Beat the Stress at Work with These Easy Tricks
When you’re stressed, you can expect to be not as productive. Unfortunately, your work won’t go away. So you’ll push yourself harder and probably end up even more stressed. It’s a vicious cycle, really.
Fortunately, excess stress at work can be managed without you having to check out. There are ways to keep work stress levels under control and stop it from wreaking havoc in your life and over your health.
- Get rid of your morning coffee.
Oh, did that cause you more undue stress? Sorry, not sorry.
Sure, caffeine may be the only thing keeping you going. And really, that might just be the problem. Caffeine boosts adrenaline production. However, it also suppresses adenosine, also known as the natural relaxant in the brain. This is why experts suggest taking coffee out of your routine to reduce stress as well. You’d probably suffer from withdrawal headaches if you stop all at once, though. So try cutting back a cup at a time.
David Allen, author of Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity says that the biggest office stress buster is organization. It’s “what’s most needed and most lacking.” He says that even the most basic of organizational habits can save hours in a work week. If you haven’t gotten the drift yet, it’s more time equals less stress.
Here’s a tip: do an end of the week review. By spending one hour every Friday on your to-do list, you’ll find Monday morning a little less overwhelming.
3. Watch Yourself
A West Virginia University research found out that after a 2-month “mindfulness training” program, people’s stress levels dropped an astounding 54%. The common symptoms of stress like bunched-up muscles and scattered thinking all but went away. But you don’t really need to take a course to relive yourself of the stress. Just start paying more attention to when your breathing starts to race and then stop for a few minutes.
Stress makes you lean forward and focus more on what you’re trying to do. This results in back and neck muscles working harder. So when you feel your shoulders tightening, lean back. Clasp your hands behind your neck and squeeze your shoulder blades together. This is called the PC stretch.
After that, let your head fall forward and bring your elbows together in front of you until they’re touching. Pull down with your hands and release after a few seconds. Repeat this exercise every time you feel knotted up.
5. Drink your Vitamins.
Include vitamins into your morning routine. Vitamin C and the B vitamins are good for relieving anxiety. They will also help you feel less tired and more focused.
6. Laugh at Yourself.
Yes, this is easier said than done when you have a deadline breathing down on you. But laughing is one of the best weapons against stress. When you feel particularly anxious, throw up your hands and do an activity that’s fun and will make you laugh. Juggle if you must, it’s an activity that’s hard to do with a straight face anyway.
The next time your boss decides to sprout Dilbert-isms and you start feeling like sheep, remember there is a way to escape and find release. You don’t need to suffer through another bout of blood rushing through your ears and sweat spreading through your armpits. Don’t let stress rip you apart. Fight it with the above tips. You may think your job is your life, but there’s no reason why you should let it control you.