You wake up early. You get ready for work. You already know: this is going to be a stressful day. You have too many responsibilities to handle. The expectations are huge and you’re not sure you’re up to them. Days like these usually get you to that moment you’d like to avoid - the moment when you snap and lose it.
Your day at work brings many small annoyances. Your colleague’s phone won’t stop ringing. Someone is talking nonstop. There’s no coffee left. You mess up your daily plan because your boss asks you to help someone do their work.
It happens. Stress is an inevitable aspect of our lives. Does that mean we should let that state of being take us in its whirlpool? Absolutely not. There’s a way to reduce the stress in our usual work day. IN fact, there are many ways to do that. We’ll suggest ten of them.
1. Learn How to Breathe
What? You already know how to breathe. You’ve been doing it since forever. But, have you been doing it the right way? Try this: observe your breathing when you’re stressed. You’ll probably notice that your breath is shallow and fast. Your body is not getting enough oxygen.
Stress affects the way you breathe. However, the relation works the opposite way, too. Your breath awakes your state of being. You can calm yourself down if you start taking long, deep breaths. Focus on your breathing. Do not think of anything. Close your eyes and just breathe. Take the breath from your nose, down through your belly and out. This is a simple, but powerful technique for releasing acute stress.
2. Understand Why You’re Doing This
Why did you start this job? Is it something you’ve always wanted to do? Even if this is your dream job, you’ll still come down to stressful situation. In that moment, you should remind yourself why you started doing this. If you got this job just as a stepping stone towards your dream job, it still has a meaning. If you got it only for the money, you should start searching for other opportunities.
Do you know when you’ll be happy at work? When you realize you’re doing something meaningful. A job shouldn’t just pay the bills. You’re spending too much time on it. The career should be financially rewarding, but it should also have positive implications on society. When you realize that your actions are making this world a slightly better place, you’ll be more resilient to stress.
3. Understand the Expectations
When you’re uncertain about the tasks you’re supposed to complete, you’re stressed out. Are you doing this the right way? Did you get the instructions or did you miss something? If your employer failed to define your role and all tasks clearly, you’re not sure if you’re meeting their expectations.
Why don’t you just ask? When you’re getting a new task, make sure to get clear instructions. Understand what you’re expected to do. Then, plan your actions in a way that helps you meet those expectations.
When you’re overwhelmed with tasks and expectations, stress gets on stage. How will you do this? Are you going to complete all tasks on time? The deadlines are so close!
Surprisingly, people tend to procrastinate in moments like these. They are so overwhelmed that they don’t know what to start with. Do you know what could help? Proper organization.
Mark the deadlines.
Write down all tasks that lead you to the completion of those projects.
Then, arrange those tasks in the daily schedules.
Leave some space for family life and social activities. If your professional responsibilities don’t leave space for your personal life, you’ll drive yourself to a burnout.
Establish reasonable expectations.
When you have a plan, you become more self-confident. You can see there’s enough space for all those tasks and you start tackling them one by one. That’s a good day to fight the stress you get from the workload.
5. Don’t Fuel Negative Thinking Patterns
Do you catch yourself focusing on the downside of every situation? Negative thinking is draining your motivation to work. It’s time to start doing something about it.
Those books that teach you how to become a positive thinker are often underestimated. Intellectuals mock them. However, positive thinking is an approach that can really change your life. If you start seeing the good things in everything, you’ll be happy about all small accomplishments you make. You’ll see they are leading you to progress.
6. Identify the Reasons; Then Do Something about It
This is the most serious step you’ll have to take. It’s absolutely necessary. What makes you stressed? These are only few of the reasons that might cause that state:
Low salary - If you’re not financially motivated to do your job, you feel like your work is not being valued. You don’t see the reason why you should give your best. That’s why you’re not happy to go to work every day. You can do something about this. Talk to your boss or supervisor and ask for a raise. Give them valid reasons why you deserve a higher salary. If there’s no chance for improvement in that aspect, you should start looking for another job.
Too much work - If you’re expected to complete more work than you could possibly handle, then it’s no wonder why you’re stressed out. The solution is simple: again, talk to your boss or supervisor. Explain that if they want you to complete perfect work, they should give you enough time for each task. If they give you more tasks on top of the ones you already have, just say no. Find the right words to explain that you couldn’t complete them during working hours.
No opportunities for professional growth - If you don’t see yourself growing, you’re not motivated to do this job. The mere thought that you’re tapping in place stresses you out. Ask for a promotion. If you don’t get it, start looking for a better job.
Conflict among the employees - If you’re part of a conflict situation, it’s clear why you’re stressed. Even if you’re observing the conflict from aside, the conflict makes the office an unpleasant place to be at. Try to resolve the conflict in the painless way possible. Say what you need to say, but do it in a civilized way. Don’t allow this situation to last for too long.
7. Don’t Be a Perfectionist
Perfectionism is the perfect recipe for enhancing stress. If you’re never satisfied with the results you and your team achieve, you’re never happy with the work. You’re setting unrealistic goals and you always fall short.
You need to break this habit. Your best is good enough. Always aim for your best, but be happy with the good enough.
When you’re too busy at work, cutting down on sleep is a natural decision to make, right? Wrong! You should never skip on sleep. That will interfere with your problem-solving skills, creativity, focus, and overall productivity. Instead of doing more, you’ll be doing less.
Start going to bed a bit earlier. Try to do that at the same hour every day. Get up early, but not without having at least 7 hours of sleep. Try getting up at the same time. When you get your body and mind used to a healthy schedule, you won’t feel sleepy throughout the day.
When you exercise, you’re getting more oxygen to your vital organs. That sharpens your focus, increases your energy levels, and lifts your mood. If you’re doing yoga, you’re also relaxing your mind and body.
Pick your favorite type exercise and commit to it. Every day. You’ll see definite results on your ability to stay calm during stressful situations.
10. Take a Vacation
It doesn’t matter how much you like or don’t like your job. Everyone needs a vacation. It’s that time of the year when you slow down and you stop thinking about your work. You don’t have to do a certain task, you don’t have to dress up, and you don’t have to make things perfect. Just relax, love your close ones and enjoy life to the fullest. When you recharge your batteries, you’ll be ready to get to work.
Vacations are good because they give you the opportunity to relax. They give you something else, too: a reason to work. If you continue working, you’ll be able to afford a nice vacation again next year. That thought will keep you motivated to go strong through every challenge your job imposes.
Let’s get one thing clear: stress won’t go away. Our body and mind have their natural reactions to stimulants. If, however, you learn how to manage stress, you’ll start enjoying your job. In fact, you’ll start enjoying your life much more. It’s a lot of work. However, the good news is that anyone can do it. We can all become a bit calmer happier. Let’s do it!
Julie Petersen is a blogger and the editor of the essay writing reviews blog.
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