How to lower your stress at work
Stress in the workplace can come at you from every direction, all day long. An inbox full of emails, looming deadlines, impromptu meetings, phones ringing and incoming texts are just a few triggers of stress.
While stress is a normal reaction to the demands of daily life, how you cope with it, can make a significant difference in your quality of life.
The first step is recognizing what triggers your stress. What are those factors or situations that elevate your stress barometer? Identify those scenarios and determine whether any of them can be eliminated or restructured. For example, can you work remotely at a coffee shop or home when you need to focus on a big project? This may allow you to get more work done instead of at the office where there are numerous interruptions.
If not, you need to develop your own personal stress management system. Figure out what you can do when stress starts so you can stop it before it overwhelms you.
Here are some steps you can take to reduce your daily stress and ensure you have enough energy to tackle your day:
- Start your day with a healthy, balanced breakfast to keep focused and alert. Also, eat a meal or snack every two to three hours to keep your energy levels up. Skipping meals will leave you hungry, irritable and distracted.
- Exercise in the morning to get your endorphins going early. You will be more awake and ready to tackle your day. It can also increase your mental clarity and your productivity level.
- Don’t sit at your desk all day. It not only zaps your energy, which will cause you to lose focus, but it also increases your risk for obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and death. Incorporate movement throughout your day. Don’t sit for more than two hours at a time.
- Take phone calls while standing.
- Walk to your co-worker’s desk instead of calling or emailing.
- Try walking meetings.
- Stretch at your desk.
- Close your eyes and practice deep breathing exercises. Studies suggest that when you are stressed, performing regular, mindful breathing exercises can have many health benefits, such as slowing a fast heart rate and lowering your blood pressure.
- Leave your workplace for lunch. Sometimes a change of scenery can give you a fresh perspective and calm your mind.