During the month of May, JasperRose partnered with Leadership Coach and Founder of Dragonfly Coaching Antonia Smith to bring you a four-part series of workshops designed to help finance professionals with personal development. The first workshop titled ‘Managing Stress and Creating a more Aligned Work/Life balance’ was extremely successful and insightful. Antonia gave those who attended, practical nuggets to continuously use in the effective management of stress and maintenance of a balanced life.  

For those who were unable able to attend the exclusive workshop. Here are a few valuable tips Antonia discussed.  

3 Good Things 

The brain naturally has a negativity bias. This bias makes it more likely for you to process negative events more fully than positive ones. The ‘3 Good Things Practice’ is a great way to tune into the positive events in your life. By simply creating a mental or physical list of 3 good things that happened throughout your day or 3 things you are grateful for, you will be training your brain to overcome the negative bias. This practice can also be used in maintaining positivity in teams and families. Antonia highlighted the importance of helping those around you manage their stress levels as well. If you are a manager or leader, this practice may be effective when workloads are increased, and deadlines are fast approaching.  

Understanding the cause 

Knowing what your stress triggers are and understanding the cause is the first step to effective management. The Stress container concept referenced in the workshop can help you identify how you experience stress and how to correctly address your stress levels. It is a metaphorical model used to depict life’s potential stress factors. The more stress factors there are. The fuller the funnel becomes. A breaking point is reached once the funnel begins to overflow. The stress container exercise is designed to help you realise and utilise positive coping methods, so the stress is released from the bottom of the funnel before the breaking point is reached.  

There are many useful resources online to help you with this too. We have found one that breaks down the process for you. Click the following link to get started: https://mhfaengland.kokodigital.co.uk/frame_content.php 

Positive vs Negative 

Stephen R. Covey’s book titled ‘The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People’ was the suggested read by Antonia. Cultivating good habits and healthy stress coping mechanisms is something we can all work on. We all deal with stress in different ways, but it’s best to avoid temporary fixes and or coping methods that wear you down, for example, self-criticism, over-drinking alcohol, chain smoking, self-isolation and more. Visit the following website for more information on how to differentiate between positive and negative stress coping methods: https://www.healthlinkbc.ca/health-topics/ta5463 

The Circle of Control 

Another key takeaway from the workshop was a model named ‘The Circle of Control’. It is also mentioned in Stephen Covey’s book. It emphasises the importance of focusing only on the things you can control and influence and not being consumed by or wasting energy on the things that you cannot. The book depicts that reactive people (those who focus their time and energy on things beyond their control) usually have a victimisation and blame seeking attitude. A key to maintaining low-stress levels is understanding how far your circle of influence and control extends to and not overstretching yourself. 

To conclude, there are several things that you can do to take a hold of stress and create a more aligned work/life balance. These three steps are a great start. For more information and useful tips on how to manage stress effectively, please contact us at: [email protected].  

Register for the second workshop in our four-part series titled ‘Building your Confidence from the Inside, Out’ via the link below: