We all have those elements of work that drive us up the wall. Whether the issue is pricing, validation, conflict, or working beyond our capacity, the mere mention of the topic can derail the day, the week, or even the month. And when we’re feeling stressed, we are more likely to react to a situation rather than think it through.

So how do you cope with the stress of your personal hot button topics? The solution isn’t necessarily the same for all of us. However, I’ve found that building situational awareness and staying present are absolutely key.

When you start to feel yourself reacting to an uncomfortable or stressful situation, where do you feel it in your body? Does your throat tighten up? Is your stomach upset? Do your shoulders or back ache? Take note of that information for the future. The next time you’re dealing with a pricing issue or you have to manage a conflict and you feel a headache coming on, you’ll know that it’s an indicator of a stressful situation.

The next step is figuring out what you can do to redirect that stress and break free of the reaction cycle. Does getting away from your desk help? Do you need some quiet time? Do you need to hug a dog? Try out different strategies and see what works for you. The actions you take to calm your mind and body will help you to slow down and review the situation rationally. Then you can make an intentional decision grounded in reality rather than a split second reaction rooted in stress or past experiences.

We need to bring the best version of ourselves to work – for our own benefit and for the benefit of our team and our clients. When we get derailed, we lose valuable bandwidth that can hinder our decisions and productivity. Take the time to acknowledge what’s stressing you out and find coping mechanisms that can help you get your head back in the game.

In the comments, tell us about your hot button topics and how you cope with them. Your experience may help another business owner!

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