10 Ways to Lower Workplace Stress
04 Sep 2017
While experiencing some amount of stress in the workplace is normal and even beneficial for staying focused and energized on the job, an excessive amount of stress at work can affect your productivity and performance. Taking steps to reduce workplace stress is healthy and can even help you do your job better.
It’s easier and less time-consuming than you think to reduce workplace stress. There’s no need to splurge on a spa treatment or weekend luxury retreat to relax and recuperate. The following are 10 ways that you can reduce stress and take yourself from chaos to calm.
1. Listen to music
If you’re feeling overwhelmed and it’s possible for you to listen to music on the job, slip on some earbuds and listen to relaxing music. Listening to calming music has a positive effect on your body and brain and can reduce your body’s cortisol, which is a hormone associated with stress.
2. Eat right
Eating healthy is crucial to reducing stress. Oftentimes, when we get busy, we resort to eating sugary, fat-laden snacks but these foods will only exacerbate stress. Try to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, as well as foods rich in protein and Omega-3 fatty acids.
In order to exercise, you don’t necessarily have to go for a run or workout at the gym. Simply getting up to stretch, taking a quick stroll around the office, or taking the stairs instead of the elevator will get your blood moving and release endorphins, improving your mood almost instantly.
4. Get enough sleep
Be sure to get enough sleep each night because lack of sleep can cause stress. Don’t look at the phone, TV, or computer for at least an hour before your bedtime to ensure that you’re able to unwind and fall asleep at a decent hour. Most adults need 8 hours of sleep to operate at their very best.
5. Sit up straight
Your posture influences your behavior and psychology. Don’t sit hunched over your computer or phone because it will make you feel less powerful and therefore more stressed. Sit up straight and rearrange things in your workstation to give yourself more breathing room. Take up more space and stretch out periodically to give yourself the feeling of being in power.
6. Get organized
Looking at clutter in your office or cubicle spurs your body’s production of stress hormones, so you can get stressed out just working in a cluttered space, even if the work itself isn’t particularly stressful. Clutter is a sign of a delayed decision, so tackle your clutter one step at a time, even if that means just filing away a stack of papers on your desk.
7. Avoid interruptions
It’s easier said than done to avoid interruptions when you’re constantly bombarded with emails and phone calls throughout the workday. However, addressing interruptions rather than staying focused on one task at a time can lead to stress. If you get interrupted, write a quick reminder to yourself about what you were doing so you can come back to the task you were working on later.
8. Take a deep breath
Take breaks throughout the day to take a deep breath. Sit up straight with your eyes closed. Slowly inhale through your nose and then exhale through your mouth. Deep breathing lowers your blood pressure and slows your heart rate.
Humor is a great way to relieve stress in the workplace. Share a joke or funny story with a co-worker or listen to comedy while you work. A deep belly laugh lowers cortisol and boosts endorphins, which in turn brightens your mood.
10. Don’t set unrealistic goals
Don’t set goals for yourself that are overly ambitious because you will just feel discouraged and stressed out if you don’t achieve them. Aim high when you set goals, but don’t feel like you can’t go back and adjust your goals. Being flexible is key to keeping stress at bay.
Remember that stress is a normal part of working. Try to have a positive outlook and remember that stress can actually be a good thing because it can improve your work performance. This way of thinking will help you rise to the challenge whenever stressful situations occur at work, which they will.
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