Stressed? Worried? Tired? Having a hard time feeling optimistic given the barrage of bad news on “the news”? Well, you’re not alone. Research shows that 83 percent of American employees are stressed out about their jobs. A majority of self-employed social entrepreneurs report being overwhelmed and overworked. And mountains of evidence show that consuming breaking news, cable news and our own news feeds on social media has negative impacts on our moods, stress levels and overall wellbeing.
And yet, for those of us who are trying to do our part to make the world a better place staying active and informed is important. So how do we find a balance? How do we stay informed without stressing out and stay engaged in a hopeful, empowered way?
As someone who has been an activist, social entrepreneur and political figure and who has been through some rough, rough stuff as a result I’ve put a lot of personal and professional effort into developing resiliency and empowerment strategies.
One of my very favorite things these days is working with fellow social entrepreneurs, activists and leaders to become more resilient and empowered. 3EStrategies offers workshops, webinars, materials and individual/ organizational coaching to help change-makers become healthier, happier and more effective in our important work. We are getting phenomenal response to these services. Here are what a few clients had to say:
- “I was feeling so overwhelmed by all that is happening in our country and our world that I’d become sort of paralyzed. After the 3E resiliency training I am so much more balanced. You helped me start seeing hope and new opportunity.”
- “I had no idea that adding short times for mindfulness and reflection could make our team so much more effective and motivated. Thank you for that.”
- “Our whole office feels lighter and more optimistic.”
- “I was having a terrible time dealing with the loss of a position I had put my heart and soul into. Working with you really helped me see that I still have much to offer.”
If you or your organization are interested in learning more about our Empowerment and Resiliency training just drop a note to firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the meantime here are a few key strategies for shifting from stressed out to empowered.
- Breathe deeply. Usually the more stressed we are the shallower we breathe. Just the act of taking deeper, fuller breaths will begin a relaxation response.
- Develop a meditation/mindfulness practice. This is easier than it sounds and doesn’t require hours of sitting still or visiting monasteries in the Himalayas (though the latter is pretty cool). This really begins with just practicing becoming fully present and aware of your thoughts. I know for sure this practice will change your life. There is no question that my long-term meditation practice is one of the main reasons I’ve been able to survive and thrive through really difficult challenges.
- Get out into Nature. Stopping to smell the flowers really does reduce stress and increase optimism. This is especially true for all you hard-working environmentalists who often are so busy saving the planet you fail to enjoy it! Be sure to leave the devices turned off!
- Bring Nature to you. Lots of research shows that having living plants and even cut flowers nearby reduce stress and elevate mood.
- Turn off social media notifications. Unplug once in a while! Period.
- Be media savvy. Remember in our uber-competitive, clickbait-driven media culture sensationalism is all the rage. Breaking news is scientifically designed to trigger us emotionally. Balance it out with healthy doses of positive news. This 3E blog post shares more tips for healthy media management including good sources of positive news. (In fact, our Change Maker Times newsletter focuses on positive developments in the movement toward a healthier economy. There are more than enough sources of doom and gloom what’s not working – we help spread the word about the under-covered good stuff that’s also taking place.)
These are a few empowerment basics. If you’d like to learn more about developing empowerment and resiliency strategies for yourself or your team just drop a note to email@example.com or call us at (541) 617-9013.