When you wake up in the morning to go to work, your mood and attitude determine whether you will have a productive day or languish mentally and physically. Stress can interrupt one’s ability to work; sometimes, the cause of stress is work-related and sometimes it’s caused by outside factors. This stress can be particularly debilitating when you are trying to focus on the work you have on your plate; you want to be able to come into work, put in a solid 8 hours, and then go home feeling good about your productivity and successes. Here are a few ways that you can help reduce the amount of stress you feel at work, so you can get back on the winning track:
First And Foremost: Identify What Is Causing Your Stress
Identifying the things that are causing you stress is a key part of defeating it. In the workplace, common stressors may include a lack of available resources to assist you in completing your tasks, an abundance of objectives to complete within a small window of time, or unhelpful colleagues making working life difficult for you. Identify your stressors and then you can begin to address them in a progressive manner.
1) Take Care Of Yourself
Stress is silent, but it feels incredibly loud when you are suffering from it. No one can provide the care you require as well as you can; you need to prioritize your own well-being before anyone else's. Some ways that you can take care of yourself both emotionally and physically include engaging in physical activity such as going for a run, going to the gym or playing recreational sports. Getting enough sleep is imperative for your physical and mental health; ensure that you’re getting at least 8 hours of sleep per night so that your brain and body are rested and ready to take on the duties of the following day. Socializing is a major component of revitalizing your wellbeing; don’t shy away from social interactions with family and friends and actively make an effort to take your mind away from work and other forms of stress.
2) Go Outside
Another helpful method for managing your stress is to simply leave your workstation for a break to step outside and breathe in some fresh air. While outside, go for a walk around your building or walk down to the end of the street and then walk back. Bring your cell phone and your headphones, put on some good music, and take a 10-15 minute break. Breathing in fresh air, and listening and seeing nature occur in real life can decrease stress levels. Being around trees and patches of green grass can increase serotonin levels and help calm an uneasy mind. If your place of work is not located near a park, perhaps visit one before or after work and focus on the present. You can always purchase some plants for your office or cubicle, because being near them has been known to decrease feelings of stress and anxiety.
3) Be Mindful Of Your Stress
One way to address things that are stressing you out is to focus on them. As scary and intimidating as it can be, focus on how it affects you. Does stress affect you more mentally or physically? Are you over-thinking them to the point where you cannot focus on the work at hand? Are you experiencing muscle tension or nervous twitches? These symptoms tend to drive our stress to a level where our thinking is distorted, but recognizing these symptoms and their effect on you can actually work to remove their power over you. When you try to ignore these things, it can actually escalate unsettling emotions; addressing them head-on with an understanding of how they affect your body and mind can help you realize how inconsequential these annoyances and stresses are, so you can get back to focusing on the task at hand.
4) Talk About It With Those You Trust
Talking about the stressors in your life can help relieve the hold they have on you. Even if you don’t want to talk about the stress, talking about anything to someone you love dearly including your mother, father, sister, brother or best friend can release positive chemicals in your brain that relieve stress and promote happiness and mental clarity. Bottling things up in your head can drag you down physically and mentally and distract you from reaching your goals, especially if you tend to ruminate. Even if the stress is not work-related, anything that is keeping you from establishing a transparent train-of-thought can affect your self-confidence and self-esteem. Talking to a support worker or using the resources provided to you by your workplaces such as your human resources director, or your active manager/boss, can improve working conditions while you’re on the job. If stress is becoming a chronic ailment, discuss with your boss about taking time off or allowing you to take a mental rest day once in a while, so you can work towards putting in a higher degree of effort once you return to work.
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