Follow these 7 great tips to reduce stress at work, calm yourself down and regain your productivity.
Work can be tough.
There are days when deadlines loom, factors and circumstances collide to create a situation that is stressful beyond imagination.
Sometimes we can deal with it, but there are times when stress can take over. It arrives from nowhere, or so it seems. Not dealing with it can wear us down pretty quickly, leaving us looking and feeling washed out and washed up.
There are all kinds of helpful articles and activities that can help us to de-stress, including massage and other holistic therapies such as those provided by Onsite Plus.
Some tips work and some don’t, but before you plow into the seven top tips for handling stress listed below you need to be aware of one thing – stress, and the reactions and responses it causes in the human body, will vary from one person to another. Not only is stress an individual thing, it will affect each of us in different ways at different times.
Is it possible to tame such a beast? Or, once stress takes hold, is all hope lost?
1. Identify and listen to your stress signals
We all have different signals that indicate stress may be building to an unacceptable level and causing us anxiety and angst. You may find that your stomach lurches unpleasantly, or your palms sweat or you feel a panic-type attack looming.
Identifying and understanding what stress looks and feels like to you is an important factor in your defense against it.
2. A rose by another name…?
Some experts suggest that calling it something different can be a way of not only viewing it differently, but also utilizing stress in a different way too. Terms like an important or urgent situation may take some of the pain out of the word. Stress, in a measured quantity, can be an important driver for change and to reach deadlines and goals. Only when it becomes out of control do we start to have issues.
By giving it another name, you may be able to lessen the negative, and increase the positive.
3. Calm your inner voice
We all have an inner voice. It is the voice of reason, excitement, happiness, disappointment and all emotions in-between and beyond.
When we are stressed, this voice can become loud, scratchy and screeching; try and change the self-talk from one of negativity – "I am so angry!" – to a positive one – "I am angry, but I can deal with it."
4. The magic of three
When we become stressed, anxious, angry or even excited, it affects the nervous energy within the body. In turn, this increases our pulse, as well as blood pressure and on occasion, our breathing too. Have you noticed your breathing can quicken and become shallow? Or you may hold your breath.
Taking deep breaths is known to help calm the spinning internal emotional state that we can find ourselves in and so a simple, yet startlingly effective way to start slowing it all down is to take three deep and steady breathes. Try it now.
Stress can become dangerous when we internalize it. Think of it as a gas you cannot see that you breathe in, over and over again. Too much will make you ill.
If you are feeling under pressure and the stress is impacting on you psychologically and/or physically, then you need to start talking. This is one way of sorting through the stressors in work (and life too!).
Does your work place offer counselling opportunities? If not, seek advice from well-known and reputable mental health charities.
6. Make a list
Lists can be a great aid in sorting what needs doing, but not only that, prioritizing these tasks too. Some things are more important than others but stress can inhibit not only what we ‘see’ but how we ‘see’ it.
We also have a habit of backing off from some things too. This is a defence mechanism built in to us that means we don’t need to face something before we really have to. There are all kinds of apps that can help to make lists, but also to prioritize activities.
It is important that you use lists to enrich a sense of achievement, and not make them too long and unobtainable that failure becomes almost certain.
7. Act the opposite
We all know at least one person like this. No matter what is happening – the roof could be caving in and the photocopier has busted at the most inopportune moment – and yet they seem to glide along, unaffected by it all.
Inside, this person may be feeling every different. They may be working hard to change the negative inner voice into a positive one.
There is a saying, ‘worse things have happened…’ and maybe by acting in the opposite way to way we feel, we can lower stress too.
Some people say that stress (and panic) are contagious and by acting calmly, we can help others deal with stress too. Acknowledging stress is the first step in understanding it, and then dealing with it. Do you know how you react when stressed?
This post was written by guest poster David Janes, Marketing Assistant at Onsite Plus. He knows how stress impacts people, productivity and business. With millions of days lost to the economy due to stress every year, Onsite Plus offer a rare but welcome opportunity to de-stress at work with office-based massage. A 15 to 20 minute chair massage can boost productivity and well-being, putting stress firmly in its place.