, which we need to balance. It is important to acknowledge relevant negative factor. I believe this is a leadership webinar. If you have people that report to you, family members and friends around you, our ability to say, “I’m struggling, scared or sad,” our ability to put ourselves in places that we create ourselves intentionally or vulnerable spaces is important.

LFL 84 | Leverage Stress

Leverage Stress: Faith and hope have a strong impact. They are associated with both psychological and physical wellbeing guards against despair.

 

With that said, if I’m a leader or if I’m following somebody that’s leading our group, that’s not to say that I want that person every day coming in, saying, “I’m struggling and scared again now. I don’t know where we’re going now.” That’s not leadership. What I do want is I want that person to be able to admit when things are a struggle. We know, through work that I do, is that people trust people that are real and transparent. Nobody has the answers all the time. If I’m able to say that like, “I’m struggling right now. I don’t have an answer for this,” it provides more trust in somebody else. It doesn’t negate my ability to lead. It’s about being real because that person probably knows, “I don’t know where we’re going, but I don’t give up on that. I will find a way through this. That’s what I’m working toward.”

There’s a huge difference there, but we need to say it when we’re struggling. If you have kids, they need to see it because it gives them the ability to be more open about how they’re feeling. If we stuff it inside the whole time and do the, “I’m a leader, nothing bothers me,” you will lose trust in individuals because they won’t feel as though when they’re struggling, they can come to you. That’s a fact. The humor is next. It’s important here. There’s so much research around the many different areas that humor helps us when it’s about stress, physical healing, or emotional healing. There are so many different ways we can do it, movies, books, jokes, or gifts, we need to laugh at ourselves in situations because it helps us to get through them. However you need to do that, find a way to have humor inserted into your daily activities.

Next is around religion and spirituality. This is not specific to any one religion or spirituality. It’s simply to say that we know through research, there is a strong impact here or it’s associated with both psychological and physical well-being. It guards against despair. To me, this is where faith and hope come into play. I once heard somebody say, “If you feed your faith, your fears will starve.” In my own life, I would agree with that. I’ve experienced that myself. It provides social support around belongingness. It also provides positive role models. Lastly, it provides a positive mission. This is about being for others. Never do we need the idea of being for others more than we need it right now.

Next, we’ll talk about it from a standpoint of social support. There’s so much out there in regards to belongingness research. Social support has a profound effect on life expectancy. We know that isolation and poor social support are associated with poor stress response. They create more despair. Patients have better outcomes with a strong social network. Lastly, I’ve got few hardy individuals go it alone and eventually will perish. I truly believe that. We can’t do this on our own. We are pack animals. The research backs this up that if more than 10,000 years ago you were voted outside of a tribe, that was a death sentence. You couldn’t do it on your own. I would argue that the same thing happens now when we’re isolated from groups or each other, that there’s a different death that we might die, but it is still a death.

Lastly, a lot of my work is around this idea of self-made. There is no such thing as self-made. It’s a myth. You cannot be self-made because self-made would mean, “I make the roads that I drive on. I make the car that I drive in. I make the computer that I use. I created the lights that I work under, the roof that’s over my head.” We need other people. We need each other. With that said, what we can be is self-motivated. That’s a difference and we all have that ability. None of us are self-made. That’s more damaging than it’s helpful. Rather than think of it as self-made, think of it as self-motivating. That’s what we can be.

The next is around cognitive behavioral therapy. I’ve brought in one component to this, which is called the thought record exercise. This is about how we take a situation that might be catastrophizing and turn it into a rational response. This is about challenging our thoughts in helpful, realistic, and balanced ways. Take whatever that thought is that you might have and then say, “What’s the evidence that this automatic thought is true or untrue?” I would argue, do it for both. Next, “What’s the worst, best and most realistic thing that could happen?” That helps us to understand what’s the best case, worst case and the reality of this.

