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Stress Management and Leadership

There are illnesses that are characterized by a total lack of stress. These rare cases are hazardous for the survival and well-being of individuals and organizations alike. It is normal to feel frequent stress build-ups. Although few people realize what is behind this adrenaline rush, it is crucial to know ourselves and listen to the signals our bodies send to get past the hurdles of daily life and work. You have some leeway.

You could be in paradise and not enjoy it because you are a wreck on the inside. You could have the best team and not appreciate it. Why wouldn’t you relish the happy moments in life and stop feeling bad? Sadly, 90% of the time, you’re the reason. Normally, things go wrong because you were predisposed to failure with all the negative information you had accumulated. You lost your motivation. You eat to feel calm, not out of hunger. You like chomping on crunchy foods, as if they were something in your life that you want to destroy. Other times you want soft comfort food, like ice cream or donuts, to make up for the affection you’re not getting from someone, or a chocolate bar with almonds that you grind up with your teeth if you are in need of everything. This comes from stress. To move on, you have to listen to your body and understand why this is happening.

Stress is a wonderful source of energy that helps us overcome obstacles and gain intelligence with each victory. Sometimes we get stressed about things that don’t happen to us. The nervous system puts the body on the defensive using the mirror neuron, which allows us to be empathetic and feel frustration when someone else feels it; in order to exercise good leadership, it is vital to act on this symptom. It takes only a moment for a negative experience to impact us for the rest of our life. We may forget about it, but when we face a similar situation, our body will start producing cortisol and adrenaline, the prevention hormones, which tell us to flee.

Stress is a wonderful source of energy that helps us overcome obstacles and gain intelligence with each victory.

Early wounds and toxic stress

Not everything starts when we are in a position of responsibility. Our initial impacts, the early wounds, occur in childhood because that is when we are most vulnerable. There are five of them. We need to be familiar with them and know which ones are still active, so we don’t keep suffering from them. The first of these is rejection. In our professional life, if we focus too much on others and feel stressed every time someone makes a negative comment about something we do, then this is still an open wound for us. And if we cling to toxic relationships for fear of loneliness or continuously abandon people out of fear that they will do the same to us, then our wound is abandonment. Children go through this when they start daycare and see their parents walk out and leave them with total strangers. The third wound ties in with the fear of public speaking: humiliation. The other two are injustice and betrayal; those who still have these as open wounds are very controlling in certain aspects to avoid betrayal.

Overlooking these wounds leads to toxic stress. The brain does not want to miss anything for fear of being marginalized. And, since we are social beings who seek integration, we sometimes lose sight of priorities amid so much information. That is where we start to see disorders with sleeping, eating, etc. Why must our body break down before we ease up? In reality, there are very few reasons to get stressed, such as emotions and health. Some people look for the addictive adrenaline rush. Do you play sports to stay healthy, or to wear yourself out and dull the pain? Social media is another type of painkiller. Communicating too much in that space can imply a deep loneliness toward oneself and a loss of identity.

Why must our body break down before we ease up?

Optional tools

As individuals, we all respond in our own unique way, which usually becomes more evident when our body is under pressure, although there are tools that help us cope with different situations. Our responses can be reactive, complacent, elusive or adaptive, although each of these styles is linked to introversion or extroversion, curiosity or fear of the unknown. According to the expert researcher Sonja Lyubomirsky, well-being depends 50% on this genetic predisposition and determines which kind of work team is a better fit for us and who we will get along with.

It is important for us to accept our own style and learn to manage our own abilities, because in a company setting all temperaments are necessary and complementary. There is no danger if we know how to avoid toxic stress. Since everything starts with one individual, getting some distance is the first step. One exercise that can be enormously helpful for this is breathing. We must know how to breathe well to oxygenate the body and be able to think clearly. Some applications help train people how to breathe and de-stress, but even just a few minutes of daily exercise can be a huge help. When doing the exercise, the ideal target is to get down to about ten breaths per minute. The brain cannot be controlled, but the heart can be controlled by pulsations. In fact, while exercising, countless thoughts go through our mind, but it is important to release those thoughts and become fully focused on our breathing.

Meditation and other mental and physical relationship exercises can also help us manage stress. The goal is to approach them from a place of increased self-awareness.


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