Stress occurs when you perceive that work demands placed on you exceed your ability to cope. Some stress can be beneficial at times, producing a boost that provides the drive and energy to help people get through situations like exams or work deadlines. But, an extreme amount of stress can have health consequences and take a severe emotional toll. Trying to beat newly set deadlines can have you stretch yourself beyond your capabilities. But how can you manage stress at work?
Here are healthy and effective techniques that psychological research has shown to help reduce stress at work in the short and long-term.
1. Put it down on Paper
It may help to write about things that are bothering you. Write about stressful events at work and how they made you feel. Or track your stress. This helps you find out what is causing your stress and how much stress you feel. When you do this, you can begin to design plans on how to manage stress at work.
2. Express your Feelings
Talk, laugh, cry, and express anger when you need to. Although this may not always apply at work, you can do this by talking with friends, family, a counsellor, or a member of the clergy about your feelings. You may also discuss with your superiors at work on how you may reduce your workload and spread it evenly.
3. Do something you enjoy
You may feel that you’re too busy to do these things, but making time to do something you enjoy can help you relax. It might also help you get more done in other areas of your life. One of the best approaches to manage stress at work is to do something you love. This way, you have fun throughout the time.
4. Appreciate Nature
Go outside and spend some time in nature.
It will lower your cortisol, blood pressure, and pulse rate while increasing heart rate variability. It doesn’t have to be a major outing — simply spending a few minutes at a park on your lunch break can help. And when you go, leave your smartphone behind or at least turned off.
5. Show Gratitude
Expressing gratitude will make you feel happier and more relaxed.
A common way of expressing gratitude is by journaling. Write about things you are grateful for.
6. Be a fighter
Feeling like a victim only increases feelings of stress and helplessness. Instead, focus on being proactive.
7. Switch to decaf
You should consider switching from regular soft drinks to caffeine-free ones or sparkling mineral water. Do it gradually, or you might get a caffeine-withdrawal headache that could last for several days,
8. Learn to say no
Trying to do everything is a one-way ticket to serious stress. Know your limits, and stop trying to please everyone all the time. Manage your time well.
9. Take a walk
Walking forces you to breathe more deeply and improves circulation. Step outside if you can; if that’s not possible, you can gain many of the same benefits simply by pacing back and forth.
10. Take a Bath
Nothing is more stress relieving than having a warm bath. It relaxes the muscles and eases off stress
11. Call a friend
Call a friend, send an email. When you share your concerns or feelings with another person, it does help relieve stress. But it’s important that the person whom you talk to is someone whom you trust and who understands you. If your family is a stressor, it may not help if you share your woes with one of them.
12. Make plans
Looking forward to something provides calming perspective e.g an appointment for a massage or a vacation.
13. Take a break from the stressor
It may seem difficult to get away from a big work project or responsibility. But when you give yourself permission to step away from it, you let yourself have time to do something else, which can help you feel less overwhelmed. It’s important to not avoid your stress but even just 20-minutes to take care of yourself is helpful.
You can begin your day with some light exercises before you go to work or dedicate the early hours of your weekends to it. Exercise benefits your mind just as well as your body. We keep hearing about the long-term benefits of a regular exercise routine. But even a 20-minute walk, run, swim or dance session in the midst of a stressful time can give an immediate effect that can last for several hours.
15. Smile and laugh
Our brains are interconnected with our emotions and facial expressions. When people are stressed, they often hold a lot of the stress in their face. So laughs or smiles can help relieve some of that tension and improve the situation.
These are some effective methods to manage stress at work. You may also read more on how to manage stress at work in the pages below;