10 Tips to Reduce Stress in the Workplace
Workplace stress contributes to so many health issues including aging, weight gain, illness and disease. Feeling stressed during your workday? Here are a few simple tips to help you stress...less.
1. Learn how to say "no." When you're already overextended, taking on additional tasks will only create more stress and anxiety. Stop piling onto your full workload by learning how to say "no."
2. Make your workspace work for you. Personalize your workspace with things that calm and soothe you. That could mean pictures of loved ones or photos of serene settings, something calming on your desk or even music playing softly around you. You can also download apps with sounds like waterfalls, birds, rain, wind or whichever sounds give you a sense of peace and serenity.
3. Keep things in perspective. Sure you have projects to finish and deadlines to meet, but stress is tied to many diseases and is a main reason for many emergency room visits. Is what you're getting stressed over worth risking your health?
4. De-clutter and organize your workspace. Make the decision to keep, file or toss, then organize everything left in your space so things are easy to find. Clutter creates stress by vying for your attention, so de-clutter your space to de-clutter your mind.
5. Improve your productivity. Take note of how you're scheduling your workday and what you're spending your time on. For many people, delegating certain times to check email, make phone calls, schedule breaks, or work on specific tasks is a great way to get more done with less stress.
6. Be realistic. Go for progress, not perfection because trying to be perfect is a perfect recipe for stress. Of course you want to do a good job, but take the pressure off by learning what's good enough in order to keep your stress in check.
7. Steer clear of "energy vampires." We all know them. They're the people who drain you of your time, energy and motivation...if you let them. They also increase your stress. By spending time with those who are positive, uplifting, fun and inspiring, you'll reduce your stress while being encouraged to be, do and have more.
8. Exercise. Burn off some steam by taking regular breaks to move and stretch throughout your day. Exercising before your workday can set the tone for a productive, energetic day, while exercising after your workday can help reduce your stress before you come home. No matter when you exercise, working out regularly is a great stress reducer, encourages more restful sleep, and reduces your risk for stress-related conditions and disease in addition to having so many other physical, mental and emotional benefits.
9. Take an objective look at your job/career. Stress is often a result of dissatisfaction and a lack of joy. Are you enjoying your work? Does it bring you satisfaction and fulfillment or is it only a means to a paycheck? Maybe it's time to change your responsibilities, take on a new challenge or possibly a new career. Work doesn't feel like work when you're doing something you love, so take a look to see how you're feeling about how you spend your day.
10. Have more fun. Being responsible doesn't mean you can't have fun. Lighten up and laugh more by being mindful of who and what you're allowing into your life. Negative people, programs and information increase anxiety, stress and fear while positive influences strengthen your immune system and make life more enjoyable. Be strict about the messages you allow yourself to see, hear and absorb.