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By Darryl Stewart

Two techniques to help you (or someone you coach) reduce stress

Since your autonomic nervous system doesn’t distinguish between daily stressors and life-threatening events, if you’re stressed over work issues, your body can still react as if you’re facing a life-or-death situation. When you repeatedly experience this fight or flight stress response in your daily life, it can raise blood pressure, suppress the immune system, increase the risk of heart attack and stroke, speed up the aging process and leave you vulnerable to a host of mental and emotional problems. Yikes.

Two of my personal favourite techniques for reducing stress are:

  1. Exercise

There are many expert opinions on how and why exercise helps reduce stress.  Whatever the physiological reasons are; it works.  It has worked for me, it works for others, and it will work for you and the people you lead.

  1. Making active choices about how to respond to things outside your control

Stephen Covey, author of the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, told us that the key to being proactive is remembering that between stimulus and response there is a space. That space represents our choice — how we choose to respond to any given situation, person, thought or event. Imagine a pause button between stimulus and response — a button you can engage to pause and think about how you will respond.  Making the choice to try and change the unchangeable is not a wise choice, neither is the choice to focus on or complain about these things.  Instead, make the choice to focus your energy on things you can change.  You may not be able to change a policy at work or make an annoying co-worker disappear, but you can make the choice to do a great job on the things you do every day and go home in a good mood.

Those who focus on the unchangeable are hard to listen to, not likely to be well thought of by their peers, and have a habit for making any situation worse or more stressful. Those who focus on what they can change are more interesting to be around, are more likely to be listened to, and are more likely to find themselves in good situations.

Want to talk more about leadership? Need advice, or want to hear more about a certain topic? Feel free to contact me by replying to this post, commenting on the blog or giving me a call at 204-992-9940.

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IBEX Payroll extends our profound respect and immeasurable gratitude to all the ancestors and keepers of the land on whose traditional territories our work takes place. We acknowledge that we are on Treaty 1 territory, the traditional gathering place of the Anishinaabe, Cree, Oji-Cree, Dakota and Dene people and the traditional homeland of the Métis people. This land is sacred, historical, and significant. 

Every time we acknowledge this truth, we have an invitation and an opportunity to reflect on the wrongs of the past, what we do in the present, and what we can do to continually honour the people whose lands and water we benefit from today. 

This statement only acts as a first step in honouring the land we reside on and its peoples, and must be paired with education, understanding and informed action.