How To Overcome Overwhelm At Work – Part 1


Many leaders feel overwhelmed due to ever-expanding tech options, competition and team dynamics. Here are some practical solutions you and your team can implement right now…

1. Breathe and Center:

In moments of stress, take a brief pause. Practice deep, slow breathing to physiologically calm your fight or flight response. This is one of my top hacks!! It gives your brain extra oxygen, which increases clarity. It also helps you to step outside of the moment, therefore thinking of practical solutions that actually decrease the pressure you feel.

2. Reframe the Situation:

Instead of viewing a challenging situation as a threat, which further triggers your fight or flight response, try to see it as an opportunity to learn or demonstrate resilience. For example, you’re in the middle of a high stakes presentation and the tech stops working properly. Your brain’s automatic response can go to “why does this always happen to me?” Or even worse, beginning to imagine that something (or someone) is trying to sabotage that project. Instead, look at it from a detached and curious frame.

Ask yourself:

  • What led to this from a practical perspective?
  • What can I learn from this?
  • What is a solution right now?
  • How can I use this to improve my systems, processes, or communication (whatever the cause was)?

Learning how to be detached and curious in challenging moments while staying focused on your results is a superpower that will save your brain from unnecessary stress.

3. Stay Present:

When challenges arise, your brain often wants to understand why. In its quest to do so, it often extrapolates from past experiences into the present and then projects into the future to try to be prepared. There are some challenges that when repeated are a sign to you that something needs to change strategically (this type of assessment is helpful). Where it becomes a hindrance is when you make it mean something about your identity.
For example, “They always overlook my contribution”. These thoughts memorialize dynamic situations that are within your power to control. And when your brain has decided this is how it “always” goes, it stops trying to find solutions.

Yet the world is dynamic – it is ALWAYS moving. And if you become static, you will be left behind. So stay present, acknowledge what just took place. Then create a plan to shift it even by 1 degree in the direction you desire.

Click here for the next article in this series, including 4 more practical ways to overcome overwhelm at work!

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