The American workforce is becoming increasingly competitive. Employers are placing higher and higher demands on their employees and employees are feeling the pressure. It can be overwhelming and can place unnecessary stress on people.
Continuous personal and professional development is your key to the future. – Brian Tracy
Employees know they need to focus on growth and professional skills but aren’t quite sure how to do it. Professional development is essential, no matter what type of industry you work in.
In this article, we are going to look at some resources to aid your professional development. We will talk about different stress management techniques and growth resources that we hope will help you reach your professional goals and dreams.
Stress Management Tips and Methods
A discussion on anything related to work wouldn’t be complete without a discussion on stress. No matter if you love your job or dislike it, there will be stress involved. This stress can manifest itself physically in many ways: tight shoulders, body aches, headaches, and more.
It can also cause long-term and short-term health issues. It is crucial to have a good understanding of stress management techniques. They will help you be your best at work and at home!
Breathing exercises are an easy way to calm the nervous system and relax no matter where you find yourself. These can be practiced sitting at the desk, in meetings, out in the field, or on a construction site, for example. You may want to practice these techniques in a quiet stress-free environment first, to get the hang of them.
Make sure to breathe deep into your belly. When our bodies are in fight or flight mode we breathe from our chest. Focusing on moving the breath down into the belly helps the body to say, “I am safe. There is no threat.”
Box breathing: Exhale completely. Next, slowly inhale to the count of four in your head, then hold your breath for a mental count of four. After that, exhale for another four-count, then hold for four before repeating the process. Repeat at least 4-6 rounds.
Belly breathing: This is exactly what it sounds like – intentionally breathing deep into the belly. Many people like to imagine their belly like a balloon inflating and deflating fully while practicing this breathing technique.
Breath Prayer: The breath prayer allows you to focus on scripture or the favorite lines of spiritual poem or song. First, select two lines to work with. Next, exhale fully and completely. Then, on your inhale pray the first line in your mind. On your exhale pray the second line. You can do this to the rhythm of your natural breathing or as intentional deep breathing. People often find it helps them calm their breathing and relax during a stressful or difficult time.
Alternate nostril breathing: This is a practice you may wish to do in private as it can look a little silly, but it is an excellent way to calm the body and mind. Using your right hand, close off your right nostril with your thumb and inhale fully through your left nostril only. Retain the breath as you close off your left nostril with your ring or middle finger and exhale out the right nostril only.
You will then inhale through the right nostril before retaining the breath, switching back to closing off the right with your thumb, and exhaling out of the left side. Then, inhale through the left side and repeat. Repeat for at least 5 minutes before ending with an exhale on the left side to balance it out.
Yoga is an excellent stress management technique. Some workplaces even offer on-site yoga classes! You can also find Christian yoga classes at some churches and yoga studios around town.
If you can’t attend an in-person class, you can use a video or a podcast. Many poses can be practiced while seated making it an easy practice to do at work as well. Yoga helps balance the body and the mind. Many people say it’s their favorite way to unwind.
Additional ideas for stress management:
- Running or brisk walking
- Progressive muscle relaxation
- Lectio Divina
- Time in nature
- Listening to a favorite podcast or sermon
- Turning off social media and screens
- Take a personal day
Managing stress is important to be successful, both in your job and in your day-to-day life. We hope these techniques will be helpful to you.
Growth Resources for Professional DevelopmentIn addition to managing stress, it is beneficial to have an assortment of tools at your disposal for personal development. These will aid you not only in your personal life but will have positive benefits to your professional life as well. Below are a few resources you may want to investigate for your growth and development.
This is an ancient tool that has been making a resurgence in the last few years. Everyone falls into one of nine personality types. These nine Enneagram personality types help us understand more about our behavior, choices, habits, relationships, and much more.
Many people say it was the most eye-opening tool they have ever found to help understand themselves better. It can also be a wonderful tool for the workplace to help those working together understand each other better.
There are Enneagram classes designed specifically for professional and team development available. We can help work with you more on the enneagram if it is something you are interested in exploring more.
Christian Professional Development Counseling
We all could use someone to come alongside us in our professional, and personal journey. Making use of Professional Development Counseling and other services gives you the chance to have that support.
Your counselor will help you troubleshoot work-related problems, help with job-related stress, provide suggestions for work/life boundaries, be a listening ear, and so much more. Choosing Christian counseling helps you keep Christ at the center of your discussion and decisions.Counseling can be beneficial when considering a job change as well. The discernment process can be overwhelming and often full of emotions. Having a neutral third party to help you think through this decision has proven invaluable for countless people.
Your counselor can help you identify emotionally charged situations and help you think through why you want to change your job in the first place. They can even help you to calm your heart, mind, body, and nerves as you begin to pursue other work, and as you transition away from your current job.
If you know you would like a change but aren’t sure what you’d like to do, a counselor can be helpful in that process. Christian counseling for your career can help you to discern the path the Lord has for your occupation.
Other Personality and Strength Assessments
Several additional tests and materials can give you a great deal of information about yourself, or about the team you work with. These include:
- CliftonStrengths Finder
- Big Five
- Occupational Interest Inventories
- DISC Behavior Inventory
Additional ideas to research and consider incorporating for your professional development:
- Communication training
- Continuing education
- Membership in a professional organization in your industry
- Tech and social media training
- Leadership training and development
- Team building and strategic development
- Conflict resolution training
- Non-bias and discrimination training
We hope these resources and stress-management techniques are helpful for you. Please know that we are happy to talk more in-depth with you about anything you’ve seen in this article. We can also explore stress-management and relaxation techniques in the office together if you do the best learning with a guide.
Talking through the results from personality and behavior tests can also be helpful with the support of a counselor as these tests can sometimes reveal things that we didn’t know or didn’t want to see. Please contact us if we can be of support in any way for you.
“Stressed”, Courtesy of Shivmirthyu, Pixabay.com, CC0 License; “Facing the Sun”, Courtesy of Kelvin Valerio, Pexels.com, CC0 License; “Jungle Yoga”, Courtesy of Jared Rice, Unsplash.com, CC0 License; “Reading Material”, Courtesy of Austin Distel, Unsplash.com, CC0 License
DISCLAIMER: THIS ARTICLE DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE
The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this article are for informational purposes only. No material on this site is intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please contact one of our counselors for further information.