I read this wonderful article, by Travis Bradberry, that focuses on how smart people stay calm.

The number one take away for me is that 90% of top performers are skilled at managing their emotions in times of stress.  So often, I have seen that times of crisis truly gives the cream the opportunity to rise to the top.  Some of the other key take-aways for me from this article include:

  1. They appreciate what they have.  Taking a few minutes to contemplate what you are grateful for reduces your stress wich increases your effectiveness.
  2. Staying positive – During a time of stress, it is easy for people to turn negative.  Being negative makes doing the hard work necessary to complete the stressful situation more difficult.
  3. Limiting caffeine – This is a very controversial one at Whitman Business Advisors.  Our leader can drink caffeine by the boatload.  However, the article does discuss how being hyperaroused by the caffeine can make your emotions run away from you.  I will be keeping a close eye on this one.
  4. They squash negative self-talk.  This is something I have struggled and have seen many clients struggle as well.  I often see the person who has the most negative things to say about them is themselves. I think part of this is people are much more likely to “own” negative feedback than positive.
  5. They breathe – so often changing the pattern for even a few minutes can have a significant impact – for some people breathing exercise work for others taking a quick walk or grabbing some water work.

Stress is a long-term effectiveness and happiness killer.  Stress is also part of our lives so taking the time to learn methods to handle it more effectively is worth the effort.

What stress reduction techniques do you use?