Top tips for reducing stress at work
07 October 2021 a 11:00AM
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Long hours, unrealistic deadlines, over-supervision and even harassment. We’ve heard them all before. But whatever stress at work you might be battling through, it is important to remember that there is always a solution to help you get through them and manage any anxieties that you might have.
So, we’ve put together this little four-point cheat sheet to help you start reducing the impact these stressful scenarios might be having on you.
Take regular breaks
This is an old classic. We’ve all seen the advert, “have a break, have a kit-kat”, but the key component here is that self-awareness that triggers you to just stop what you’re doing and step away for a moment. Head over to the water cooler, have a non-work chat with a colleague or friend or family member if you are working from home.
You will find yourself a lot better prepared to tackle your latest challenge once your brain has had a bit of time to recharge.
Remember to breathe
The primary role of breathing is to absorb oxygen and to expel carbon dioxide through the movement of the lungs.
When a person is under stress, their breathing pattern changes. They start taking small and shallow breaths, using their shoulders rather than their diaphragm to move air in and out of their lungs. This style of breathing disrupts the balance of gases in the body prolonging feelings of anxiety and making the physical symptoms of stress worse.
When you start to see the tell-tale signs that you are becoming stressed, push your shoulders back and focus on deep, long breaths. Breathe in the through your nose and out through your mouth ten times, this will help rebalance you and reduce your stress levels.
Stress at work is something that many of experience of at some point in our careers.
Have a creative outlet
When was the last time you did something creative? Draw a picture, express yourself in your journal or play a musical instrument? If you are feeling stressed, we’re guessing it has been a while since you have done any of those things.
Having a creative outlet is imperative for people’s mental health as it allows the brain wander, switch off from other situations and can fuel our imagination – often helping us to realise and explore new opportunities, ideas and solutions with a fresh perspective.
A lot can be said for a good old-fashioned doodle! So, when you are next feeling a bit stressed, take some time out and just let your mind roam free on a post-it note. We know that you’ll find this experience fun, liberating, and empowering – and the more you do it you’ll feel a greater sense of control that you might have been missing.
Get a serotonin hit
If you don’t already know about serotonin, you’re missing out. It is the key hormone that stabilises our mood, feelings of wellbeing, and happiness. But if the brain doesn’t have enough serotonin, it may lead to depression.
There are number of different ways you can increase serotonin levels in the body: regular exercise lasting 30 minutes (have you signed up and participated in any of our Virtual Club events yet?), good nutrition, spending time outside in nature and reliving happy memories are just some of the things you can do.
When you feel you are starting to become stressed, go for a walk outside in the fresh air and reminisce over some happy memories perhaps with your friends or family and you’ll certainly return to work with a fresh and positive perspective.