You have probably heard people use the analogy about the frog being slowly cooked to illustrate various situations. The premise is that if you plunge a
frog into a pot of boiling water, it will immediately jump out. But if you put the frog into a pot of cold water, and then slowly bring the water to
boil, the frog doesn't realise what's happening before it is too late and is eventually cooked to death. A slow and miserable process!
Not a pleasant thought (the science does not hold up apparently) however the premise does resonate with me and is a great analogy for work and how we can
end up close to burn out without realizing what is happening.
It speaks volumes about how humans have learned to accept and become conditioned to experiencing increasing levels of stress over time, to the point where
it is detrimental to our health and wellbeing.
And with absenteeism and loss of productivity related to stress costing employers 10 billion dollars per annum developing skills for managing stress levels
should be on top of a leader’s priority list.
So, as a leader in your business, what is it that you can you do? Start with self! If you can identify and reduce your own stress responses this will have
a flow on impact to those around you.
Here are a few ideas from Dr. Helena Popovic that she presents in a clever, easy to remember way:
L - Label things differently (i.e. focus on positive not negative)
E - Evaluate if something really matters (get perspective)
S - Sleep (fatigue is one of the biggest impacts on our mental clarity)
S - Share it with a mate (experience being connected)
S - Spend time in nature
T - Thank people (expressing gratitude supports greater wellbeing)
R - Read Books (self help – reading or coaching)
E - Exercise (good for the mind and the body)
S - Still Your Mind (many are practicing mindfulness techniques)
S - Stay in The Present (it is the only place you can make a difference)
7 DAY CHALLENGE: Give it a try - becoming aware of the signs of stress is the key to knowing when to jump out of the water! To turn down
the heat in your own pot, pick a few ideas from this list, try them out for a week.
Keep a journal to reflect on what is happening and what changes you notice.
Journaling is a proven way to increase well being – check out the Five Minute Journal
Good luck getting out of the pot and feeling Less Stress!