How to Reduce Stress at Work to Be Happier and Healthier
Last Updated on April 21, 2022 by Milton Campbell
Something is affecting almost all of us at some point in our lives. This thing can lead to numerous health issues, ultimately lowering our life expectancies. So, what is it you ask!
The answer is STRESS at work!
Your next question should be how do I reduce stress at work? We will get to that but first, let’s talk about what causes stress at work.
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What Causes Stress at Work
Stress can be caused by many things at work. There’s the dreaded deadline or like we like to call it at my job, suspense. Deadlines can really be stressful when you feel like you have too much to do and not enough time. It begins to feel overwhelming.
Another huge stressor at work is people. Bosses, subordinates, co-workers, or even customers can be the cause of stress. Any one of these people can get on our nerves and become stressors in our life. We can’t necessarily choose the people we work with or work for but there are things we can do to minimize our stress at work.
Tips to Minimize Stress at Work
The moment has finally arrived to talk about how to reduce stress at work. I say reduce because we can’t completely eliminate it. As a matter of fact, a little bit of stress can be healthy if used as motivation. I hope to provide you enough tips to minimize the stress at work to a healthy level so you can be happier and healthier.
Start the Day Off on the Right Foot
Have you ever had a day where it just seems like everything goes wrong from the moment you wake up? I certainly have. Sometimes we are struck by the bad luck bug but most of the time we cause this to happen to ourselves. Have you ever heard of self-prophesizing? That’s where you believe something into existence, subconsciously making it true. Whether you start your day thinking you will have a good day or a bad day, most of the time you’re right. Start your day off on the right foot by having a good attitude from the start.
I know what you’re saying, I can’t meditate at work. My boss will walk in and think I’m sleeping on the job. You may not have time for a full meditation session, but you should have enough time for a micro meditation session. Close your eyes for a minute or two and clear your mind. Try to not think about anything and just let your mind reset for a bit. Just this little mental break can be enough to destress and regain focus.
Meditating in the morning can also be a great way to get your day off on the right foot. For meditation techniques follow this link https://www.mindful.org/how-to-meditate/.
Take a Break
When we start getting backed up and overwhelmed with our workload, sometimes we start skipping breaks. This can be counterproductive, causing us to take longer on our tasks. Not taking breaks makes it harder to stay focused. Taking just a 5-minute break can help us reduce our stress and get back in the right state of mind to get our work done. When you take your breaks, try to get your mind off the job for as long as possible. This will give you the maximum benefits of a break.
NLP stands for neurolinguistic programming. It is a different approach to communicating created by Richard Bandler and John Grinder. Not only with others but also communicating with ourselves. There are many techniques in NLP that can help us reduce stress at work. For example, you can take whatever is stressing you out and picture it in your mind. Once you have a good picture of it, begin to spin it in your mind like the vision is in a washing machine getting faster and faster. As the image speeds up, make it smaller and smaller until it is gone. You can repeat this multiple times to get better results.
Another technique that is useful to reduce stress at work is anchoring a happy relaxed time, to an action. For example, you can anchor the memory of the vacation you took, by squeezing the space on your hand between your thumb and index finger. This method needs to be set up before getting into a stressful situation but can be very useful.
For this technique, all you have to do is visualize a time when you were happy and relaxed and squeeze a specific part of your hand. You need to do this multiple times with the same memory and action, to get it anchored in your mind. Once you have it set up, it is ready for the next time you find yourself in a stressful situation at work. Just grab that part of your hand and let yourself drift off into your happy place.
For more great NLP techniques check out this link https://www.globalnlptraining.com/blog/5-easy-ways-reduce-stress-using-nlp/.
Smiling causes the body to release more endorphins, putting you in a happier state of mind. It may seem awkward but a good technique to automatically improve your mood is to go into the bathroom and smile at yourself in the mirror.
Smiling has an added benefit as well. Smiles are contagious. When people see you smile, they can’t help themselves but smile or at least be in a little better mood. People treat you differently when they are happier. This will not only reduce stress at work for you but will also reduce the stress of those around you.
Sometimes all you need is a little bit of distraction from the things that are stressing you out at work. A stress ball that you squeeze in your hand or a fidget spinner are examples of great distractors. Even if you don’t have any of those available you can simply crumple up a piece of paper and throw it in the air for a few mins. Pretty much anything that takes your mind off your workplace stressors for a few minutes will help you get back into a better state of mind.
If you’re looking for a good distraction, check out these sites for personal and professional growth.
We’ve all had those people in our lives that seem to seek out conflict and drama. Work is no different. If you have one of these people at your workplace avoid them as much as you can.
You can’t completely avoid conflict in the workplace so when it does happen, avoid making it worse. Try to keep an open mind and listen to others. Keep a calm and level head so you can hear what the other person is trying to say. When you do find yourself in conflict, look for a resolution that helps everybody involved as quickly as possible.
Stand or Walk Around
If you sit at a desk all day in your job, your body can be under a lot of stress. Make it a point to stand up, stretch, and walk around if you can. This gets the blood flowing and relieves stress not only in your body but also in your mind. Exercise, even if it’s just a little bit will help you reduce stress at work.
Get the Right Amount of Sleep
The average adult needs 7-9 hours of sleep a night. Getting the right amount of sleep can not only get you started on the right foot in the morning but will also keep you feeling refreshed and ready to tackle the world for the rest of the day. With the proper amount of sleep, you are less likely to have health problems as well. It might seem like you don’t have enough time to get the right amount of sleep but if you do you are more productive throughout the day.
Have you ever walked into your home or office and immediately felt anxiety because of how messy the place is? I have. Keeping your workspace neat and organized helps you stay in the right state of mind. It also increases your productivity. Therefore, leaving you fewer reasons to get stressed out.
If you have a messy work area take some time to perform a 5s six sigma event. 5s stands for Sort, Straighten, Shine, Standardize, and Sustain. You can find more information on 5s by clicking here.
Increase Your Productivity and Efficiency
Increasing your productivity has the obvious effect of keeping your boss happy because of how much you get done. But also, your attitude will be better because of the self-satisfaction of completing tasks. Having less on your plate is always a great way to reduce stress at work.
Lowering your stress at work and at home is important to becoming a happier person. If you follow these tips, you will see a difference in your life, and you may even live longer because of it. Every little bit helps, and it doesn’t happen overnight but if you make an effort every day to get less stressed out you will see a big difference.
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