Your career was boldly planned out. You jumped at the chance for growth in the workplace. You skillfully maneuvered through the challenges and rode the waves to your success. Experience has taught you that with hard work and perseverance, anything is possible.
Navigating through life’s obstacles can be challenging but they don’t need to be overwhelming. Positivity is an important concept but it has limitations. However, positive actions through preparedness will give the sure footedness people often seek during life transitions. Divorce, grief, illness, job loss and other unexpected life events are stressful.
Even seemingly joyous occasions will be accompanied with new responsibilities and burdens. Landing a new position, getting married, welcoming home a new baby or buying that new lake front property can be shrouded with real or perceived high pressures.
Stress is a normal human reaction which engages hormones and biological functions to increase the energy needed to meet threats head on. Naturally, our minds and bodies prefer a state of balance. Stress can tilt our internal stability. Compounded stress can lead to negative coping tactics.
You have a proven record of decision making that reflects your ingenuity and work ethic. One of your internal drivers may be the high standards that you have set for yourself. Intrinsic motivation is an asset to overall success but only if accompanied by realistic expectations.
In the effort to cope, people often seek out relief. The need for relief from a difficult life transition in conjunction with self-imposed high standards, may inadvertently spiral into addictive behavior.
Struggling to find normalcy is attractive during times of crisis and stress. Addiction affects over 20 million adults in the U.S. and it can negatively impact health and well-being. When your state of well-being is threatened, it becomes increasingly difficult to manage the stress associated change. This vicious cycle can easily spiral out of control.
Priming for Chaos
You spend countless hours prepping for meetings, planning budgets and perfecting your work product. Engaged employees are constantly finding new ways to uphold quality and avert setbacks. Similarly, a personal plan of action is necessary to prepare you for the instabilities of life. It is a natural response to react emotionally to stressors.
It takes mindful effort to develop and actualize an effective stress management plan. During stressful life transitions, renewal of self and connection to others can occur. To achieve an optimal state of coping, there are strategies that can be developed. Incorporate activities that promote a growth mindset and lead to a better understanding of yourself.
Creating a plan now will give you the insight to adapt to each situation. Here are a few strategies to get you started.
In the workplace, negatively from one employee can infiltrate the whole department unless it is dealt with swiftly. Leaders can either perpetuate the problem or implement safeguards against it. Your natural state of well-being can be affected in the same way. Being tuned into what you need is important.
If you are fatigued or skipping meals, your body triggers responses to crave. To satisfy your need for sleep or hunger, you may instead begin to smoke more cigarettes or eat more to curb those innate needs. Pushing those needs to the wayside will only compound the stress whereby physical ailments are more easily manifested.
Remain consciously aware of how stress and change may be affecting your decision-making and your coping. This will allow you to quickly identify any negative behaviors or thought patterns that do not serve your purpose of adaptation and growth.
Engage Your Grit
You are resilience manifested. You have conquered many challenges in your life and now is the time to reflect and reconnect to your own guidance system. Life is not without resistance and when faced with adversities, you can use your past experiences to aid in your own recovery.
Reflect on the experiences that you forged through and problems that you have successfully resolved. Through this process, you will rediscover or uncover your strengths. These developed strengths will empower you and remind you of what you can do. By focusing on your resilience, you will be more capable of removing the obstacles and expedite positive coping.
Resilience can be strengthened by strong connections to family, community and in the workplace. It takes just as much fortitude to grasp when you need to engage the help of others as it does fight alone. Your ability to achieve your goals on your own is not in question.
However, employing interdependence can reveal resources unseen. Perceiving that the weight of the world is on your shoulders alone can be self-defeating. In business, global connection is the norm. Economies depend on one another, logistics are employed, contacts are activated, and negotiations are applied.
Yet when it comes to personal dilemmas or hardships, many people reject interconnections and go it alone.
Understanding that life transitions can be complex, it would serve you well, to use your keen emotional awareness to engage whatever tools necessary to resolve problems effectively and efficiently. Employing interdependence is one option for reducing stress and improving your quality of life.
Finesse Instead of Chaos
“To know how other people behave takes intelligence but to know myself takes wisdom” (Heider, 1985, p. 65). While traversing through planned or unplanned life transitions, you can equip yourself and respond to stress with finesse.
You have proven that in the workplace, you are able to avert and cope with dilemmas with diplomacy. Take time to invest in your personal stress care plan as well. Your well-being is too valuable to be left to chance.