Next is, “Can I live through this?” As dire as things seem, you can live through this. The majority of people will live through this. What’s the bigger picture? Next, “Am I thinking in all-or-nothing terms? What can I do to solve the problem? How can I help myself deal with this?” We’ll talk about one exercise that might help in terms of setting up an inventory. Next is, “What difference will this make in 2 weeks or 10 years?” You can change the days there. You can say in 4 weeks, 2 months, 5 years, whatever that might be, but challenge yourself that way.

We need to be able to laugh at ourselves in difficult situations because it helps us get through them. Click To Tweet

Power Model

Next is the POWER Journal that I’m going to talk about. The POWER Journal is based on a lot of different research around both happiness and well-being. One of the things that I’m going to focus here on is a model that I put together called POWER, which is an acronym. It talks about five different behaviors that if we can implement these on a daily basis, we know the research has demonstrated that these five types of activities create more happiness and well-being in our lives. The first one is around Praise, if you can start your day out in the morning, thinking of three different things that you’re grateful for. Although this is very limited here, the POWER Journal that I’ve created is available to anybody for free. There’s no call to action after this. You won’t be asked to buy anything or join any other groups. It’s a ten-page journal that I had developed to help many of my clients be able to, on a more regular basis, build their own resistance.

Praise, the first one, is about gratitude. What are three things you can be grateful for? I would challenge you to think of three things differently each day. Also, I would ask you to think about the challenges that you’re faced with. Find a way to be grateful for those, “This challenge that I’m currently faced with, I’m grateful for because what it’s going to do is create this event or build up this skill in me because of this challenge.” The next is around Others. How can I make an impact for somebody else now? We’re so challenged with social distancing. This is so important.

From a leadership perspective, it’s about being for others. How can we do something for somebody else? You might know people that are working from home but they also live by themselves. That can be an immense struggle and burden on individuals. Find ways to reach out to those people around you to see how they are doing and what they need. Maybe setting up FaceTime with them to be able talk to them to see how they’re doing. We need that. What that creates inside of us when we do it for others is it increases our own feeling of self-worth. That’s where a lot of this research comes from.

Next is around Writing. I had mentioned around journaling. In the research that was done, people only had to write for two minutes a day. Generally, what you do is at the end of the day, write 2 to 3 sentences of what went well for the day. What you do if you think about starting out your day being grateful for three different things and end your day in a place of what you are grateful for, for the day. You have to force yourself maybe at times to think about, “What did go well today?” For the littlest things, “We didn’t have an argument in the house today. Everybody worked together today.” Whatever that might be, force yourself to write 2 to 3 sentences about what went well for the day. The reason for that is that we bookend our day. We start out in a positive place and we end in a positive place.

Oftentimes, the way we are wired is, if we’re going to bed, we think about either what we didn’t get done today or dread what’s coming tomorrow. If we think about this from a standpoint of going to sleep and the importance of restorative sleep, it works against us. If we go to bed in a negative state, we probably don’t sleep as well, which impacts our ability to create restorative sleep. Next is around Exercise. A lot of the research in the study that was done by Shawn Achor, they only had to do ten minutes of exercise each day. That’s a walk around the block. Whatever it might be, but just getting that physical time. We need that.

Some of the research that I use is around studies that were done with patients that had been diagnosed with major depressive episodes. What they found was in some of these studies, and I’ve got them referenced in the journal itself, as little as 30 minutes a day, 3 days a week. What they found was patients that had had major depressive episodes that were clinically diagnosed that after ten months of this study, they tended to present better than those patients that were on either an antidepressant or were on antidepressant and exercise at the same time. Exercise by itself in several of these studies proved to be best. That’s not to say that if you’re on antidepressant, you stop it and start working out 3 days a week for 30 minutes, but it’s simply to suggest that there is an enormous amount of research in regards to the importance that exercise has. There are multiple ways that we can exercise. It’s not all about running or cycling. You need to find what works for you.

