Building Trust as a New Supervisor

Right up until he passed away, Dr John Hinwood was a prolific blogger (an award-winning blogger in fact!). John’s blog’s shared musing from a rich history of experience, learnings, travel and wisdom.

The Hinwood Institute is named in honour of Dr John and to continue his legacy, we’re republishing his blogs to keep his wisdom, wit and wise words alive for the world to enjoy.

You can learn more about the legacy of Dr John Hinwood HERE.

The burden of managing your stress falls largely with you. However, experts agree that there are many tools, techniques and strategies that can help you from “catching” stress. Most are far easier than you may think.

To live a stress-less life here are some tools, techniques and strategies you may engage in …

1. Set clear boundaries for yourself

Psychologist Elizabeth Lombardo, PhD says, “Think about separating yourself physically from the [stressed out] person until he or she has a chance to calm down or vent to someone else. If they must vent to you, email or phone is more manageable than being in someone’s presence while they’re venting.”

breathe low and slow - stress management

2. Build up your emotional immune system

Finding things to do that relax and recharge you, and which you can do often that are purposeful and meaningful to you in your life. Whether it’s walking, cycling, hiking, yoga, going to the beach, spending time with close friends or find other things you find fulfilling.

3. Block out the negative

Dr. Uma Naidoo, Director of Nutritional and Lifestyle Psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital suggests you might block a mirror to prevent light reflecting on it, you can attempt to block your brain’s mirrors.

“We all have ‘mirror neurons’...a collection of brain cells that can mimic any emotion we come across automatically,” he said.

“To do so, envision something you love or that makes you laugh before you enter a situation you predict will be stressful. Now you have an authentic reason to smile. It’s not the person in front of you. It’s what is in your head,” Naidoo said.

“No time to prepare but want to ensure that you exit the emotional exchange relatively unscathed. Hone in on one positive thing during the interaction”, suggests Naidoo. “Even saying aloud like, ‘I love your shoes’…although you may dislike everything else about this person…sets the tone and allows your positive emotions to take precedence.”

4. Remember to breathe

When we become stressed, our breathing often becomes more rapid, or we may even forget to breathe from time to time. When you feel yourself getting stressed, pay close attention to your breath and remember to breathe low and slow. Breathing in for 6 seconds and out for 6 seconds is ideal. Slower respirations decrease the body’s stress response.

breathing out stress

5. Go outside for a change of scene

If you physically distance yourself from the source of negative stress the less the stress will affect your wellbeing. Moving outside and communing with nature can be aa positive choice. Research shows that being in nature can increase feelings of well-being while reducing your heart rate, blood pressure, and muscle tension.

6. Exercise to change your state

You feel you have “caught” some stress despite your best efforts to stay detached. Exercise may be the fastest way to destress. Physical activity which is eustress (good stress) triggers your body to release endorphins—“feel good” chemicals that serve as your body’s natural painkillers. Even five minutes of aerobic activity can reduce your anxiety and help you better cope with stress.

7. Meditate

Even if you have never engaged in meditation before, sit quietly in a peaceful place, close your eyes, and breathe low and slow. Closing your eyes can make it faster and easier. Counting your breath in for 2, hold for 2, out for 2 and hold for 2 makes relaxing easier. You may want to slow the breath down to a 4 or 6 count rotation. There you go, you have just meditated. And a whole new heathier and happier way of living just started for you.

7 Strategies to Engage in to Avoid Catching Stress

P.S. If you’d like how you’re managing you’re stress right now, try answering our Stress Test below.

How well do you roll with the punches?

Discover how you score against key resilience indicators and increase your ability to minimise stress, maximise time, live well and roll with the punches.


How it works:

  • Answer 25 simple questions
  • Generate results instantly
  • Receive feedback to enhance your score

Listen to the Podcast here

About the Author

Dr. John Hinwood

Dr. John Hinwood is a Global Leader in Stress Management. He is a very experienced and respected executive coach, mentor, consultant, sought after international speaker and author. He specialises in facilitation that leads clients out of the stress and into the calm. He has a reputation for innovative and transformational work in stress-life balance and mindset change for front line employees, to managers and business leaders.

Dr John Hinwood has shared the stage with Dr John Demartini, Dr Deepak Chopra, Dr Wayne Dyer, Dr Joe Dispenzia, Mark Victor Hansen and Jack Canfield (Chicken Soup for the Soul fame), Dr Bruce Lipton, Dr Masaru Emoto and others who are at the cutting edge of human behaviour and mindset change.

He has written 14 books with 4 being Amazon international best sellers. He has had papers published in academic journals and was once Captain/Coach of the Danish National Rugby Team. Dr. John’s experience as a health professional by training, successful businessman by effort and an inspiration by inclination has given him an awesome array of practical tools for success.