The Effects of Stress on Leadership

We all know that it’s true that in leadership, you have to make some painful, difficult decisions. 

Any person who’s had to make a tough call knows that the gravity of making difficult decisions can weigh on you. 

Whether you are setting the course for your organization, hiring or firing staff, and making difficult decisions regarding strategies for the best outcome objectives, “heavy is the head that wears the crown” is more than just a saying. 

Even if it’s uncomfortable or difficult, that stress of taking decisive action can lead to added pressure on the person making those choices. 

And the stress that being in a position of leadership has on a person can lead to some severe side effects on our health and wellbeing. 

Not All Stress Is Alike

Before we discuss the effects of stress on the body, it’s essential to recognize different stress types. The two types of stress are distress and eustress. 

Distress: This type of stress is a negative experience for the person and may have significant health implications. Distress occurs when a person suffers from a situation that feels beyond their control, whether it’s the loss of a loved one, job insecurity, or dealing with other unknown variables that have the perception of being unmanageable. 

Common symptoms of distress are:  

  • Cause of anxiety and worry
  • Loss of quality sleep
  • Stress feels short or long-term in duration.
  • Feels threatening or overwhelming
  • Unpleasant to deal with
  • Decreases output and performance
  • Fearful 
  • Uncertainty

Eustress: On the other hand, eustress is a form of positive stress that heightens the individual’s perceptions and moods. It may act as a motivator. Feelings of excitement and euphoria are common. Eustress may stem from doing something thrilling, a personal achievement, or a milestone in life such as a new marriage, pregnancy, or retirement.  

Symptoms associated with positive stress are: 

  • Motivates and excites
  • Assists focus
  • Perceived as manageable
  • Improves overall performance

The effects of negative stress can have severe debilitating health implications from depressed immune systems, increased risk of heart attack and stroke, and mental well-being issues. 

Minimize Impact Of Stress On Your Health

The concern that everyone should have regarding negative stress is finding the strategy that helps minimize its impact on our overall health and wellbeing. Developing a method of dealing with negative pressure is crucial for everyone. Still, as the leader of your organization or family, you must have ways to “blow off steam” and manage your stress. 

When you plan ways to manage your stress more effectively, there are three vital things to consider. 

Three Keys To Mitigate Stress

Improve your diet. Begin by improving what you eat, when you eat, and the time of day that you eat. Include more greens and other vegetables and fruits to your menu, increase healthy gut bacteria, and a simple way to do that is with some probiotic drinks and yogurts and increase your water intake.

A healthier diet means a healthier body. By increasing your water intake, you’re allowing your body to process the nutrients more efficiently, help repair and replace damaged cells in the body, and aid in mental function.

Probiotics help with digestion and eliminate inflammation in the gut that imbalances may have. In fact, studies show the benefits of balanced gut health can impact your overall health as well as mental wellbeing. 

Get exercise. Exercise helps the body eliminate stress through action. You channel the energy that stress is putting into your body and push it outward.

You can consider several different types of exercises, from low-impact walking and hiking, running and biking, weight resistance, or isometric activities such as yoga and Tai Chi. When starting on an exercise routine, check with your physician first and develop a plan that you can sustain and will get you fit slowly and over time. 

Get more sleep. If you’re eating better, you’ll have more energy and more extended periods. By increasing your exercise routine, you are assisting your body to break down and utilize the nutrients and expend the energy you consume, which will help you get more qualitative sleep. Sometimes you may need additional natural sources to aid in sleep, from melatonin to CBD oil and more.

Sleep is the body’s ability to recuperate and regenerate from the push and pull it’s absorbed throughout the day. 

As a leader, you must focus on your team members’ best path, the organization, and yourself. By taking time to “blow off steam” and minimize the effects of negative stress in your life, you’ll be healthier and happier as a result.

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  • Hi there…

    I believe that anyone can create a flexible, natural lifestyle without a ton of stress!


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