Thursday, February 20, 2014

Stressful Job? Consider Yourself Lucky!

To achieve great things, two things are needed: a plan and not quite enough time.  - Leonard Bernstein

This past week, I've been asked the same question by three associates, how do you handle stress? This is a question I seem to be asked about once a year, so what's happened during this past week for the sun, moon, and stars to align in order for three years worth of inquiry to be received in under five days, is an inquiry of its own. But I'm not stressing over it. The stress for domestic staff workers, however, can be twofold, being that of exacting skill performance itself, along with the added element of doing so within the often, and perfectly naturally occurring, emotional arena of a home. Stress, then, naturally becomes a normal part of our days, our jobs, and our careers.

And this is where it all starts to get good!

It actually looks like what happens in moments of joy.  And courage.   
 - Kelly McGonigal

Psychologist Kelly McGonigal, during her TED talk, references a large study on stress whereby our own perception of its effect, not the stress itself, is the real factor for how stress either hurts or helps us, including decreasing or increasing our very life span. For those who view stress as harmful, it turns out to be a leading cause of death. For those who choose stress as their friend ~ quite the opposite.

Great teams don't shun stress, they optimize it!
How could changing a perspective on stress assist domestic staff workers to regain better control over their health and energy, yet also as important, provide better service to their principals through enhanced performance? Could situations once believed too stressful be re-framed into a better perspective and seen, instead, as opportunities to shine, to create the same effects within our brains as that of joy... and of courage?  And all from using this newly-recognized source of positive energy... called stress?

I encourage you to set aside fifteen minutes and watch her amazing presentation on turning stress around in your job, here.