By Marina Khidekel, Editorial Director at Thrive Global
From a young age, we’re conditioned to look for physical warning signs. If we feel a cold coming on or spot a rash, we schedule an appointment with a doctor to get it checked out.
But we’re not nearly as attuned to warning signs when it comes to our mental health — and that has serious consequences on our lives, new Thrive research shows.
Ninety-one percent of Americans say ignoring or not knowing their warning signs of overstress has had a negative impact on their lives, according to a new nationally representative survey of more than 2,000 people between the ages of 18 and 85. The areas that respondents said suffered most when they waited too long to address their stress are major contributors to our overall happiness and well-being: relationships with friends and family, mental health, physical health, and finances.
By Marcel Schwantes
Ever wonder if you're true leadership material? Perhaps you've been told you are, but the question is, by what standard? Thousands of leadership books are written each year, many of them with marketing agendas to rehash and repackage what has been talked about for decades.
What is true about leadership that will remain unchanged through the centuries is this: It's about people and relationships. And that requires that leaders have a natural bent for both. If you're not into either, you're not a leader.
And you can start with the proven fact that great leaders aspire to lead by serving the needs of their people. You don't need flavor-of-the-month books and expensive formal training to learn this concept.
But you do need to develop and measure yourself against the standards of great leadership (which I strongly propose to be servant leadership). Here are four top leadership characteristics I have witnessed that float to the top. Do any describe you?
Dr. Travis Bradberry
When emotional intelligence (EQ) first appeared to the masses, it served as the missing link in a peculiar finding: people with average IQs outperform those with the highest IQs 70 percent of the time. This anomaly threw a massive wrench into the broadly held assumption that IQ was the sole source of success.
Decades of research now point to emotional intelligence as being the critical factor that sets star performers apart from the rest of the pack. The connection is so strong that 90 percent of top performers have high emotional intelligence.
“No doubt emotional intelligence is more rare than book smarts, but my experience says it is actually more important in the making of a leader. You just can’t ignore it.” – Jack Welch
Emotional intelligence is the “something” in each of us that is a bit intangible. It affects how we manage behavior, navigate social complexities, and make personal decisions to achieve positive results.
by Kelly Miller, Positive Psychology. com
So many humans are walking around this planet unaware of the impact they have on the people around them. Within each of us is a tremendous capacity to affect change. Yet, too many of us simply react to the creations of others.
Being self-aware and practicing daily reflection and introspection allows each of us the opportunity to find what we really want out of this precious life.
We are all susceptible to outside influence and personal bias. Without self-awareness, we are even more susceptible.
When one can accomplish self-mastery through a deep understanding of the internal self and the public self through the attainment of true self-awareness, real freedom can be achieved.
Let’s explore more:
Is Self-Awareness the Same as Self-Reflection & Introspection?
By Rebecca Muller, Assistant Editor at Thrive Global
Carving out time for regular recovery is essential for your mental well-being and performance — but sometimes, planning a traditional vacation can feel overwhelming, or is simply unrealistic with a tight timeline. For instance, if you’re a new parent, an anxious traveler, or a caregiver for a loved one, you might not be able to book a last-minute flight to a far-off destination to unplug and recharge — and that reality alone can be stressful.
“The kinds of vacations we take are highly constrained by the demands of family, school and work calendars, and finances,” Alex Soojung-Kim Pang, Ph.D., author of Rest and The Distraction Addiction, tells Thrive. “One size doesn’t fit all.” Pang notes that a getaway is often most valuable because it helps you tap into a mindset that allows you to relax — but you don’t have to go away to hone in on that vacation-focused mindset. In fact, even people who do go on traditional getaways can miss the point. “Too many people go on vacation and stay connected the whole time,” adds Arthur Markman, Ph.D., a psychology professor at the University of Texas at Austin and author of Bring Your Brain to Work. “They don’t give themselves a chance to recharge.”
By Rebecca Muller, Assistant Editor at Thrive Global
As much as we’d love to leave our work at work, letting our to-do list follow us home on the weekends is a trap that many of us fall into. With the rise of hustle culture, our always-online tendencies, and our trouble setting boundaries, it’s all too easy to let work time spill into personal time. “Many people feel like they can’t afford to turn off work for the weekend,” says Elana Feldman, Ph.D., an assistant professor of management at UMass Lowell’s Manning School of Business.
Here’s the rub:
When we don’t disconnect, we risk sabotaging our own weekends, Traci Stein, Ph.D., M.P.H., a clinical psychologist and adjunct professor at Columbia University, tells Thrive. “The problem with bringing your work home with you is that doing so means you can’t fully engage with family, friends, or make time for self-care.” On the flip side, a work-free weekend not only allows you to enjoy your time off, but also helps you start your week on Monday feeling truly recharged. “When people allow themselves to experience a true break, they generally return to work feeling less tired, more positive, and better able to expend the effort required to be effective in their jobs,” says Feldman. “What’s more, research shows that downtime can help prevent burnout over time.”
Of course, completely separating from work is easier said than done — but these tips can make it easier:
By Jessica Hicks, Editorial Fellow at Thrive Global
Knowing how to delegate is essential to successful leadership, but it’s a skill that can be challenging. Some managers don’t like to hand over responsibility, while others might be nervous about appearing disengaged — but what these leaders don’t realize is that delegating can provide growth opportunities for their colleagues, and reduce stress for the entire team.
Plus, managers need additional support. A recent Gallup report found that managing various types of employees and stakeholders can escalate stress for managers, who “need protected time to think, do their own work, and respond to requests.”
If you’re a manager who’s unsure how to hand over a task, check out these tips to make the process more thoughtful and effective:
By Alexandra Hayes, Multimedia Reporter
While at work, I find myself looking for ways to be a productivity wizard. Often, I tend to hit a wall around 4 p.m., but my job, which consists mostly of writing, requires my brain to function like a well-oiled conveyer belt, delivering fresh, coherent thoughts as they are needed (and I like it this way!).
Not all assignments require the same level of focus, so one way I’ve learned to optimize my time is by doing the labor-intensive tasks first. I’ll start whatever it is early in the morning, and I’ll chip away at it for however long my brain continues to produce quality work for. For the most part, this strategy works for me. I dedicate my most productive hours to my most demanding tasks, and getting a head start on those items alleviates the anxiety that can be induced by intimidating deadlines, and the disappearance of time.