Smart Ways to Reduce Damaging Stress at Work
By Sandy Schroeder
As fall approaches, you may be able to feel the stress building at work. New projects, more deadlines and more hours may seem inevitable, but giving in to stress is not.
Forbes tells us to get a grip on the situation before it gets out of control and creates negative vibes or wipes out productivity. Here’s what they recommend.
Stay Cool and Take Control
When demands accelerate it’s easy to panic, losing confidence and concentration in the process. Most of us have been there. One morning everything is fine. The next one is not, as work boils over and stress soars. Don’t panic. Instead, step back, pin down the major issues, and start knocking them off one at a time. As you do, your confidence will return and stress will let up.
Streamline Your Operations
If you are facing more work, the last thing you need is a steady flow of interruptions. Take a good look at your day and decide how you can control the interruptions. You might consider closing the door when you are really busy. You can also reserve one spot in the day to answer emails, or set up a discussion period when you are free to talk and answer questions.
Use Your Breath
When you run into one demand after another, the smartest move might be to close your door or step outside to sit quietly and just breathe. Inhale for five seconds, pause and then breathe out through the nose. Slowly let the commotion subside and your breath eases the stress. When you go back to work, it may look a lot better.
Channel Your Energy with Breaks
It’s tempting to just keep running when there is a lot to do, but that may quickly drain your energy. Learn to pace yourself, working for 90 minutes, and then taking a 15-minute break to walk outside or do a series of stretches. Short breaks can siphon off the stress and restore energy, helping us work longer and stronger.
Learn How to Let Go of Frustration
Inevitably as pressure builds and stress keeps pace, conflicts come up. If you find yourself bubbling over with anger, step back for a moment to avoid overreacting. Cool down with a cool breath technique. Breathe in through the mouth like you were using a straw. Then breathe out through the nose. You should feel a cool dryness on your tongue. As you pause to breathe you can collect your thoughts and decide what you really want to say.
Try these tips to stay a step ahead of the stress, never losing your cool, or your grip. As the pace levels out, the stress may too.
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