Changing your mindset about stress

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Just as with many industries and professions, maintaining good mental health is important, and the life in the world of PR is no exception. In 2016, it was ranked as the 7th most stressful occupation. There are many things that can go wrong in this profession if you are not prepared, but it doesn’t have to be that way! 

It is quite interesting that how and what we think can have a positive or negative impact on our overall health. 

I recently watched a TED talk by Kelly McGonigal and she asked her audience, “Do you believe stress is harmful for your health?” followed by “Can changing how you think about stress make you healthier?” The science behind it points to yes because what you think matters! The point being that you can make stress to be bad for you if you believe that to be the case. 

When you change your mind about stress, you change your body’s response to stress. In other words, how you think about stress matters! It is fascinating to think about how our minds have the power to change the outcome of what we are feeling. It is all in our control whether we want to be stressed out or whether we take stress as a way that it is preparing our body for whatever thing we are stressing for. If your heart is pounding when next time you are up and giving a talk, then think of it as it is giving you energy to do that task. Pretty amazing, eh? 

While you can’t avoid the headaches and stress from your professional life, there are healthy ways to manage them. Check out some of these pointers below.

Plan Ahead 

Lack of planning or not anticipating the needs of reporters can turn into an emergency. Plan and communicate with your clients as much as you can. 

Be Selective with your Clients 

It is important to pick projects based on your passion to promote them, and not just based on profit. Working on projects that you really care about will make the job less stressful and more enjoyable. If you don’t believe in your client’s work, it can show and will affect the quality of your work. And no one likes sloppy work. 

Take it Easy

Sometimes things don’t go as planned or expected, and during those times you must go with the flow. Remember to: Relax, Breathe, and Smile. 

Keep in Touch 

Touch base with your clients as often as possible. Regular updates and reports keep everyone happy and on the same page. If you are honest with your clients, they’ll respect your efforts. Open and two-way communication is key here.

Because everyone is different, there is no single way to cope with stress. However, there are several approaches you can try to deal with short- and long-term stress.

  • Identify your problems. What is causing your stress? It can be your job, a relationship or another source altogether. Once you know what the problem is, you can do something about it. And figure out what you want. 

  • Work on solutions. This is no brainer–change your mindset and look at it from a different perspective and start focusing on how to solve the problem. Change your approach if it doesn’t work. 

  • Reduce tension. This is easy. Physical activity is a great stress reducer. Walking, exercising, or even do some gardening can help relieve your stress. 

About the Author

Wahida Gardizi holds a Master degree in International Public Relations and Global Communication from Cardiff University with a BA in Criminology from SFU. She runs her own consultancy business in PR and Comms and enjoys her time volunteering in not-for-profit organization with YWIB Vancouver. She has a drive and passion for continuous learning. Twitter: @wgardizi Website: