High-level executives experience stress daily in dealing with their corporate responsibilities and their personal lives These stressors include the pressure of job performance, time pressures, work overload, expectations of their superiors, dealing with their managers and VP's and possible burnout. They also many times have arduous travel schedules, time away from their families, health challenges both physical and psychological. The corporate executive may begin to feel overwhelmed and sometimes anxious and depressed. There may be a concern that their overall performance is affected negatively by all the stress inherent in the work they perform. They may feel overly irritable, argumentative, hyperreactive, and have become overly self-critical. Learning to manage stress effectively is essential in achieving a healthy corporate and family life.
Positive stress management is a concept that originally was researched by Stanford psychologist Kelly McGonigal. In her studies, she reviewed how negatively stress has been viewed over the years and how this information has affected our views of what stress really is. The stress response in our bodies is originally from our ancestor the caveman. We are physiologically heard to do magnificent feats with our bodies when there is a perceived and real threat such as being chased by a saber-toothed tiger. Our bodies are flooded with hormones that cause immediate changes to enable the energy to flood the body but also to cause changes that keep us from bleeding heavily if we are hurt, to shut down the GI system so the circulation sends blood to the extremities and to the head, heart, and lungs to help us survive. The immune system is shut down so the body a perform other tasks Our pupils dilate so we can see more precisely. All his happens in a second The problem is nowadays, we are not (hopefully) being chased by a tiger. Most of the stress we experience is In our thinking and in dealing with life. Now more than ever we are also inundated with technology which constantly stimulates the nervous system.
The stress response in our body and mind is actually amazing. It is sending lots of energy into our system to enhance performance Properly managed it can become an asset rather than a liability. If it is not embraced in this fashion it can morph into debilitating chronic stress. The side effects of this could be very damaging overall. The upper-level executive can significantly be positively affected by the proper understanding and use of positive stress management techniques The utilization of these techniques can enhance performance whether it is in the board room making presentations or in achieving the balance needed in having great work experience and a successful family one as well.
The high-level executive is always faced with challenges and stress in the corporate arena and with the family. The primary step in the positive stress management strategy is to assess how the executive views his or her own habitual thinking about stress. Are the feelings and understanding based on inspiration or enhancement of performance? Or are they more related to overload, overwhelming feelings, burnout or exhaustion, depression, and anxiety? More importantly, what is the current ways of dealing with that habitual response. Are they healthy and productive or have other means of coping come into play such as over drinking, overeating, or too reliant on medications?
After developing a clear understanding of the current level of habitual stress response, a plan can then be created that teaches highly effective tools to reframe the current stressors, to utilize a variety of highly effective breathing exercises that allow in the moment a balancing of the body when stress occurs, and to utilize the new understanding of the stress response to immediately enhance one's performance in the executive arena. It truly is how we think about the stress response based on all the current research that determines how well we perform.
The stress confronting a top-level executive is significant. It sometimes can be experienced as overwhelming, affecting performance, negatively affecting relationships, negatively affecting the psychological and physiological well being and eventually leading to burnout. Developing a thorough understanding regarding the stress response in the body and adding to that applying the new knowledge from the latest research about the positive response to stress could significantly improve well being, performance and personal relationships. It can even affect long term health both mentally and physically. The concept of viewing stress as a positive experience with education and to experience transformation stress management with techniques that are powerful is an excellent means of superior performance for the high-level executive.