We’ve all been there. You’re sailing through your day feeling great and then out of nowhere, you are hit with an email, phone call, or conversation that knocks you off balance. Or maybe, you go through the workday with a constant weight on your shoulders. You could be stressed out at a job you hate or have negative coworkers that drain your energy. Did you know that 75-90% of all doctors visits is due to stress? It sounds shocking, but when you think about it you see that it makes complete sense. Increased stress lowers our body’s ability to fight infection and disease.
Stress management is an important skill for everyone to have. Have you ever observed how successful people handle stress? What they do differently enables them to be resilient and achieve their goals. Successful people recognize what’s causing the stress, see how it relates to the big picture, and chose to handle themselves accordingly. The reality is that the circumstances and what’s going outside of you doesn’t matter! How you chose to respond makes all the difference with how you feel and the future results you get. Here are three, stress management tips I used when I worked at an extremely stressful job.
1. Relax before you get there – Take the chaos out of your morning! You might not see how your morning routine affects the rest of your day, but it leaves a significant impact. Watching or listening to sensationalized, drama-filled, news stories stays in your subconscious and can create anxiety, fear, and doubt throughout the day. Instead, try listening to calming music while you get ready for work. It might seem quiet at first, but it actually helps you create clarity in your thinking. Incorporating a gratitude practice, prayer, meditation, or yoga can also have positive effects on the rest of your day.
2. Create your own sanctuary – How do you feel in your workspace? If your answer isn’t a pleasant one, then there are a few simple things you can do to decrease your stress levels. If you have your own office, try shutting the door to limit outside noise and interruptions. If you don’t have your own office, define your workspace by organizing your desk, decorating with color, putting out photos or anything that boosts your mood. Try listening to music with headphones to get in your zone. Sometimes, I used to put headphones on without music, just to signal to others that I was busy and didn’t want to be bothered.
3. Stay focused- While you’re at work, many things will come up during the day. Do you allow distractions to stop you and cause stress? Focusing on what’s important involves channeling your thoughts in one, positive direction, being calm, and consciously considering your priorities. When you’re relaxed, you are in a better position to complete projects and excel at work. Try limiting your interactions with office gossips or other people who take up a lot of your time, but don’t provide anything of value.
Stress management is something that comes up a lot when I’m working with clients who have ambitious goals. If you want a promotion, are planning an exit strategy, or are looking for your ideal career there can be obstacles along the way. Have your responses in stressful situations helped you or hindered you in the past? What can you try to decrease your stress at work?
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