Work place stress comes in many shapes and disguises. Depending on the nature of your job and level of support and resources available to you, life can be very stressful at work. For instance, you may have to manage a heavy case load as well as supervise colleagues; or you might be head of a large complex division and constantly have to battle with other heads of departments for access to funds or more staff to complete your work.
Stress at work has a negative effect on the way you feel about your job. It can make or break you. Did you know that stress is recognized as the number one killer today? The American Medical Association stated that stress was the cause of 80 to 85 percent of all human illness and disease. It is difficult to avoid stress and when you face undue pressure and demands at work, life can become totally miserable.
To help yourself handle workplace stress, it is essential you develop effective strategies to stop stressful situations damaging your health. Easier said than done, I know. However, if you follow these three key tips you develop the inner strength and resilience needed to avoid getting stressed-out.
3 Key Tips to Avoid Getting Stressed Out at Work
1. Breathe. You can instantly regain calm and composure by focusing on your breath. If you feel yourself becoming stressed out at work, maybe your boss has pulled you up sharply regarding your latest expenses account and you feel perturbed at his level of questioning; rather than launch straight into an attack and explain how you arrived at that figure, focus on your breath. Consciously take a long steady breath in through your nose and as you slowly breathe out, breathe out to a count of 4, repeat and on the second out breath relax your jaw, smile and relax your shoulders. Repeat 3 times, each time taking slow steady breaths in and out. After you have taken your three breaths, you are in a much clearer and stronger frame of mind to explain your expenses account without becoming overbearingly rude and dismissive.
2. Stretch. During your day at work, take regular “2 Minute Stretch Breaks.” These mini stretch breaks allow your body to release the build up of muscular tension, especially in your neck, back and wrists from constant keyboard usage. Or if your job involves a lot of standing or walking, a 2 minute stretch break helps relieves sore feet and achy legs. Simple stretches such as Arms Above Your Head, or shaking your hands vigorously for 30 seconds help to relax and revive sore and painful limbs.
3. Relax. It can be very difficult to take time out at work just to sit still and relax. To make it simpler for you, see if you can find an on-line relaxation site that offers you daily inspirational thoughts, or you could download an inspirational screen saver, maybe a natural scene. Anything that when you look at it, it encourages you to stop, breathe and reflect, just for a moment, just long enough for your mind to refocus on something more inspirational and personal than your immediate work place situation.
If you can get into the habit of adopting any of the above three key tips during your day, you will be energised and refocused and over time will find it easier to ride the ups and downs of work. Best of all you will have a more stress-free day at work.