It's hard to find a stress-free job. It doesn't matter which industry you work in, how old you are or how successful you are - work and stress tend to go hand in hand. Sure, you often come across people on Instagram who post 'challenges excite me' or 'I just love my job'. While they may not be completely lying, they might be projecting a rosy, 'effortless' image of themselves - nobody wants to admit that they're stressed. The truth is that no matter how good you are at your job, work can still stress you out on an everyday basis. While there's not much you can do to change that, you can focus on managing that stress better and reducing its intensity.
Managing your stress at work is essential because if one aspect of your life induces anxiety, it is very easy to carry it over to the other aspects. Your personal life might end up taking a major beating!
The first step towards managing stress is to identify it. We've compiled a list of the most common factors that lead to work-related stress among people. If you don't find your stressors on this list, work on identifying them, because that will make it easier for you to eliminate or reduce it later!
Now that you've identified what stresses you out, you're one step closer to managing your worries! Here is a list of things you can do to keep your anxieties in control and lead a healthy and balanced lifestyle.
According to doctors, when you get stressed out, your body releases a hormone called adrenaline, which makes your heart beat faster and your breath shorter, making you anxious. The best way to break this cycle of anxiety is by closing your eyes and taking deep, deliberate breaths for two-three minutes. This will reduce your adrenaline level and calm your nerves. If you want to practice deep breathing regularly, you can try meditating or use apps to help make it a habit!
Do you tend to get overwhelmed every time a new project is assigned to you? When we try to approach a project head-on, our mind tricks us into believing that it is harder than it actually is. So instead of stressing over the task as a whole, try breaking it down into smaller tasks and assign yourself deadlines for each task. Focus on one task at a time, and move on to the next one only when the previous one is dealt with. This way, when you only focus on one small task at a time, your stress level automatically falls!
When it comes to dealing with your colleagues, it is extremely important that you maintain your cool at all times. Yelling at a co-worker while you're in a mood or storming off during a meeting is a big no. Not only will you regret these actions later, but you might also face serious repercussions. So next time you're in a tricky situation, take a 15-minute break, take a walk and get some fresh air, call up a friend or a relative for advice. When you've weighed the pros and cons--make an informed, level-headed decision.
If you do feel like you're struggling with something, it's best to have a sit-down with your boss or a colleague to get some clarity. Make sure your tone isn't confrontational - the point is to seek help so that you can effectively manage your work. Don't get into the blame game! Instead, focus on discussing strategies that will help you perform better.
Yes, your boss might not be thrilled about this idea. But you know what will irritate them more? You not doing your job well! But the truth is that the human brain cannot concentrate on one task for over 50 minutes--if you try to force yourself to work for hours at a stretch, your productivity is going to go for a toss and you won't able to do your best. So, instead of spending hours on your desk, try this expert-approved strategy: Focus all your energies on a task for 50 minutes, and then take a 10-15 minute break. During your break, make sure you're getting some time away from the screen. You can walk to your pantry to get coffee, make small talk with a colleague, take a walk around your office compound - don't just sit at your desk and look at memes. Repeat this cycle through the day to maximise your productivity!
It's time to up your desk decor game! Replace your boring desk organiser with fun personalised things that make you feel all warm and fuzzy. This could include a cute potted plant, a photo frame or two, inspirational quotes, a vision board...whatever it is that will diffuse the tension when you're stressed about something. Just don't go overboard!
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If you're having one of those days where nothing seems to be going right - just focus on surviving the day. It's important to remind yourself that you can't always do your best, so be kind to yourself and focus on learning from your mistakes. When the day is over, instead of going down a guilt spiral, come up with a strategy that will help you cool down and stabilise your mood -because you don't want your bad day to affect your friends and family. Mine looks something like this: I listen to my favourite podcast on my commute back, cuddle with my dog when I get home, put on an upbeat playlist and cook my favourite meal!
If you find yourself getting worked up about stress at work so often that it's severely affecting your day-to-day life, it's time to turn to a professional for help. Do some research about good psychologists in your area and if you can't afford it, look up NGOs that can provide therapy for free. Remember--seeking help is better than letting your problems grow, which can have an extremely detrimental effect on your mental health in the future.
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