When life gets stressful--and it does, especially for leaders and managers--it's easy to feel like you are losing your balance.
The next time that happens, call on one of these simple tricks to help you relax, unstress, get grounded, and find an emotional boost:
1. Take a break.
Just stop. Take a moment or an hour or an afternoon to re-elevate, reenergize, and rethink what is happening so you can make the best choices.
2. Stretch and sweat.
Take a long run, go to a dance or yoga class, play a game of basketball--anything that will get your heart pumping and your mind disconnected from your negative feelings.
3. Get inspired.
If you're stressed out because you've lost your motivation, take a little time to read a book, watch a video of a speaker you like, or have coffee with a friend who inspires you, and watch it all come back.
4. Do something kind.
Do something that helps another--even if it's something small--to keep your perspective from becoming too self-centered.
5. Have a snack.
When you're stressed out, you may forget to eat and take care of yourself. Sometimes you need a snack or meal. (Remember, though, nourishing yourself doesn't mean binging on junk food at your desk.)
6. Control your breathing.
Check in with your body and do some deep breathing. It instantaneously reduces stress and increases oxygen to your blood. Take a deep breath in through your nose, hold it briefly, and then exhale deeply through your mouth.
7. Finish what you started.
If you need a little boost, take something off your to-do list--it almost doesn't matter what. Just a little checkmark can lift your energy and release the burden of getting something done. Even small chores accomplished have a big payoff in mood shift.
8. Tune in.
Put on some headphones, if you have to, and crank up your favorite piece of music. It may not change the circumstances, but it can improve your outlook.
9. Make it matter.
Shift from doing something you need to do something that really matters to you. You'll feel your stress dissipate and your energy increase.
10. Have a good laugh.
Watch a funny video or seek out the office comedian for a joke. Laughing will immediately shift your energy, stimulate your mind, and renew your sense of happiness.
11. Accentuate the positive.
Any stressful situation combines positive and negative elements. Keep the positive; learn from, and then let go of, the negative.
12. Count your blessings.
Think about or write down what you're thankful for. Expressing gratitude creates an instant mood boost and helps reorient your perspective.
Keep yourself grounded through stress and you're halfway to living your best, most productive life.