Do you ever feel like you can’t keep your head above water at work? One study has found that 83% of American workers say they feel stressed out by their jobs. The contributing factors include low pay, unreasonable workloads, bad managers, annoying coworkers, and lack of opportunity for advancement. Because of these factors, some workers will find different ways for them to cope, some are mentioned below, but there are others that can be looked into, for instance, the use of cannabis-based products that can be found on a dispensary menu as well as prescribed medications from their doctor, are areas that people have looked into depending on their needs.
People’s problems don’t have to be your emergency. Here are a few tips on how to manage your stress levels at work!
7 easy ways to calm your mind and reduce stress:
- Pause and process. Work can feel chaotic, but you don’t have to be so quick to react. Too many of us feel required to respond to requests immediately, and it can feel overwhelming. I bet each one of you can think of one instance this week where someone emailed you and then instant messaged you within minutes asking if you received the email. It’s frustrating, suffocating, and an unhealthy way to operate a team. To avoid the hair-on-fire moments, my team has the mantra of pause and process. We constantly remind each other to take a step back, take a deep breath, and then collectively figure out how to tackle the task at hand. Furthermore, most of us like to keep our minds calm on weekends after a long week of work. Relaxing activities include meditation, relaxing at a spa (such as the Twin Cities medical spa center), listening to music, and even playing a few games. Consequently, our minds are refreshed and we have a greater capacity for work.
- Cut out the interruptions. Push notifications. Email alerts. Event invites. It never ends! If you’re feeling stressed from the constant pinging, and operating on a tight deadline, cut out the contact. It takes the average person 23 minutes to bounce back from an interruption. Put your phone into airplane mode. Let your colleagues know you’re going to be logged off of your email for an hour so you can finish a project. Block off your calendar for time to get tasks done throughout the day. Say no to meetings that aren’t important. Cut out the interruptions and focus your mind on the goals you have set out to achieve that day.
- Get your heart rate up. A staple of any life hack list is exercise; and for good reason! Exercise is critical to your overall physical and mental health. One study found that people who work out before or during the work day are happier, less stressed and more productive. Make the time to hit the gym in the morning. Go on a long walk during lunch. Take a quick break and throw around a football with some colleagues during the day. Try doing something recreational such as watching a soccer game or even betting on games (probably by looking at Single Bet Of The Day) that can get your heart pumping. Get your heart rate up and your stress will start to melt away.
- Eat a banana. There are several foods that are packed full of natural health benefits. Bananas are one of the best foods to combat depression, reduce stress and increase happiness. They contain high levels of tryptophan, which is converted into serotonin, the happy-mood brain neurotransmitter. These natural beta blockers are a great snack when you’re feeling like you’re coming unglued. So if you’re feeling anxious, grab a banana!
- Be proactive, not reactive. We’re all expected to do more with less, but don’t let that control you. Negative knee-jerk reactions to work requests create a hostile work environment. Proactively manage your priority list and realistically decide if you have the time to complete all of your deliverables. Voice any concerns to managers and come up with a solution to fix the problem.
- Breathe deeply. Redirecting your focus to your breathing has been a proven stress-release remedy for hundreds of years. There is general controlled breathing where you simply close your eyes and take a series of slow, deep breaths in your nose and out your mouth. There’s also the progressive muscle relaxation technique. This method combines deep breathing with targeted muscle tension. Starting with your feet and moving up your body parts, squeeze the muscle so it becomes tense, breathe for about 10 seconds and then release. The goal is to relax the body and mind while concentrating on your breath. Additionally, this can also help you identify health issues, especially if you can’t take deep breaths or feel breathless quickly. In that case, it could be recommended to see a pulmonologist near your location to check if it’s due to lung issues or an anxiety attack.
- Ditch the coffee. I hate to break it to you, but caffeine increases the body’s levels of cortisol – the stress hormone. It also increases your dopamine levels, acting very similar to amphetamines. You might feel great at first, but often people crash when it wears off. If you’re feeling jittery and anxious, switch to decaf!