I’ve been asked to give the keynote address at a convention of long-term care providers. The presentation is about a month away and I’ve begun doing some research. The subject matter is stress.
Researching what stress is, what are the causes, and remedies has been eye-opening. It seems there are a lot of definitions, a lot of causes and even more cures. Which made me wonder, why so much stress if there are so many solutions?
Then I noticed something about the solutions… seemed like everyone who wrote about managing stress had at least 8 things to do, some as many as 15! I thought, “How upsetting, when feeling stressed I need to remember all these things and then have time to do them.” It increased my stress level.
It also seems like most of the things I should do to relieve stress would only get my mind off it for a while. They were more distractions that remedies. The stress would still be there after I returned from my short emotional vacation. Maybe I would be better calmed and able to handle the stress better, but it really wouldn’t solve anything, just delay facing the issues.
That’s when I realized that the best way to handle stress is to face it. It’s true that there are things you can do to help relieve stressful feelings. But if there is a particularly stressful circumstance you are facing, then deal with it quickly and directly, don’t practice some avoidance technique that will ease your situation for a moment but then allow the stress to return full force when necessary to readdress the issue.
Researching for this address has already been a learning and beneficial experience. I look forward to the presentation and will provide real solutions beyond coping mechanisms.
Leaders face stress. We all do. Part of the leadership test is handling stress in way that not only manages the circumstances effectively and positively, but also provides an example for others to follow.
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