Tips for unlocking stress

Photo credit - Cristina Gottardi via

Photo credit – Cristina Gottardi via

How do you avoid stress and burnout? Is it something you see coming? Or, is it something like “how to boil a frog” … it creeps up on you and is upon you before you know it? Here are some mindsets that may help you “unlock” stress factors in your life.

A learning mindset
I subscribe to a number of publications. One is It offers insights into research in management and associated areas that interest me. It has provided me with many things to “blog” about, think about and learn about. In essence it keeps me returning to a learning mindset – one that reminds us that there are always new perspectives to consider. A case in point is burnout. Here are some ways of considering that, and “unlocking” you propensity towards it.

Stress is part of life. It is essential to a functional life. Dysfunctional stress on the other hard, leads to things like burnout. Everyone’s stress tolerance varies, but some suggest there are ways of increasing your tolerance to stress so that it does not impact your life in a negative way.

Here are three questions to consider, to see if you are adopting a mindset that will enable you to tolerate and “temper” the stress from various situations.

  • Are you the source of your own stress?
    Are you a perfectionist? Do you set the bar of achievement too high? Can you recognise when you are being too hard on yourself, and let go? Are you able to hear this feedback from others?
  • Can you recognise your limitations?
    Do you know what you can do – and more importantly, what you can’t? Are you trying to be a hero? If you don’t have the ability or bandwidth to do something, can you be honest with yourself and ask for help?
  • Can you re-evaluate your perspective?
    Do you view certain situations as a threat to something you value? Or, is it as a problem to be solved? Can you reframe situations so that you see them more constructively and as a result, bring your stress levels down?

Engage a trusted friend
With all of the above suggestions, you need to be self aware and have the potential to reach out for assistance. That assumes you have a good perspective on yourself. Sometimes you need a “trusted friend” to check in with – do a reality check, to sense check your thoughts and use them as a sounding board for your thoughts and ideas.

Who is or can be your trusted friend? Is it your partner? Is it a former work colleague? Is it a friend from another part of your life? Everyone will choose someone who they are able to have hard conversations with.

Someone recently suggested to me, that having hard conversations softly was one of the ways love grows between people. So, I think of it as a relationship enhancer. It is all about trust. Asking questions. Seeking perspectives. Considering them. Understanding them. Choosing how to act.

What are your experiences of this?


2 comments, add yours.


“Having hard conversations softly”…….beautifully put….



    Thank you. I liked it when I heard someone else use it. Alas not my original words!

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