Workplace stress is at an all time high!
Do you feel like you are being pulled in a million different directions at work?
Do you ever wish it was Friday when it is only 11 am on a Monday?
Do you want to hide under your desk when your boss comes by so you don’t have to add another project to your plate?
Do you find yourself wanting to explode at the thought of having one more useless meeting?
Yep, I have been there and and you’re not alone.
When stress hits us we feel it in many ways. Our body increases in heart rates and our chest tightens. Emotionally we become irritable and impatient, and worse, many of us take it home, resulting in strained relationships and poor sleep.
Research has proven that chronic stress puts our health at risk, with adrenaline and cortisol wreaking havoc on all of our body systems. The health hazard should be reason enough alone to encourage us to learn how to manage stress, in addition to minimizing its effect on the rest of our lives.
You Can Gain Control of Your Stress
We all have our own unique reactions and tolerance with how we handle stress. Depending on your circumstances at work, consider how you can implement the following tips for your personal situation when the stress gets to be too much.
- Gain Control by Acknowledging and Accepting the Stress You are Under
Whether it’s your entire work day, or just in certain areas of your job, rather than resist and fight the stress you’re feeling, lean into it and acknowledge it. As a working professional, any job will come with some stress. However, it helps to really pinpoint and identify where your particular area of “critical” stress comes from so you can see it clearly, rather than denying it exists. I have found the more that I try to fight my stress, the more I become frazzled, moody and unorganized. That only increases the likelihood I will fly off the handle or say something I regret to a fellow co-worker. However, if I lean into the stress, acknowledge that it is there and accept my feelings in the moment then I can begin to move past it.
- Gain Some Perspective
Step back and take a big picture view of your work situation. Shift your mindset by acknowledging what you have to be grateful for in your job, and in the larger picture of your life. The goal with this question is to put in perspective the stressors in your job and life in general, and to downgrade petty, small annoyances from ruining your day, such as a rude email from a customer, or another deadline from your boss. Millions of people all over the world are jobless and desperate for work, and being thankful for solid work and the opportunity to be a productive, contributing employee can do wonders for taking the edge off of stress or feeling like a victim. So, although it’s easier said than done, being able to shift your perspective can help reign in your reaction to a stressful situation.
- Breathe or Meditate
When your stress is at its peak, your head is racing with negative thoughts, your breathing is quick and shallow, and your heart rate and blood pressure are elevated. You have the ability to slow things down by taking deep, slow belly breaths, holding for a few seconds, and slowly releasing. Do this at least 3 times until you feel more relaxed and calm. Simple meditational affirmation techniques include repeating a positive mantra, either silently or aloud, such as “all is well in my world”, or “I’m ok, this too shall pass”, or “Calmness is power, I am perfectly calm and serene”. Get creative and choose one that resonates with you. What you tell yourself over and over has enormous impact on your mindset, and ultimately your body.
- Take a Time Out
Taking regular breaks in your work day is a must if you want to keep your stress levels under control. Go outside for fresh air and raise your endorphin and serotonin levels by taking a brisk walk. Move and stretch your body to get your mind off your stress, even for a few minutes.
- Treat Yourself Well
When stress gets the best of us, our bodies need a little TLC. You can choose healthy options to calm and support your body and mind, rather than make the stress levels worse. Drink a cup of calming peppermint or chamomile tea instead of coffee which raises cortisol and adrenaline. Opt for healthy lunches and snacks and avoid sugary, processed foods that cause insulin spikes and energy crashes. Drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration which causes foggy thinking and low energy. Pamper yourself with a massage or pedicure mid-week or as an end-of-week treat. In order to be the best employee, parent, and person we can be, we have to show ourselves some love!
Try one or try all of these stress-busting tips or experiment with your own. Empower yourself to find a way to deal with stress that works for you.
When you’re ready. Here are some next steps:
- Grab a copy of Fatal Flaws of Employee Wellness Programs. Create a wellness strategy that will actually get results. Available on Amazon here.
- Let’s skip theory and talk about your company. Set up your call here at www.speakwithalison.com