Summary: Where does “help others feel good about themselves” fit into your career? Here’s what science says matters most in stress management programs.
Here’s the story that was told to me: Meet exhausted Johnathan. The virus was turbulent, and Jonathan and Suzie, his wife, were at their wit’s end. Their six-month-old son was up-all-night crying.
Suzie was able to call into her marketing job and request a sick day.
Jonathan, however, knew for him, rescheduling would be rough.
He was always optimistic, fun to be around and talented with his special scissors.
Stress management means taking care of yourself by asking for help.
Today, however, he was flat. He just wanted to do his job and get home.
When asked, “How are you today?” he wanted to scream, “I’m a mess. I worry about my son. And I need a good night’s sleep.”
Instead, he answered the usual “All good, let’s get started.”
He then did what Jonathan was known for. He listens deeply to his clients and lets them discuss whatever they want.
Often stress management programs forget that leaders have more than one role to fill.
Jonathan prided himself on being a double bargain. He was known as a great stylist and therapist (for older clients) or coach (for those under 40).
My turn was late in the day. Ah, to get that buttery blond look back again with no roots showing. I was more than ready.
I could sense Jonathan’s exhaustion, and since I was a leadership therapist/coach for many, I suggested a quiet time; no need to chat.
He leaned over and gave me a “thank you” hug.
Here is where the day got more interesting.
Did I mention that my husband is a dentist?
This bit of information will become important in a moment.
As I sat with my hair soaking in color, I heard Jonathan calling someone in the back of the salon.
We’re all connected, and helping each other is part of human evolution.
What he said to the person on the other end of the phone caught my attention.
Poor guy, not only was his kid sick and overtired, his tooth was now acting up, and he was in pain.
The call? He couldn’t get an emergency appointment with his dentist.
Then my desire to serve kicked in.
I called my husband and asked if he could stay late to help.
We set aside our plans for a special fancy dinner as I waited for Jonathan to finish his last cut and follow me to have my husband check his tooth.
I bet you wonder why I told you this story. I guess you’re thinking, “Stuff like this happens daily. So what!”
Stress management means reaching out to others to feel good.
Here’s the WHY: Do good to feel good!
The stylist, the therapist, and the dentist all were part of helping each other. One scored by making someone beautiful. Another is by being a connector. The third helped to alleviate pain.
They all experienced “Helper’s High.”
Helper’s High is like “runner’s high” with more benefits.
Helper’s High is when an individual extends an act of kindness, donates to a charity, or volunteers for a meaningful cause.
You can get a natural feeling of euphoria by practicing safe stress.
Studies show that when stressed, the body releases pain-relieving endorphins to up-level the strength needed to keep going.
Endorphins are a group of opiate proteins that affect the brain, like morphine.
STOP, this is unlike what Purdue Pharma produced for pain relief in the series “Dopesick.“ (Excellent, although disturbing to watch.
Studies from Stonybrook and Emory University indicate that when you help others, the brain’s pleasure centers release endorphins, the body’s natural morphine.
Giving and helping others also release oxytocin, serotonin, and dopamine. These hormones have the effect of boosting our mood and blocking cortisol, known as the stress hormone.
All benefit when stress management programs teach ways to stay in the safe stress zone.
When you tune in to someone, and sense discomfort, speak compassionately. It fills you with more positive energy. Therefore, to “practice safe stress,” listen to both the words and tonality of someone to discern if they need help.
The stylist, therapist, and dentist all got helpers high and made a difference in each other’s lives.
To paraphrase Shakespeare, “All’s well that ends well.”
Three people ended the day better than it started.
Here’s to your success,
PS. Get a free copy of Chapter One, “Invisible Stress (It’s NOT What YOU Think) from www.ceoptions.com. Enjoy.