Coping with Work Stress

No wonder people get stressed at work. Research reveals that an average business professional has a very long project ‘to-do’ list and most employees find they get interrupted more than seven times per hour!

These are just few of the many reasons why many of workers often lie awake at night plagued by stressful work-related thoughts. However, if you think that stress is inevitable or unavoidable, you are only adding more stress to yourself.

Stress is like an unwelcome visitor that walks in and out of our lives on a daily basis. Thankfully, there are several proven behaviors that you can employ to reduce, prevent and even eliminate stress and become more productive. Here are some tips to help you better manage stress in the workplace.

Equip yourself with several stress-busting techniques.

Let’s face it.  Deep breathing techniques may work wonders while you’re stuck in a traffic jam but it may not be as effective when you are about to have a business presentation.  This is why you need to have your own toolbox of several stress-busting techniques that you can use anytime and anywhere.

Learn to perform visualization, progressive muscle relaxation, meditation, abdominal breathing, alternate nostril breathing and Yoga. With some research and personal experimentation, you can have an efficient coping mechanism for every stressful situation that you need to face along the way.

Set aside time for focus and recovery.

Many people have this “keep on pushing” mentality in the workplace.  They think that if they strive to concentrate on their work for the entire shift they will be able to get more things done.

Almost certainly, the real result will be dwindling productivity levels, increasing stress and reduced quality time for their families.  Instead, schedule periods of complete focus to be followed with a short period of time for recovery.  This way, you can give full concentration to your tasks and still rejuvenate your energy from time to time. This critical recovery period is the key to reducing build up and accumulation of stress.

 Watch out for self-imposed stress.

Whether we admit it or not some of the stress that we are experiencing on a daily basis is self-imposed. There are those who will often seek other people’s approval and are too conscious about what others think of them. In turn, they find themselves feeling overly stressed about something over which they have little control, that being other people’s perceptions.

 Find a way to cool down quickly.

Angry or frustration about something or someone at work is one of the most common causes of employment-related stress. While we are angry it is unlikely we doing our job as best we can, while at the same time we are releasing a cocktail of hormones into our bloodstream that adds to our stress levels.

The accumulation of the effects of these hormones, when not dissipated by a real or physical ‘fight or flight’ response, is possibly the biggest single contributing factor in many instances of chronic stress.

Instead of reacting or overacting so quickly take a moment to perform a cooling breath method of relaxation.  You can do this by breathing in through your mouth much like sipping a drink using a straw and then exhale normally through your nostrils. Once you learn to do this properly it can feel like you have just hit the pause button, as you feel the cooling sensation in your mouth radiate all over your body.

Always remember that we ultimately have control over most of the choices we make and the things that we implement in our lives. Too often we allow others to make us feel powerless. If your levels of stress don’t seem to reduce even after practicing several relaxation methods, it is time to take more affirmative action.

Consult a professional before you damage your health and your relationships with your loved ones.

© Triangle Mental Health Foundation 2019