It's obvious why stress at work happens. If we work hard then we make good money which means we can support ourselves and not be stressed over finances... it feels good to feel secure so we work even harder. This is where the vicious cycle starts as we start to get past our limitations as we devote all our waking hours to our jobs. So how can we break the cycle? What can we do to get rid of stress in the workplace, and head towards a more overall stress-free existence? Here are some tips to reduce the amount of stress you're feeling at work without having to give up that paycheck.
1. Pay Attention To How You're Feeling
A great way to not let stress get the better of you is to make sure that you are checking in on yourself. Don't let yourself get so far into a stress episode that you get totally lost in it. Make sure you're keeping track of how you're feeling, and when you start to notice the stress creeping in, start to make some changes. The earlier you catch that negative spiral the easier it can be to get in control of it.
2. Getting To The Root Of The Problem
The level of stress we experience in the workplace isn't natural or healthy. We experience stress as a result of the evolutionary need we once had to keep ourselves safe from danger. It's important to remember that stress in the workplace doesn't serve this function, meaning that really it's unnecessary. Ask yourself what the reason for the stress is, then see what steps you can take. Can you fix the problem? If yes, then do it! If no, try and let the stress go. Try and rationalize through it rather than suffering through.
3. Take Some Breaks
We have a socially driven desire for productivity, but we must remember that productivity is not the most important end goal. Your mental wellbeing is just as, if not more, important. So make sure you're giving yourself breaks, stepping away from the computer screen, taking a small walk to stretch your legs, and drinking enough water. Your worth doesn't depend on your work, and with more rest, you'll be more productive anyway.
4. Practicing Mindfulness
Mindfulness is the practice of bringing us back into the present moment. It means that rather than eating our food without thinking, we are aware of every bite. It means taking deep intentional breaths and noticing how it makes us feel. A short meditation every day (which is also a method of developing mindfulness) can have a huge effect on reducing stress. Whether you do this in the morning, evening, or while sitting at your desk at work, meditation can have a really positive impact.
5. Reach Out To Other People
You're not the only one feeling stressed at work. People in your own office, as well as your friends and family, are most likely feeling the same levels of stress that you are; it's a symptom of 21st-century life. So share your feelings and connect with the people around you. Whether it's through a video call or over a bottle of wine, after sharing how you feel and hearing how others feel too, you'll definitely feel better and more supported.
6. Look After Yourself
As the saying goes, healthy body, healthy mind. Make sure you're looking after yourself by doing things like sleeping enough, exercising enough, and eating healthy food. These things all make a huge difference to the way we experience day to day life. Take some time for self-care, and don't take your health for granted. If all these boxes are ticked, stress should be a lot more manageable.
7. Get Some Perspective
Life is so big and wonderful. You will experience so many things, probably in many different workplaces, and probably the most important moments of your life won't centered around work anyway. Take a step back from the picture and ask yourself if all this stress about work is really worth it in the grand scheme of your life. Our guess is that it's not.