Fall is a season of transition. It can be a refreshing new beginning for my Washington, DC area life coaching clients with its cooler weather and new routines. I am brought back to my family outings of buying school supplies with my children, the sense of excitement and anxiety about the new school year.
For many of my life coaching clients, along with a more rigorous schedule can come additional stress. This is often our busiest time, with the frenzy of activity surrounding the end of the government fiscal year and the looming winter and holiday season.
The effects of stress and anxiety on our brain and body are nothing new: we all know we need to “de-stress” in order to live longer, be happier and enjoy our lives more. But did you know that stress can actually impair performance, making you less effective at work, stifling your creativity and making you less able to solve problems in your daily life?
My Life Coaching practice puts me in mentoring relationships with high-achieving DC area professionals whose common theme is managing stress in their lives. Parents and retired people have many non-work related stressors in their lives as well. Here are some ways stress could be affecting you, and concrete ways you can combat its ill effects.
What Stress Can Do
- Heard of “analysis paralysis“? Research shows that stress makes us focus on irrelevant details we would normally overlook. In professional golfing circles, this is known as “choking.”
- Brain studies show that stress actually impairs the brain’s frontal cortex’s ability to tamp down emotional reactions.
- Thinking about negative stereotypes has been scientifically shown to impair performance. Sian Beilock of the University of Chicago’s Social Sciences program looked at Asian women and performance on a math test. Those who were led to ruminate on the fact that they were women just before they took the math test performed worse, while those who thought about the fact that they were Asian performed better on the test.
Ways to Combat the Effects of Stress
- Meditation / Mantras. These help train the brain to focus on the outcome you want, not what you don’t want.
- Being in Nature. Allows us to rest, replenish and gives the brain “time off.”
- Closing the Gap Between “Training” and “Performance.” For example, practicing a speech in the same room that you will deliver it.
- Exercise. Being active, moving faster, breathing and sweating allows the body to catch up with what the brain is doing. It also gives you a healthy outlet for anxiety and can help you put things into perspective and relax.
- Having an advocate. When you are managing a lot in your life, it can be difficult to take a moment for yourself. The hardest part is often seeing that your own success – and the success of your business, family or the people you love – depends upon you finding healthy ways to manage your stress. Entering into a life coaching or mentoring relationship is a proven way to help you stay positive, and to manage stress more effectively.
Life Coaching for Stress Management
When you’re stressed out, you could be setting yourself up for failure rather than success. Worse, you might feel unhappy, like you’re not really living up to your true potential as a person. If you are craving an exceptional life full of fulfillment, consider working with me through Life Coaching. With the right tools, navigated conversations and the intention to create something great, you can discover ways to live your best life, freer from stress. Let’s get started now on “stress busting” together.
Contact me for a complimentary, no-obligations life coaching consultation to discuss the possibilities. Or use the Appointment Scheduler and pick a time that works for you. I coach 90% of my clients over the phone, and my DC-based Life Coaching clients have the option of meeting with me in person.