Stress is not something that one can take for granted, especially in a work setting. From running to meetings to refreshing your email inbox constantly, it’s easy to get swept into the stressful parts of work. Once a while having some stress is reasonable, but it becomes a problem when it is excessive and continuous. There are many negative effects that stress can trigger from a mental, physical, and emotional standpoint. Excess stress can harm anyone’s health in the form of migraines, increased blood pressure, upset stomachs, alongside more serious conditions such as anxiety and depression.
It is extremely important to be able to reduce stress in the workplace. Here are some extremely beneficial strategies you can adopt to manage and reduce your stress levels, as well as find a positive work-life balance:
1. Identify the Cause of your Stress:
The initial step is identifying the cause so you can face it head-on. In the workplace, there could be several things that can negatively affect any person. Evaluate your physical environment honestly on whether you are actually comfortable. Even if it is as a rickety chair, the keyboard causing wrist pain, or maybe the lighting on your computer is straining your eyes. All of these can contribute to causing huge amounts of stress in the long-run, including headaches, tension, fatigue, lack of focus, anxiety, and much more. Since you spend most of the time at work, one should be really kind to their body on the job.
The negative effects of stress range from the very mild to chronic physical and mental pain. This, in turn, can easily affect one’s morale and satisfaction at work. If something is bothering you, always approach your Manager to make things better for you at your workplace.
2 . Eat Healthy
Diet has such a profound impact on our mental health. If you have only a certain amount of time to have your food, try meal-prepping every week. Not only is it cheaper than eating out every day, but it’s also easier to prepare and takes less time out of your limited lunch break. Meal-prep is also a chance to find healthy alternatives for foods that, while they may taste delicious, are causing you to crash and burn later in the day.
For breakfast try replacing processed high-carb foods, like cereal and bagels, with whole grains and fruits. The most popular lunch foods (e.g. pizza, cheeseburgers, hotdogs…) are full of grease and heavy in carbs that your body will spend most of its energy digesting when you’re trying to work. This is why people often experience drowsiness and a lack of energy after heavy meals. You can combat this vicious cycle by balancing your meals with different types of energy sources, like salad, nuts and berries, and other healthy snacks throughout the day.
3. Stay Hydrated
Water is absolutely essential to have a healthy and productive day. It is also said that signs of stress such as headaches and migraines are often caused by dehydration. The tiniest changes in your water intake affect things like your skin, mood, digestion and your eating habits. To get some relief, drink plenty of water!
4. Form Good Work Relations
Feeling isolated at work is definitely a major contributor to stress. Having a solid support system in every aspect of life can help manage some of the negative effects of life. It can ve a tense work relationship or misunderstanding between you and some of your team that is contributing to your stress. If so, this is completely natural—we’re all human, and being around people you don’t understand or just can’t seem to connect with is a part of life. The trick is to not let this affect your work or your mental well-being. Perhaps the only thing standing in the way of a positive, healthy relationship between you and your co-workers is one good conversation or outing after work to foster that connection.
This can benefit the whole team to bond over aspects of the job that you all find stressful. If you don’t have a close friend at work, try to take steps to be more social with your co-workers. When you take a break or go for lunch, for example, instead of seeing who posted what on Instagram, try talking with your colleagues and connect on a personal level.
Exercise is an awesome way to alleviate stress but in situations where one does not have time to fit a workout in their busy schedule, meditation is a good substitution. Studies show a consistent meditation practice, even for only a couple minutes per day, may contribute to lower blood pressure. Meditation can also help control the annoying thoughts that can trigger stress. Whenever you begin to get stressed at work, pause and take a deep breath. Shake out your body, sit back down, plop in those headphones and give yourself some time to meditate.
6. Stay Organized
A way to alleviate some workplace stress would be to get organized. Planning ahead to stay organized can greatly decrease stress at work. Keeping yourself organized means avoiding the negative effects of clutter, and being more efficient with your work. Try making a to-do list, setting multiple deadlines for a single project, and using different calendar apps.
7. Don’t be afraid to reach out for Support
If you feel like your stress is becoming unmanageable, it’s important to reach out and ask for help. Accepting help from trusted friends and family members can improve your ability to manage stress. If you continue to feel overwhelmed by work stress, you may want to see a psychologist who can help you identify the problem and better manage stress at work.