Workplace stress can occur when there is a mismatch between the requirements of the role, your capabilities and resources and supports available.
Everyone knows what stress feels like and we’ve probably all experienced it at some stage – at home, school or work, or while getting outside our comfort zone, but while this stress is normal, if it is ongoing, it can become a problem.
You can’t control everything in your work environment, but that doesn’t mean you’re powerless, even when you’re stuck in a difficult situation. If stress on the job is interfering with your work performance, health, or personal life, it’s time to take action. No matter what you do for a living, what your ambitions are, or how stressful your job is, there are plenty of things you can do to reduce your overall stress levels and regain a sense of control at work.
These are some tips to reduce or eliminate stress at work place;
1. Form Positive Relationships
Making friends at work isn’t always easy. In fact studies suggest people may need to spend up to 200 hours together before they consider themselves “close friends.” Hours spent bonding at work can help build friendships, but the dedicated quality time spent team-building can speed up the bonding process.
Tips to fostering positive personal relationships at work:
Start your own “buddy” or mentor-ship program: By design, this “buddy” isn’t a manager. It’s someone in whom you can confide any concern, personal or professional. Their system works best when buddies are from different departments, so there’s less chance of office politics becoming a factor.
Put down your smartphone: Instead of burying your head in your Instagram feed at lunch, leave your phone at your desk during breaks and engage with co-workers.
Encourage vulnerability: Vulnerability exercises is one of the best way to understand others. Here breaking out into smaller groups of four or five, everyone in the group is encouraged to share something personal – often a meaningful experience from their upbringing. The relationships formed during these vulnerability exercises are the basis for some of the deepest and longest-lasting relationships at the company.
With its mood-boosting and endorphin-releasing properties, regular aerobic exercise is a natural stress reducer. Exercise’s ability to elevate mood is well documented.
In fact, a 1999 study found that exercise was just as effective in eliminating depression antidepressants. Exercise also helps get your mind off your stressful thoughts. By training yourself to be in the moment and focus on your body’s movements, exercise can be a form of active meditation and have a calming effect on the body and mind.
Here are some tips to increase your mobility in the office:
Switch to an “Active Desk.”: Sitting for long stretches at your desk is not good for your health. Alternatively, standing desks get you out of your chair and on your feet. This works your stabilizing leg and stomach muscles, your heart, and lets you burn extra calories.
Take walking meetings: The walking meeting is a working meeting that takes place while walking, between colleagues, clients or other stakeholders, to discuss common issues. Walking meetings really improve the mobility in office.
3. Eat Healthy and Nutritious Foods
Many people turn to unhealthy “comfort foods” as stress management at work. Safe to safe that dealing with work stress in this manner is not good. When we’re stressed, our brain releases the hormone cortisol, which makes us crave salty, sweet, and fat-laden foods for the temporary pleasure they bring. But ironically, “stress eating” only exacerbates the problem.
Sugar or fat-laden foods like pizza, burgers, and ice cream make us feel lethargic, and less likely to tackle the problems that lay before us, which in turn only increases our stress. That’s why it’s so important to eat healthy foods that are rich in complex carbohydrates that fuel our brains and support concentration and focus.
Here are some tips to what to eat at work:
- Complex carbs like whole wheat bread or pasta and vegetables
- Foods high in fiber like fruits and vegetables
- Super foods like Kale, Dark Chocolate, and blueberries, which contain mood-boosting antioxidants
- Lean proteins like chicken, or better yet, wild-caught Alaskan Salmon (high in mood stabilizing omega-3’s)
4. Get Enough Sleep
Stress has long been linked to chronic insomnia. Lack of sleep inhibits your ability to cope with even normal amounts of stress, and negatively affects your mood and outlook. The point is, you can’t hope to reduce stress when you’re on edge and irritable from lack of sleep.
Here are some tips to get your sleep schedule back on track:
Shoot for eight hours a night: There used to be a stigma, especially among business leaders, that “sleep is for the weak.” The most productive people know that you can’t operate at peak performance without the regenerative effects of proper sleep.
Turn off screens 1 hour before you want to go to bed: Whether it’s TV, laptops, or our smartphones, screens keep our brains engaged and make it difficult for us to fall asleep.
Stick to a schedule: Set your body’s internal clock by hitting the hay at the same time every night. You should be able to fall asleep fairly quickly and wake at the same time each day without an alarm clock.
5. Prioritize and Organize
Feeling overwhelmed is a major stressor. A great way to make a major reduction in your stress is to learn how to handle stress at your work by prioritizing and organizing.
Here’s how to do it:
Clarify Goals : Before you can prioritize, you have to set clear objectives. Make time to sit with your manager and clarify your goals. Be sure that your daily activities track back to one of your overarching goals.
Prioritize Against Goals: Don’t set priorities arbitrarily. Use your goals to evaluate the importance of every task.
Make a To-Do List: So simple, yet so effective. To make sure things get done, write them down in a notebook, to keep a handle on your daily activity, and make sure nothing slips through the cracks.
Use Your Calendar: Plan your weeks in your calendar so that you maximize the limited time you have each week. Make sure to schedule breaks in there as well – as in actually put them in your calendar.
6. Kick Your Bad Habits
Managing stress at work is partially about your mindset. Your outlook can have a huge impact on your ability to cope with everyday stressors. Keep them in check so they don’t become major sources of negative stress. Here are a few tips to change your mindset by break the bad habits that are holding you back:
Stay positive: One way to do this is to express gratitude. It’s surprising how much different your outlook is when you make a point to recognize the people and things in your life that you’re lucky to have.
Resist perfectionism: Don’t fear mistakes, learn from them. The desire to be perfect can make your stress spike and your self-worth plummet. Recognize that failures don’t define you, they’re just opportunities for learning and growth.
Focus on what you can control: Much of the anxiety we experience is over the uncertainty caused by things outside our control. The best way to combat that is to only focus on the things we can control – like our effort, our attitude, and how we treat people – rather than the outcomes we can’t.