Tips to combat work-related stress

12 August 2016
Vectors used are designed by Freepik
Vectors used are designed by Freepik

Experiencing stress on a day-to-day basis carry grave physical and mental health risks. Because the working population is constantly exposed to stressors, they need to take stress as a serious matter.

According to Dr. Cynthia Ackrill, a wellness and leadership coach, “Highly stressed individuals tend to be more irritable, less approachable, less open in their thinking, less creative, less empathetic, more easily triggered, or just plain too tired to inspire.”

(RELATED: Stress as work: the dangers of work-related stress)

While it is inevitable, it is not impossible to learn how to manage it well.

Sleep it off.

Our first instinct when we feel stressed is to rest – which is correct! Most professionals are sleep-deprived or have poor sleeping hygiene. They tend to work too hard and take sleep for granted. Though when you’re tired and stressed out, it may also affect sleep, making it difficult for you to rest. Here are some tips to help you sleep trouble-free:

  1. Strictly reserve the bedroom for relaxation purposes only. Leisure and work-related activities must be done somewhere else. This will decrease stimulation of the mind. It will also condition your mind and body that the bedroom is only a place for sleeping.
  2. Make it a habit to stop using your gadgets before going to bed. Keep them far away as possible so you won’t get tempted to reach for it. This also decreases stimulation of the mind.
  3. Search for tools and applications online that can help block blue light when using the computer.

Get moving!

While resting may be the first instinct, it’s also a great idea to move around. “Exercise stimulates the production of HGH and testosterone which both help build lean muscle, burn fat, increase bone density, support joint function, and increase energy levels—the exact opposite of stress,” says Dr. Pete Sulack, America’s leading stress expert. A study by Princeton researchers also revealed that physical activity reduces stress. Insert exercise in your work schedule with these tips:

  1. Practice being a morning person and wake up earlier than you usually do. Squeeze in a 15-30 minute circuit routine before hitting the shower. Not only will this help reduce stress levels, but it will also put you in an upbeat mood going to work.
  2. For professionals that are always on-the-go, incorporate workouts that take less time and effort in your everyday routine. Small tasks such as taking the stairs in your building or walking around after work will do. Compared to hitting the gym, it’s easy to maintain but it can still make a difference.

Put your mobile phone down.

Communication is an important aspect in business. This is why it’s understandable why today’s professionals are glued to their phones. Without us realizing, it can affect our physical and mental state. “Switching off is not only a choice, but it’s a healthy option. The trappings of this modern lifestyle are such that people have literally become helpless slaves to an all-consuming, relentless and insatiable system,” says Bridget Edwards, author of Stress Gone!. Lessen the time you spend on your mobile phone through the following:

  1. Opt for reading a book or talking to your fellow colleagues during your free time.
  2. If it can’t be helped, use apps that encourage you to concentrate and be productive in a fun and interactive way such as Forest and CARROT To-do.

Laugh out loud.

It is odd to consider humour as the solution to a stressful situation, but it works. In fact, humour has many health benefits and combating stress is one. Like exercise, laughing releases endorphins which negate the effects of cortisol, better known as ‘stress hormones’. Aside from that, it can boost your body’s immune system as well, taking away the chances of you catching common illnesses like migraine and colds. Reduce stress with laughter with these tips:

  1. Surround yourself with people whom you are able to confide in and make you feel good. Forget issues about work for a little while and unwind.
  2. Try out laughter yoga. The ongoing trend is an exercise composed of deep breathing and self-generated laughter which gives off the benefits of normal laughter. Laughter Online University has a list to get you started.

Competition is a no-brainer in any industry. Organisations achieve success in the competitive landscape by staying at the top of their game. To do that, each and everyone in the organisation must be able to function in their best state.

Stress disables us from functioning properly. When our stress levels are off the charts, we even tend to forget how we can take care of ourselves. If you feel that stress is a reoccurring condition that cannot be solved by simple remedies, ask for professional help. Keep in mind that only when you have a clear mind are you able to work at your best.

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