Communication stress. It’s real.
Most of us have been dealing with a lot of stress lately, and, quite frankly, this whole positive communication thing gets really challenging when you are feeling overwhelmed and cranky.
My life is pretty full right now. Like most of us, I have a lot going on. My consulting business is crazy, my community activities are crazy, my family is crazy, and even the weather is crazy.
All I really want is a good nap.
I know I should display some energy and enthusiasm for the hard work going on around me, at work and at home, but I really don’t want to.
Instead, what I want to do is just be negative, maybe complain or gossip a little, just to feel better about me. Yeah, let’s make it about me.
Ever feel that way? As you may guess, that’s not a very productive way to handle stress.
If you’re too stressed to communicate well right now, like I am, I recommend these top five strategies for difficult times such as these.
1. Look on the bright side.
There’s always a silver lining. Take a minute to pause, and think of what’s going right in this situation or in your life. Do you have a house to live in? Running water? A job? Be thankful for that. Sometimes we get bogged down and forget to place things in perspective.
2. Find humor in your situation.
When you think about it, most situations we find ourselves overwhelmed about are pretty funny. When I’m late for something, I always tell my story: I spilled coffee on my blouse, I couldn’t find a shoe, the dog barfed on the rug, and on and on. It really is pretty silly to be so stressed out about normal human things that happen regularly (well, to me anyway).
When you are juggling multiple things that are stressful, think seriously about your priorities. Are you spending the most time on those things that are most important to you? Think about that. Give the appropriate amount of time to the situation and focus on the really important stuff.
4. What can you let go of?
Sometimes one of the biggest stress reducers is the power of saying no. I was recently being considered to sit on a community board that I was very interested in being a part of. After thinking about how I would manage that, I finally said “no”. We both respected my decision, and I’m thankful now that I thought it through before I got in over my head.
5. And, yes – do get some sleep.
Being rested can make a huge difference in helping you stay positive and focused. Healthy sleep has as much to do with the quality of rest as it does with the number of hours. A good night’s sleep helps you be more positive and less stressed.
Once you deal with your communication stress, you’ll find it’s much easier to relax, pause, and communicate positively.
Join my free Facebook Group, Confident Communication for Women. This group is for women who want to build confidence in their communication skills as well as support and network with other amazing women.
Betty Lochner is a human resources consultant, business coach, and expert in workplace communications. She is the author of two books on communication, and a newly published journal, Intentional Gratitude.