During uncertain times, like the one we are currently living through, our basic human fear factors kick in as a response to a potential threat to our well-being. Our bio-reactions are triggered by the most primitive of our brains in order to preserve our existence.
These fear factors generate a myriad of emotions that are limited in rationale or strategy; this can, therefore, create anxiety, sadness, a feeling of loneliness especially in the absence of direction or guidance, and can even lead to depression.
One of the key basic elements that triggers our fear factors is control, or the lack thereof.
When we feel we are losing control of a situation, discussion, relationship, or business transaction we start to stress, fret and even sweat at times. When stressed, our body releases Cortisol – a built-in alarm system that fire’s our “fight or flight” instincts. If left unchecked, it can effect memory and concentration, sleep patterns, energy levels, and, blood pressure amongst others.
So how do we regain control in stressful times?
First of all, remember that you ALWAYS have a choice. No matter how dire a situation may be, there are always options for you to choose from. How you choose will be determined by how much it matters to you and the value it will provide as a result.
Secondly, remember it is not about time. Humans are obsessed with time because it provides common language. But time is not something you can control, so rather focus on the effort you can invest in overcoming the challenge ahead. Focus will allow you to channel the negativity into a tangible outcome.
Finally, connect. The most successful leaders of our times ALL had people they could connect with when it mattered most. You do not have to deal with your issues alone. I would go as far as saying, you should not deal with them alone, but the point of the matter is, with greater perspective comes greater wisdom. The more you share the more opportunities you have to exit your slump quicker and better.
In his latest blog, Vistage Malta’s Julian Azzopardi shares tips on how to cut through the noise and focus on the tasks that really matter