Leadership / Management | Organizational Development | Training & CPE

Stress? It’s a state of mind.


Stressed? Anxious? Burned out?

You're not alone. The more complex our world becomes, the more stressed we get. Throw the words "debt ceiling" and "Congress" into the mix and we're absolutely bouncing off the walls.

Thankfully, says Peg Neuhauser, there are some things we can do to relieve the pressure.

A management consultant and president of PCN Associates, Neuhauser offered a tweet-friendly session during a recent conference that was jammed with bullet-point tips on avoiding burnout.

"But Bill," you're saying, "we've heard this stuff a million times before. Why do we need to hear it again?"

The answer: Because we're still stressed. Let's pay attention this time and try to actually do some of this stuff.

In no particular order, here are Neuhauser's tips for avoiding burnout:

  • Lighten up and laugh.
  • Laugh more than you whine.
  • Smile a lot.
  • Keep things in perspective. Are you dead? No? Then things aren't so bad.
  • Don't try to control what can't be controlled.
  • Don't look back. Don't dwell on what's already been done.
  • Think of yourself as a sprinter, not a marathoner. Take short breaks every 90 to 120 minutes.
  • Change your thoughts and you'll change your mood -- and, as a result, your stress levels. Visualize positive outcomes.
  • You have three options when dealing with toxic people: 1) Eliminate them from your life. 2) Limit your contact with them. 3) Confront them. But don't let them dictate your mood.
  • And don't forget to ask: "Am I a toxic person?" If the answer is yes, cut it out.

Neuhauser's point is this: We are in control of our moods, reactions and responses. It's all about choices. We can choose to be pleasant and ease our stress levels, or we can choose to be miserable and make things worse.

"Be the change you want to see in the world," Mahatma Gandhi once said. Let's make the world pleasant by being pleasant.

What are your favorite burnout-avoidance tips?


Bill Sheridan