6 Ways to Curb Work Stress

by Kate on September 26, 2012

in Healthy Living, Healthy Mind

It doesn’t matter if you love your job or hate it, we all have stressful days at work. Days when for one reason or another everything goes totally wrong, and if feels as if the universe conspired against you to give you one long day of misery. Hopefully, for you, those days are few and far between. In any case, you don’t have to let the circumstances of a bad day get the best of you. Here are 6 ways to cope:

  1. Breathe: Shallow breathing is one of the first reactions your body has to stress. If you can train yourself to pause and take deep, long breaths you’ll help prevent your body from progressing further in its reaction to your stress. If you don’t calm your breath, your body in a way takes over. You continue to breath shallowly and your body perceives that you’re still threatened so rather than thinking rationally, suddenly all your decisions are coming from a flight or fight response. Not the best mentality when you’re at work, especially if you’re already off to a bad start. Pause. Breath. Repeat.
  2. Walk Away: Obviously don’t walk away in the middle of a confrontation or anything, but if you can find a moment to simply remove yourself physically from your desk, you’ll find it much easier to clear your head.
  3. Find a Friend: Having a co-worker you trust and can talk with openly about a problem is great. If you don’t have someone at work to talk to, then why not call your mom, dad, sister, brother, husband, or wife? That’s what family’s for! Sometimes just talking through your stress with someone you love will bring things back into perspective so you can relax and deal with the problem in a level headed way.
  4. Be Prepared: Everyone makes mistakes. It’s your response to your mistakes that either quell a problem or blow it up. Unfortunately once you’ve screwed up you’re usually so panicked you can’t think clearly to respond appropriately. The solution? Prepare for mistakes before they happen. Having prepared responses for likely scenarios will allow you to remain calm and a bit more detached from a work problem.
  5. Don’t Reach for the Coffee: Coffee, or any caffeinated beverage, will generally feed your stress as it is a stimulant. Try to avoid getting into the coffee habit at work and stick to water instead.
  6. Try a Little Art Therapy: This is a personal trick I sometimes use. My drawing skills are pitiful, so if I have to draw something in particular–say, a lamp, a desk, or an office plant–it requires all my focus. By getting your focus off whatever’s causing you stress and onto something simple but challenging, you’ll be able to relax. If you don’t want to draw, then consider bringing headphones to work and turn on some music to calm you down.

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*In the spirit of full disclosure, links to products in this post may be affiliate links, which means that I may receive a commission if you decide to purchase any of the products I recommend. Know that I only recommend products that I have used and love myself.

*I am not a doctor, a nurse, or any kind of health practitioner. I’m just a gal with a pretty keen intuitive sense, great research abilities, and curiosity that is easily peaked. Please understand that my advice is really just another opinion and it’s for you (and your doctor) to decide the best course for your health and well-being.

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