Ten Ways to Reduce Stress at Work
As a business owner, manager or a rank-and-file worker, it is unavoidable to encounter stress. While some types of stress can be useful to boost performance, it also has many undesirable effects. From heart attacks to depression, the list of evils blamed on stress is long and deadly. Before you encounter any of these maladies, it would be best if you engage in some preventive measures.
There are many ways to reduce stress at work— you just have to try what will work best for you. Below are 10 ways I believe are most helpful:
1. Get enough exercise. Regular exercise properly done will reduce the stress on your metabolism. Exercises that build up your cardiovascular fitness have the most beneficial effect. These are aerobic exercises that increase your heart rate for a sustained period. Before starting you must have a medical check-up to make sure you are in the condition to proceed.
2. Have enough sleep. For starters, try adding one more hour to your sleeping time and see how you feel. Lack of sleep would make you feel more fatigued and lessens your productivity, besides the harm it does to your health. People generally need six to eight of shut-eye. Note, however, that people have different needs and you should honestly appraise the sleeping time you need.
3. Improve your time management. If you could manage your time better, you would have more time for rest and exercise. The first thing to do is to review if there are unnecessary activities that you could forego. After deleting unnecessary tasks, prioritize.
4. Lessen your obsessive compulsive tendencies. If you tend to be a perfectionist, reassess if a certain task needs that level of accuracy. What will be the consequences of a minor error? Besides in our fast-paced world, it is often better to move quickly than to waste too much time. There are times when the cost of perfection is more than its benefits.
5. Get regular massages. If you can afford it, getting regular massages can do wonders for your health. According to the website of the Mayo Clinic in the U.S., massage is helpful for stress relief, managing anxiety and depression, and pain relief, among other benefits.
6. Improve your physical working condition. Try to find ways to improve your workplace. Maybe your chair needs a more ergonomic replacement that will relieve your aching back. The lights may be too dim or too bright. Maybe it’s too noisy and you could do some things to lessen your exposure to the noise. Your ancient computer may need a replacement so that you can work more efficiently. There are countless ways to go about making your workplace better; do your best to see what changes you could make.
7. Be friends with more positive people and minimize interaction with those causing you stress. Since you do not have much control over who you interact with at work, this applies more to those who you have contact with outside your job. It is hard not to be affected by people with negative energy. At the other end, surrounding yourself with optimistic people is an instant morale booster.
8. Eat the right type and quantity of food at the right time. Do not skip meals, especially breakfast. Experts have recommended small frequent feedings to spread the energy from food evenly throughout the day.
9. Spend some time doing charity work. This means being actively involved and not just giving a donation. Interacting with the less fortunate helps put problems in the proper perspective.
10. Change careers. If despite everything you tried the stress is still at an unacceptable level, then a change of work may be the only choice. But before going this drastic route, you must see if there are potential risks to your dependents. If you have a spouse and children to provide for, think hard of the possible consequences. Have an acceptable fall-back position so that your family’s well-being is not jeopardized.
Stress will always be present in any environment, but there are many things you can do to make things better. The important thing is not to allow its corrosive effect to damage your physical and mental well-being. The list above is just to jumpstart your efforts; most probably you could think of other ways that are more suitable to your situation. You have the power to make changes, so start now and make your life less stressful.
*Originally published by the Manila Bulletin. Written by Ruben Anlacan, Jr. (President, BusinessCoach, Inc.) All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or copied without express written permission of the copyright holders.