How to Cope with Workplace Stress

College days are over when you had to submit a heap of assignments, projects, and study for tests in every subject all at the same time. You may have entered into your profession thinking that life should be easier now that those days are gone, only to realize later that you are very wrong.

Many fail to realize the fact that stress and pressure in school is meant to prepare students for what’s to come in future: real world pressure and stress.

Some stress at work is common and tolerable, for example when you have to meet a deadline or submit a challenging assignment. However, prolonged stress is quite harmful because it affects your overall well-being and ability to move forward with your work—or even life.

Here are a few ways to cope with negative and prolonged stress at work:

1. Take Control

Instead of letting your problems take control of you, you should learn to take control of your own problems. The stress you experience from overlooked problems can reduce our confidence and concentration. But before you let that happen, find a way to deal with the cause of your stress. There will always be some aspects of the situation that are in your own hands. Recognize those aspects and take control!

2. Don’t Over-think

Sometimes the cause of stress is simply the fact that we are “over-thinking”. A problem may not have occurred, but your mind may keep inventing problems that could occur. Negative thinking, and especially over-thinking negatively, is a very bad habit. Just because you think something bad could happen doesn’t mean it will.

Try to be more positive. You will learn that powerful positive thinking itself can cause the good that happens to you by allowing you to be filled with confidence and recognizing how to act up to a problem.

3. Breath

Learn how to relax your body. You can use physical techniques such as deep breathing, clearing the mind, sitting in a still position, or other meditative postures. These techniques not only adjust and improve the physical functions of the body, but also the mental state. You can use deep breathing techniques to clear your mind before an important presentation, meeting, or any other stressful situation pop up in your life.

Try this: Inhale through your mouth and fill your lungs till you have counted 5 seconds. Then hold for 2 more second, and slowly exhale through your nose counting another 5 seconds. Take a few minutes to do this exercise at your desk alone (without distractions).

4. Eat Well and Sleep Well

One other major cause of stress is lack of energy that results from bad eating and sleeping habits. Pack up on those proteins and cross off foods that include lots of sugar, caffeine, or cholesterol. Peaking levels (sugar, blood, etc.) is bad for your health and a direct cause of stress.

Also, eliminate your reasons to sleep too late at night or not being able to get enough sleep in a day. A normal sleep cycle should be about 7-9 hours long. Figure out how long it takes your body to fully recharge after a long sleep and honor those precious hours. Sleeping is a crucial recovery period for the body and not getting enough “Zzz’s” will result in an overworked, stress-induced body.

5. Build a “Best” Schedule

It could be that you often procrastinate and waste time in the morning, forcefully pushing your work to after-lunch hours when you are feeling less productive. A messy schedule won’t do you any good. Build your schedule with your most productive work hours in mind. Do most of your important and tricky tasks during those “best hours” and reserve the lazy hours for less challenging work.

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