What You Need to Know to Create Your Personal Stress Management Plan
Why create a personalised stress management plan for yourself? And why is this important for your career?
Well here's why. From a career perspective, you want to be able to function at your peak so you can make the best impact.
Some stress is good as it helps push you out of your comfort zone to discover what else you're capable of. But too much stress and over prolonged periods can derail you.
Finding the right balance between your need for variety and challenge and for certainty and security is highly personal.
We all need some variety and challenge in order to keep learning and growing so we can achieve our potential. Too little challenge results in boredom and lack of fulfillment. Too much challenge leads to stress and anxiety.
The rapidly changing world of work is increasingly adding pressures and stresses to our daily lives. So let's focus on finding ways to better-manage stress.
A good stress management plan can help you improve your performance and wellbeing, and your future-readiness.
We’re all different and have different stress triggers, thresholds and responses.
Effective stress management requires a personalised approach. You really need to understand your own needs and what's going on for you.
Here are 3 Tips to help you to formulate your own stress management plan.
1. Recognise your own personal signs of stress
Do you know your signs of stress and your stress responses? Can you recognise those uncharacteristic changes in you which indicate that stress is taking over? When how you behave and what you say is unlike you?
If not, take time to identify and document them. They can be quite different for different people, so it’s important to know yours.
Why not create a journal and start documenting them so that you can be more conscious of them. Finish these statements to help you get started:
I know I’m stressed when...
When I’m under stress I’m most likely to respond by...
I know I'm fully in the grip of stress when....
2. Know your stress triggers
Events and situations affect people differently. What’s stressful and energy-draining for one person can be exciting and energising for another.
Take time to step back from your daily busyness and routine to identify what’s causing you stress and why.
When you recognise the signs of stress take time out to identify the problem. What is causing you stress right now? What are your personal stress triggers?
Take some time to monitor the things that set you off and get to know your everyday stress triggers.
Knowing these things shines a light on the problem. You can then put your problem-solving hat on and get back in control by taking action to manage the situation. So you no longer feel overwhelmed and powerless to do something about it.
3. Get some perspective on your stress situation.
Part 1 of this series of articles covered how stress can disempower you - through feelings of overwhelm, inability to think straight and a feeling of helplessness to do something about it.
Stress is a real problem in today's fast-paced world. The RMIT Activator Resilience and Wellbeing Report, October 2017, found that:
Practitioners of therapeutic services are reporting that more and more people are presenting with debilitating feelings of despondency. ......many of us now struggle with a perceived inability to have any control over the events unravelling around us...... And these feelings permeate everything we do.
While some signs of stress are easily recognised, others are less obvious and not necessarily associated with stress. And it's easy to overlook them when you're feeling vulnerable and at your breaking point.
It's important to take some time to try to get a different perspective on the situation.
Overcome the sense of despondency
The main thing to remember when stress has a grip on you is that you’re feeling like this because stress is derailing you. But there are always things you can do to improve either the situation, or your response.
Get back some sense of control of the situation
Do this by:
- Recognising when stress is behind the signs and symptoms
- Know your triggers so you can do something about them
- Take time to objectively assess the situation
- Identify the problem and what you can change
- List possible solutions
- List the Pros & Cons of each
- Select the best solution
- Apply, evaluate and adjust your approach to get more in control
You do have the power to do something about it. You don't have to end up feeling like a victim to stress.
This does take some time and effort, but it's worth it in the longer-run. Here are some ways of making the task easier.
It's actually fairly easy to predict and identify stressors and the most effective ways to manage them by applying type theory, using the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). Each of the sixteen personality types have distinct stress profiles. So do top professions. This makes it easier to predict your stress indicators and responses. And to use this to identify the most effective ways of managing stress for you.
Contact me if you want to find out how you can fast-track your own Personal Stress Management Plan using the MBTI.
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