In today’s hypercompetitive business environment, it’s common for workers to experience workplace stress. Stress will not only make you less efficient at your job, but it can also negatively affect your health. The following are 10 easy ways to manage workplace stress:
- Acknowledge the stressor. Sometimes simply acknowledging what it is that is causing you stress at the office can help put it in perspective and reduce the stress.
- Take a break. When stress gets too much to handle at the office, get up from your desk and take a break. If possible, leave the office completely. Even if it’s just for 15 minutes, this break can calm you and give you new perspective.
- Try deep breaths. Stress results in a physiological response that includes muscle tension, an increase in one’s heart rate and faster breathing. Deep breathing can counteract these responses, allowing you to relax and address the stressor at hand calmly and coolly.
- Let it all out. One of the best ways to manage stress at the office is to just let it all out; go somewhere completely private and soundproofed. Then, give yourself a couple of minutes to scream and rant about whatever is causing you stress.
- Make yourself laugh. One of the best methods of stress relief is laughing. Keep a list of funny websites or silly jokes that make you chuckle. You can then quickly refer to this list when office stress creeps into the picture.
- Talk to a friend. When the stress gets too much at the office, talk to a friend about what’s bothering you. Step out for a cup of coffee or to make a phone call. Don’t release your stress in an e-mail, however, as you don’t want it to fall into the wrong hands.
- Imagine you’re somewhere else. One of the simplest ways to manage stress at the office is to close your eyes and imagine you’re somewhere else. Referred to as “guided imagery,” you’ll find the tension leaving you as you picture yourself in a peaceful setting, such as a warm, tropical beach.
- Work it out. Exercise is an excellent stress reducer. Regular exercise is proven to help people better cope with stress. Even a brisk walk at lunchtime can help you tone down tension at the office.
- Focus on the manageable pieces. When it’s a large project that has you stressed at work, try breaking it into more manageable pieces. This will help you not only reduce stress but also allow you to more easily track your progress on the project.
- Eat right. Although in times of high stress, it may be tempting to turn toward easier and more comforting junk food and fast food, make a concerted effort to eat healthily. Lots of fresh veggies and lean protein will help you combat stress far better than a cheeseburger or a candy bar.
Stress is something that creeps up in even the happiest offices.