Stress is part of our lives, but nowhere is it more likely to cause a problem than at work. High stress levels have been linked to depression, anxiety, cardiovascular disease and other health issues. Here are ten ways to lower your stress level on the job:
“Are your okay?” “You look a little stressed.” Sound familiar? Stress is part of our lives, but nowhere is it more likely to cause a problem than at work. The Mayo Clinic found that 25% of people blame their job for most of the stress in their lives.
A little stress can be good for you. It energizes and motivates you to deal with different challenges. But too much takes a toll on your brain and your body. High stress levels have been linked to depression, anxiety, cardiovascular disease and other health issues. Here are ten ways to lower your stress level on the job:
Don’t jump out of bed, rush into the shower, grab a cup of coffee-to-go and join the rush hour commute first thing in the morning. Get up a few minutes earlier than the rest of the household so that you can take your time and prepare for what’s ahead of you. Taking a few extra moments to wake up, relax and think about what you want to accomplish will make a big difference later in the day.
Take another moment for yourself once you get to work. Set realistic goals for what you want to accomplish. Create a “to-do list” in order of importance and realize that you probably can’t get it all done in one day. A list helps you focus on the job at hand, blocks out time needed for that project, and you won’t have to worry about forgetting something.
Don’t just sit there. Get up and move away from your desk. Get a cup of water, walk down the hall to make copies, or stand up while talking on the phone. You will get to use a new set of muscles and release any built up tension.
How can an organized work space reduce stress on the job? Some stress comes from feeling overwhelmed or out of control. Don’t let your desk turn into a chaotic war zone covered with files, papers and other things. A little organization will help you feel that things are under control.
You may not get a lot of time for a lunch break, so make the most of it. Do not swallow a sandwich at your desk while answering more emails. Leave the emails and technology behind for a few minutes. They will be there when you get back, but the time you take for this short break will nourish your spirit while the food nourishes your body.
What you eat at work also impacts your stress level. Overeating or eating the wrong foods can make it harder for you to cope with what’s ahead of you at work. When you eat poorly, your body does not work as efficiently as it should. When you eat healthier foods, you feel refueled and are ready to face the next task.
Talk with co-workers or people whom you trust about difficult issues you face on the job. They might have a different perspective or suggestion that can help you deal with a challenge. Just talking with someone about a work issue can often lower stress levels.
Before your leave work to face that long commute home, take another look at your “to-do list.” You will probably discover that you finished the most important tasks and that you didn’t have to worry as much as you did. As for the items that you didn’t get to, there’s always tomorrow.
All work and no play doesn’t just make Jack a dull boy. It leads to job burnout. Make sure that you take time away from work for things that you enjoy. Whether it’s a weekend getaway or a night out with friends, make sure that you enjoy every part of your life.
Eat right, exercise, get plenty of sleep and take time for yourself. No matter how hectic life gets, make sure that you take care of your health. The stress will not disappear, but it will be easier to handle.
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