If you are like most people, relaxation strategies are your “go-to” method for managing stress at work. Maybe you take a quick walk outside, listen to your favourite music or stop to chat with a co-worker about a non-work related subject.
These are all examples of using relaxation to manage stress. But interestingly, there might be a better way, and if you are leading a team, the below will help you to manage stress at your organisation during these challenging times.
UNDERSTAND YOUR AND YOUR TEAM’S STRENGTHS
Of course one size doesn’t fit all so It is crucial that you understand yours and your team’s strengths to better understand what you enjoy.
If you understand what you enjoy most, there is no doubt that by practicing more of it, your happiness and energy levels will increase, hence your stress will be reduced.
I encourage you and your team to take this free test ( multiple languages offered) so you can each apply your strengths in every are of your life, including at work.
Once you know your strengths, it is important to put them into action. As a leader you need to be fair treating everyone equally but also understand each individual of your team to motivate and engage them at work.
However, as a general note, learning is one of those things you can offer to anyone ( adapt to heir preferences and strengths) and will help to reduce stress while getting better prepared to overcome this situation even stronger.
THE POWER OF LEARNING SOMETHING NEW
Learning something new at work serves as a stress buffer, whereas relaxation strategies had no effect. In other words, doing something active (engaging yourself with learning) rather than passive (distracting yourself by relaxation) is crucial.
Learning something new at work is not only a great stress buffer but it also was useful in managing negative emotions at work (e.g., anxiety, disappointment, and frustration). Taking time to relax at work serves less as a buffer for negative emotions.
Learning new things is a resource-builder. It builds your internal capacity. Relaxation approaches take a different avenue – they attempt to dampen your stress and your negative emotions. Lowering your work demands is useful at times such as when you have “bitten off more than you can chew.” But, lowering your work pressures or demands should not be viewed as your default approach to turn to.
It is “doing more” (learning) and not “doing less” (relaxing) that is the key.
3 WAYS TO USE CHARACTER STRENGTHS TO MANAGE STRESS
These findings weave in cleanly with the science of character strengths and its best practices. It is important to build internal capacity to manage stress. Character strengths are some of our most important internal capacities!
Here are some practical ways to make the connection between learning and with you character strengths:
1.) Build your general capacity of resources by becoming more aware of your signature strengths – those qualities most energizing and essential to who you are. Studies show that using character strengths at work builds your coping, manages work stress, and improves work productivity.
2.) You might consider doing more learning at work. This can help you keep in the flow of work while simultaneously allowing your mind to take a break and shift gears. This flow might look something like this: You turn from an intense work project over to learning something new online from a book or a blog and then you return from that learning to learning on your work project. This approach keeps the stream of learning going, unlike the more jarring approach of shifting from a work project to a relaxation strategy that is trying to calm you and then back to the more intense work project.
3.) The activity of learning at work can also be interpersonal. What might you be able to learn from others? New skills for your job? New ways to approach a task? What type of things your team can teach each other? What skills do you think you or your team need to develop during these times of uncertainty to be better prepared for the new future?
If you have found success in managing your stress by taking breaks to walk outside in nature, then there’s no reason to not continue to do that. At the same time, you might experiment with the findings explained here and depending on your survey results, you can have yet another approach for you and your team ‘s stress management toolbox.
I wish you the best .
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