How to take control of your life and be less frazzled...

How to take control of your life and be less frazzled...

Why is it that some people seem to lead calm and controlled lives while others are in a constant state of drama? According to Leadership Coach Lisa Stephenson (, calm people have habits and rituals that support them to stay emotionally well. They follow these basic rules to harness their energy to see them through the day.

Map out your day

They start each day by thinking through what they are going to be doing, and planning ahead so that they are more likely to avoid stressful situations. Although you can’t control everything, you can be as organised and prepared as possible when you know you have certain tasks you are doing such as running a meeting (eg do you  have an agenda? Does everyone know where the meeting is). Anticipating problems can be a great way to avoid drama and stress.

Have a positive mindset

The reason some people can perform under pressure while others can’t is a matter of mindset and resilience to their environment. The story we tell ourselves when we are feeling stressed is critical to the physical reaction of our body. If we tell ourselves we are stressed we will be. If we try to take a positive mindset and trust that we can handle the situation our resilience grows and builds for the next time, and the time after that.

Turn nervous energy into a positive

Everyone experiences nervousness – even people who are constantly in the public eye such as actors and athletes. For many of us the thought of speaking to a large room of people, or joining a new network group with no familiar faces can have us quaking in our boots. According to Lisa, the trick is to wait for the energy and adrenaline to kick in and embrace that feeling. Feeling nervous means you are invested in what is happening – so replace the word ‘nervous’ with ‘I’m ready!’

Find time to exercise

Feel too busy to exercise? The secret of successful people who are in control of their lives is that they adapt how they exercise, depending on what is going on around them. This may mean taking stairs instead of the lift, walking to the next meeting or even going for a walk around the block if you don’t have time to get to the gym/dance/yoga or whatever you usually do. Science backs up the theory that exercise plays a critical part in physical and mental wellbeing. ‘Successful people see exercise as a responsibility, not a choice – they make exercise and movement a non-negotiable’ Lisa says.

Get enough rest

Experts tell us that people who look after their bodies and minds are much more able to think clearly and manage the ups and downs of their day effectively. ‘There is good stress and bad stress and we need lots of energy for both’ says Lisa. ‘Just as our bodies and minds need physical activity, they also require stillness, rest and sleep to work well.’


Heather Knewstubb

022 394 8493