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Think Workplace Stress is the Enemy? Think again.

Stress can be the fuel your team needs to reach peak performance—if they’re well-equipped to manage it. Here’s how to channel stress, so it gets the best from you, not of you. 

Today’s word of the day: Stress.

You’ve seen the stats and you already know the tangible impact stress has on the US workforce…

91% of employees admitted their work is negatively impacted by having unmanageable stress and frustration—and 86% want support overcoming it. 

77% of workers have experienced burnout at their current job, brought on by a high workload, unclear communication, shifting priorities, and a lack of recognition. 

And job stress alone costs companies an estimated $300 billion every year, increases job turnover by 40%, and pushes healthcare expenditures up by 50%. 

Is your blood pressure up yet? Heart rate? Adrenaline?

You can view these staggering statistics as an insurmountable issue. Or, you can see optimizing on-the-job stress as your organization’s biggest opportunity for incredible growth and a razor-sharp competitive edge. 

Here’s why: Some stress can be a good thing. 

The right kind of stress and stress-regulation skills can push your team to create something completely innovative. It can spark a whole new idea, push you to dig deeper, and launch your organization to a higher level of success. 

But too much stress (what is actually distress) can completely overwhelm you and your team. 

So, what mindset shifts can limit distress and move us toward this innovative state of stress-regulation? 

1. Stop managing stress. Start mastering it. 

Am I the only one who thinks “stress management” sounds exhausting? It’s also counterproductive. Stress isn’t an external influence; it’s an internal perception that activates a (sometimes incredibly strong) emotional response. Imagine what could happen if you use that emotional charge toward something positive!

With the right tools, you and your team can use stress to your advantage and re-channel daily stress into a source of positive energy. Asking questions like, “What’s possible here?” and “What’s truly in my power to do, control, or change?” and “What can I love about this?” can help extinguish the powerlessness of burnout and rekindle the passion in the work.

As I like to say, mastering stress isn’t rocket science. It’s powerful rocket fuel. 

2. Regulated and released stress turns mole hills into ant hills

Ever noticed how overwhelming stress can make the smallest issue feel like the absolute end of the world? When we’re in the Red Zone of stress, where our fight-or-flight response takes over and our rational, problem-solving brain shuts down, we’re incapable of processing setbacks and roadblocks effectively. 

Distress-busting strategies help leaders and teams stay adaptable and flexible, even when mole hills get in the way. 

When we learn how to channel stress in a healthy way, that difficulty looks a whole lot smaller—and is shaped like a stepping stone. 

3. Re-channeled stress has the power to boost your bottom line

When employees are anxious, overwhelmed, or burned out, they’re more likely to take sick days, make mistakes, and lose productivity. On the other hand, when your organization learns how to let stress get the best from you—not of you—productivity and engagement and mental health all benefit. 

I’ve seen stress-resiliency transform companies across the country. It’s what inspires me to continue fighting for healthier work cultures, stronger mindsets, and peak performance at every level. In fact, this exact concept is the foundation for my actionable keynote, Get out of the Red Zone of Stress to Optimize Peak Performance..

In that keynote, I share several of the stress mastery strategies I’ve developed while working with peak performing teams, leaders, and athletes at the top of their careers. Strategies you can use to recognize stress, block its negative effects, and channel those feelings towards unstoppable success. 

(Psssst. To learn more about equipping your team with science-based stress mastery strategies, send me a message.)

In the meantime, let’s talk about stress! Comment below with how YOU handle stress when it starts to build up—or tag me in a comment if you need a strategy!

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