Everyone doing the nine-to five grind has to deal with similar issues at work, the office politics, the great or not so great boss, hierarchical challenges, conflicts of interests, and miscommunication.
Expectations, deadlines, achievements, and goals can all add up to a bucket full of stress, more than you’d like to be carrying.
Choosing ways to reduce the load is a great way to work smarter rather than harder. Here are five ways you can reduce the pressures at work to lower your stress levels:
- Recognize What You Can And Can’t Control
The well-known Serenity Prayer can be useful for all, whether you are a recovering alcoholic or not! “God, grant us the serenity to accept the things we cannot change, courage to change the things we can and the wisdom to know the difference.” Being able to discern the difference between what you can and what you cannot control removes a lot of unnecessary stress. You can immediately stop stressing over all the things you cannot control. This frees up energy to focus on what you can control.
Studies have shown that deep belly, or diaphragmatic breathing can decrease some of the symptoms of stress, including lowering heart rate and blood pressure and encouraging a more relaxed state. Breathing out for longer than you breathe in can also trigger a state of relaxation to start. When you are feeling overwhelmed, it is a valuable, if counter-intuitive, step to take a whole minute to simply breathe. You will be able to think more clearly and you will be more alert.
- Take Scheduled Breaks
Studies show that taking regular breaks from a task can make you more productive and efficient. If you keep on flogging yourself to get the job done, you will wear yourself down, and lose motivation. Experts recommend a short break of a few minutes every 90 minutes or so, as our concentration span wanes after this amount of time. Use the break to stretch, move, yawn, or take a power nap.
- Learn To Say, “No.”
If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed too often, you may have taken on too much at work. Learning to say “no” will increase the amount of respect your co-workers have for you, and it will limit the number of tasks you take on. You will feel more ease and your self-esteem will sky-rocket! As you take on less, you become more productive, more organized, and more efficient. It truly is a healthy way to manage your stress at work!
- Offer “Win-Win” Solutions
When faced with a difficult situation at work, try looking for the “win-win,” instead of the “win-lose.” Find ways to collaborate share and support one another at work. It doesn’t have to be a competition. You don’t have to beat the others or pit yourself against your co-workers. If you can find a “win-win,” everyone feels happier, you bring a smile to people’s faces, everyone feels good and the atmosphere becomes charged with positive vibrations. Everyone’s stress is decreased! This then has the knock-on effect of making you feel even better about yourself!
Therefore, although work can be a high-pressure environment, it is possible to find ways to lower those cortisol levels and even positively impact the stress levels of your colleagues. Letting go of what you can’t control, taking regular breaks and remembering to just breathe, can help you de-stress.
Adding the art of saying “No,” and looking for win-win solutions with others can make the workplace that little bit more appealing, and that little bit more chill. Bring a bit more chill to work today!