5 Ways to Combat Work-Related Stress

How often does a bad day keep you up at night? Or worse, how often do you wake up at 2a.m. and start thinking about those stressful and feel unable to get back to sleep?

Life is all about balance. So, when one part of life is off center, it affects other parts of your life. With over 40% of adults reporting that stress from work keeps them up at night, it’s clear that something needs to give at some point. Whether you make major changes or minor changes, here are some strategies from Forbes to minimize your stress:

1. Act, don’t react

The most stressful situations are the ones in which we feel powerless. This can be literal or mental; Forbes recommends reminding yourself that you are in control of yourself and your actions. In your interactions with others, ensure that you are in control for your 50%, and know that you can’t affect external forces or other people.

2. Eliminate interruptions

Forbes estimates that the average employee has anywhere from 30 to 100 projects running at one time. That translates to a lot of emails, IMs, drop-ins, and other interruptions. Allowing that some interruptions are necessary and welcome (taking a walk once an hour, for example, is good for your body as well as your mind), try triaging other kinds of interruptions with the type of response required. And don’t forget that it’s acceptable to shut your door (or, in a cube situation, whatever the equivalent might be).

3. Cool off

When you’re angry or frustrated, your body literally heats up as well. Employing a cooling breath technique--inhale through your mouth, and exhale out the nose--cools your body. It also works like a ‘Pause’ button and, according to Forbes, will even calm down other parties.

4. Be your own critic

Cull down the to-do list by getting real with yourself and identifying the things that you really intend to do, and the things which are more along the lines of someday. It creates a more manageable workload and also means that you’ll be able to really move down the list.

5. Eat right and sleep well

You’ve heard it a million different ways, but here it is again: eat crappy food and you’ll feel crappy. Add losing sleep due to stress (and considering that sleep is the time during which our body is able to rest and rejuvenate), and you’ve got a recipe for feeling tired and listless.

 

Stress doesn’t discriminate, and everyone is subject to it. Much like one of the earlier tips on this list, while we might not be able to stop the factors which cause it, we can control how we react to it.