Stress Less!

90% of top performers are skilled at managing stress.

On a scale of 1-5 (5=great/1=poor) how do you rate your ability to manage stress?

Performance peaks under moderate levels of stress and as long as the stress is not prolonged, it is harmless, perhaps even a bit helpful. Our brains are wired to need stress. Moderate levels of stress cause us to take action.

Research from the University of California, Berkeley, reveals an upside to experiencing “moderate and intermittent” stress. The onset of stress entices the brain into growing new cells responsible for improved memory. And intermittent stress keeps the brain more alert, and we perform better when we are alert.

But the research also reinforces how important it is to keep stress under control. As soon as the stress continues beyond a few moments into a prolonged state, it suppresses the brain’s ability to develop new cells and then begins to wreak havoc.

The down side, prolonged stress causes degeneration in the area of the brain responsible for self-control. In addition, prolonged stress will decrease your cognitive performance and increase your risk of heart disease, depression, and obesity.

Stress can be managed through focus. “Try these 10 Strategies.”

1. Practice Gratitude

Research conducted at the University of California, Davis found that people who worked daily to cultivate an attitude of gratitude experienced improved mood, energy, and physical well-being. Develop an attitude of gratitude, it changes your perspective and will manage your stress levels.

2. Focus on Facts
Assumptions are guesses, possibilities. They may seem real, (and even become real in your mind) but they’re not always accurate. The more time you spend worrying about them, the less time you’ll spend focusing on taking action that will calm you down and keep your stress under control. Calm people focus on facts not “possibilities/guesses.” Stay grounded in reality and take action based upon the facts. You can always make adjustments.

3. Stay Positive
When things are going poorly, and your mind is flooded with negative thoughts, being positive in the midst of difficultly can be a challenge. Any positive thought will do to refocus your attention. Optimism is a learned behavior, so when your mind is flooded with negative thoughts you need to take charge, refocus, and think about or do something to see the positive side of the issue.

Here is a link to the full details of the 10 practical strategies top performers use to keep stress moderate and intermittent.

Practice Gratitude, Focus on Facts, Stay Positive, Unplug, Never Say Never, Manage Caffeine, Manage Sleep, Meet Less, Breath, and Ask for Input.

Practice these 10 Strategies and see your performance improve and your stress more under control.