Stress is a leading cause of many physical and mental conditions. When we experience stress, especially in high amounts, it can make our lives much more complicated than it has to be. Stress can also respond to being overwhelmed, unprepared, and anxious. When we’re stressed, there’s also a tendency to feel tension within the body and immense frustration. Work happens to be one of those places that many people automatically associate as stressful or stress-inducing. And there are many reasons for this, one being that a person’s job is their livelihood. It’s the sole means they earn money to support their basic needs, such as providing food and shelter for themselves. Having a job alone can be stressful because it places a lot of responsibility and pressure on performance. However, no one is a robot nor able to function as one that’s why it’s important to learn how to manage stress in the workplace.
Humans get hungry and tired. And, most importantly, humans get stressed out! What’s important for people to remember is how to manage stress in the workplace. Work becomes more feasible and enjoyable once the appropriate techniques are incorporated to reduce and prevent stress. By incorporating a few stress management tips, you can manage stressful situations in your work environment.
Why Stress is the Enemy of Success
Stress is the enemy of success, productivity, and efficiency. When you’re stressed, you’re likely either too caught up in the feeling of being overwhelmed or being overwhelmed by endless thoughts and mental fog. Stress compromises our immune system, increasing our likelihood of getting sick and decreasing our ability to heal. Aside from these few physiological effects of stress, stress can also cause us confusion. It can impede our ability to retain and recall information. Thus, you’ll find that stressed individuals often misinterpret things and have more mistakes. This is what makes stress the enemy of success. By utilizing the following 15 stress management tips, you can reduce stress in your workplace and have tremendous success.
15 Ways to Manage Stress in the Workplace
Mindfulness Meditation helps you get out of your head and feel present in your body. Meditation is a form of exposure therapy where you learn to observe whatever thoughts come to mind. You act as an objective observer for whichever ideas surface in your mind. Then, you let these thoughts go effortlessly by shifting your focus back towards your breathing. Finally, you can look into different guided mindfulness meditation exercises for further assistance.
Consider bringing meditation to your workplace with Declutter The Mind At Work. Declutter The Mind is a guided meditation app for practices specifically designed to help you manage work stress, improve productivity, and create a healthier work culture.
Declutter The Mind is a meditation app for your workplace to help make your team happier and culture healthier. In an average 9-to-5 work day, just 5 minutes of mindfulness meditation can release stress, improve focus, and boost creativity. For your company, a more mindful team means better workplace culture and teamwork.
Have an Open Discussion
Stress is best dealt with by acknowledging it. Having an open discussion with management and colleagues is one way to manage stress in the workplace. Some people feel this may be too taboo to discuss with their coworkers and boss. However, having an open discussion about mental health helps cultivate an atmosphere of empathy and enhances trust in the workplace.
Mental Health Days
In addition to spreading mental health education through open dialogue, you can also lobby for your workplace to incorporate mental health days. These can be organized days off specifically for mental health or days where mental health is the topic of conversation. This helps build rapport and makes everyone more comfortable sharing how they feel.
A stress ball is a simple yet effective tool one can use to alleviate stress and anxiety. For example, if you’re feeling flustered with work assignments or workplace drama, take a 15-minute break and use a stress ball. Squeezing a stress ball helps you shift the focus from the stressor to the stress ball. Another equally effective alternative could include a fidget spinner, yo-yo, or slinky.
Adult Coloring Books
Coloring books are great for everyone and can surprisingly help manage stress in the workplace. It’s proven that coloring helps to reduce stress. An adult coloring book has hilarious themes that even most adults find amusing. Thus, you’ll always get a good laugh and some therapeutic coloring. These coloring books are usually very affordable and give you a good break from adulting.
Track Your Stressors
A huge part of managing your stress is being aware of the things that cause you stress. Stressors can be people, words, situations, etc. By eliminating your stressors, you diffuse your stress exponentially!