Lastly is around Relaxation. This is two minutes of quiet time. This could be just for two minutes, practicing your square breathing, four seconds in hold, four seconds out and then you repeat. Doing that for two minutes has been proven to reduce stress and anxiety in individuals. These five things that I’ve talked about here, I’ve turned it into an acronym called POWER. Praise is around gratitude, Others is around doing stuff for other people, Writing is about journaling, E is for Exercise and R is Relaxation. This is mirrored off of a lot of work that was done through a number of different researchers, but also through a study that Shawn Achor did called the 21-Day Happiness Challenge. As part of the journal that I’ve created, at the end of this is a tracker here. You have a three-month tracker, where on a daily basis, you check off, “What did I do? Did I do my praise for today? Did I do something for somebody else? Did I write today? Did I get my exercise? Did I find the time to relax?” Those things are so important. It’s part routine, but these are the most impactful activities that have been proven to help both our well-being and happiness. If you go to EmeryLeadershipGroup.com, that’s where you can go on and get that free PDF digital copy of it.

LFL 84 | Leverage Stress

Leverage Stress: There are different behaviors that if we can implement on a daily basis. Research has demonstrated that these create more happiness and wellbeing in our lives.

 

Next, we’ll talk about this last learning exercise. What you want to do is take any source of stress that you might have and conduct an inventory of coping strategies that you use now or have used in the past and include the negative strategies as well. List your strengths and factors that may enhance your resilience. We’re taking an inventory here. On step four of this, while you’re considering these, develop a personalized stress management plan to enhance both your coping and resilience. If you remember, we talked about Sully from US Air. This to me is like the Sully US Air learning exercise. What I’m doing is I’m looking at the areas that I know are going to create stress for me throughout the day. These are the things that generally create stress where I am and here is a plan that I’m going to follow that’s going to help me address these. When we do that, we’re going to be in a better place.

Before I move on to closing this out, I want to mention one thing here, which is around the jack pine cone and how this can inspire us. The seeds in the jack pine cone don’t release until they’ve experienced either extreme heat on their own, which would be very high heat, or it’s generally a forest fire. Once that occurs, the seed that is in this pinecone is able to be released because it gets so hot that the resin melts away and opens up or it liquefies. I believe that many are experiencing what feels like a catastrophic fire. If we think of it in this way, there are many opportunities and chances for us to be opened up in ways that we never would have been opened up if it wasn’t for the situation that we’re in. I would challenge you to think about it this way that you look at it in terms of, “What opportunities are going to open up for me because of this?” It’s ones that you will create. They won’t show up without you exploring and looking for this. We need to do that.

To review this, stress is a part of everyday life. It’s a perceived lack of control. It can promote growth and competency. If unrelenting and overwhelming, it can cause adverse effects. Negative coping causes additional problems. When we look at this in terms of positive coping, what does it do? It increases our resilience while diminishing the adverse effects of stress. It promotes physical, emotional, spiritual, and intellectual health. What I’ve done throughout this is provide a number of different strategies and activities that you can take. We are all different. What is going to work for one person isn’t going to work for somebody else, but there is something here for everybody and it is all based on research.

When we review these, set realistic goals, exercise regularly, eat healthy, get adequate sleep, maintain a work-leisure balance, create positive reframing and optimism, enhance your social support, and practice using this POWER Journal. With that said, we’re all in this together. This is about being for others. Going back to the initial quote from John Quincy Adams, “If your actions inspire somebody to do more, dream more, learn more, or become more, you are a leader.” There’s nothing in there about a title. Our ability to navigate stress and help others to navigate their stress are actions that will be inspiring. We all have that ability and responsibility to do that. I wish all of you the best as you take this challenge on.

I hope you found this episode beneficial to wherever you are. If you know somebody you think might be able to benefit from this as well, I would ask that you forward it onto them. I’m going to ask that if you haven’t subscribed yet that you do that. It would mean the world to me. It would help me to continue to get this message out there, is if you found this valuable, leave a rating or a comment in terms of this or any other episode. To me, this is about two things. One is leading like no other. It’s also helping us all to realize that we all have the ability to rise above our best. When we do that and when we’re there for each other, we will leverage the stress and situation that we’re under and we’ll be better because of it. Until our next episode, I wish you all the best and peace.

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