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How to decrease your stress at work

My client Toby (not his real name) is feeling stressed out!


Well, his six-person team is all fairly new to his organization.

This means that Toby spends a lot of his time and energy coaching and developing his people. This leaves little time during the day for him to execute his own deliverables.

Plus, Toby’s manager is someone who has very high expectations.

These expectations add to Toby’s stress level.

In my coaching conversation with Toby, we started discussing mindset and how it might be adding to his stress.

For all of us, our mindset is comprised of our thoughts and beliefs.

So, Toby and I started to discuss his thoughts. I asked him to share with me the most common thoughts he has every morning when starting his workday.

These thoughts include:

  • Work is always so stressful.
  • I have too much on my plate, and I’m going to be overwhelmed again today.
  • Every day, something goes wrong. I wonder what will go wrong today.

After hearing these thoughts, I told Toby that I was not surprised that he was feeling overwhelmed all the time.

You see, your mindset can definitely impact your stress levels and even your confidence.

We then set out to develop three new thoughts that would allow Toby to feel more positive and centred every day.

Toby came up with the following thoughts:

  • I love being organized. I have a great plan for today. I feel in control.
  • I am lucky to have such a great team. They are developing more and more each day.
  • I am a very resilient person and can handle any challenges that may arise today.

Toby’s initial mindset and beliefs are fairly common for busy leaders. I chat with leaders daily who lack confidence or constantly have negative thoughts that increase their stress levels.

Since negative thoughts add to your stress level, I’d like to suggest that you consciously replace them with more positive ones.

Since you set the tone as a leader, you need to be putting out some positive energy at work. That is part of your job.

After all, no one wants to work for a negative boss! Please don’t be THAT person!!

So, think about the following things:

  • What are the top three negative thoughts that you are having these days?
  • How do these thoughts impact you?
  • What positive thoughts can you leverage instead?

Vanessa Judelman

Vanessa Judelman is an author, coach, and sought-after leadership expert. Over the past 20 years, she has created a proven formula to develop results-oriented leaders who feel empowered and confident in their job. Vanessa is the author of Mastering Leadership: What It Takes to Lead in Today’s Fast-Paced World. Order your copy here.

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