Reframe Negative Thoughts
One thing you can do to help you manage stress is reframing negative thoughts. Reframing is a powerful technique for seeing the world through a more positive lens. So, for example, you can even reframe some anxiety you may be experiencing. For example, when you’re feeling anxious about an entire workday, you can say you’re excited instead. This takes away the negative connotation that accompanies the word “anxiety.”
Establish Healthy Boundaries
A lot of stress in the workplace comes from lines being crossed, feeling unappreciated, or feeling disrespected. By establishing healthy boundaries, you teach others to respect you, your standards, and limitations. This could mean having a discussion with your boss about micromanaging your work. If you notice your coworkers or boss constantly hovering over your shoulder, this is an appropriate time to have a discussion and establish some boundaries.
Take a Work Break
Again, you’re not a robot. Everyone needs a work break, even for 5 minutes of fresh air. It’s essential to take some time away from your work to prevent energy burnout. This can be short breaks away from your cubicle or resting your eyes on the harsh fluorescent lights of the office. Whatever you deem necessary to replenish your energy will help you reduce stress and sustain your energy levels throughout the workday.
Stress is not so high when everything is easy to find and properly organized. Imagine being able to locate all your needed items when you need them. It’s such a relaxing feeling to see your workplace organized and orderly. Our environment is indeed a reflection of what’s going on with our minds and vice versa. So, it’s good to maintain organization in your workplace environment for organized thoughts.
Focus on the Present
People are either stressing about something that has already occurred or worrying about something they suspect to happen in the future. It’s seldom that a person finds themselves stressed and focused on the present moment. To manage stress in the workplace, practice being more mindful. The human mind tends to ruminate over the past or worry about the future. However, it’s essential to know that there is no moment quite like now. Now is genuinely all we have. Focusing on the present is an act of mindfulness and helps us only concern ourselves with what we can control, which we do now.
Work smarter, not harder. Ensure that your work goals are S.M.A.R.T., meaning your goals are Specific, Measurable, Attainable/Achievable, Relevant, and Time-based. Once you’ve identified that your work goals are S.M.A.R.T., there’s a significant chance of your task being completed successfully. So, always ask where your goals lie on the S.M.A.R.T. meter when assessing your work/career goals.
Encourage Social Activity
Social activity is vital for establishing good rapport and trust in the work environment. It’s good to encourage social action, and it’s good to have a job where socialization is encouraged. Yes, work is a place of professionalism. However, when you get past all the formalities, it’s also important to realize that you spend a good portion of your life and time with your colleagues. So, it’s good to know more about your coworkers. The more you know each other, the more comfortable you are with one another, and the less stress. So having a potluck, doing group activities, and celebrating important events with coworkers are just a few things you can do to encourage social action at the workplace.
Create Healthy Habits
Healthy habits help to cement positive changes. Procrastination, laziness, preoccupation, and postponing are all habits that cause work to pile up, resulting in lots of uncalled-for stress. By creating healthy habits, you can prevent stress and boost your work performance.
Multitasking is a common myth people believe in. There’s no such thing as multitasking, but there is such thing as being preoccupied. Unfortunately, doing too many things at once serves as a huge distraction. So when we try to ‘multitask,’ we’re just alternating between different activities, not doing them simultaneously. And, because our attention is so divided, the chances of having mishaps and making mistakes increases. This means we have to spend more time going back to make corrections we could have easily avoided had we given the task at hand our full, undivided attention. To reduce the stress associated with making mistakes and having to correct errors, it’s essential to prevent mistakes from happening. While you may not be able to avoid all mistakes, you can still reduce the number of mistakes you make. Removing distractions such as silencing your phone and being in a quiet work environment is ideal for enhancing your focus.
Stress is something familiar to many and desired by none. Work can be very stressful, especially when the responsibility for maintaining job performance is so great. However, it’s important to remember that you aren’t a robot. You have thoughts and feelings which can contribute to stress or be a product of stress. Luckily, the above list includes many stress management tips that will help you prevent and overcome your stressors.