Life can be stressful – Stress can have a variety of causes such as family problems, job problems, financial difficulties, poor health, mechanical breakdowns, false expectations or even the death of someone close to you.
Workplace stress has significant health consequences that range from the relatively benign — more colds and flus — to more serious conditions such as heart disease, ulcers and high blood pressure.
After scrambling to get the kids fed and off to school, dodging traffic and combating road rage, and gulping down coffee in lieu of something healthy, many people come in already stressed, and more reactive to stress at work. In fact, you may be surprised by how much more reactive to stress you are when you have a stressful morning. If you start off the day with good nutrition, proper planning, and a positive attitude, you may find the stress of the workplace rolling off your back more easily.
- Here are some stress management techniques to try:
- Stop! Take a deep breath and realize that you have power to control your life. Just like everyone else!
- Be aware of your choices; you always have a choice. This is true for emotions and work. Sometimes you need to let your emotions out but still stay in control.
- Start every day with reflection, spiritual or otherwise.
Set goals for what needs to be achieved in the day then write a “to do list”. When writing “your to do list”:
- Know your limits – Be realistic about what you can accomplish in a day.
- Prioritize your tasks and work to finish them starting with the highest priority (urgent/important).
- Do your most unpleasant or most difficult task at the beginning of the day when you are fresh, thereby avoiding the stress of last minute preparation.
- Procrastination feeds stress!
- Focus on one task at a time.
- Emphasize quality in your work, rather than sheer quantity.
- Schedule your day and your stress as this can reduce the number of stressors you must juggle at any one time. Stagger deadlines for large projects.
- Add some “breathing” space that will allow you time for “recharging” and creative thinking. You will also be better prepared when an unanticipated task arrives.
- Review your goals at the end of the day, this is cathartic and will help you sleep better.
- Know your limits and do not push yourself too hard or beat yourself up when you do not achieve your goals. Tomorrow is another day, start writing tomorrows to-do-list before you lie down so that it is off your chest.
- Be organized. Much stress arises from feeling overwhelmed. Being organized and getting your priorities straight can help you break re sponsibilities down into manageable pieces and focus on the things that really matter.
- Treat your body right – You will have more self-confidence and energy, and be less likely to experience the physical side effects of stress:
Eat a healthy breakfast and healthy snacks only. Your choice of food is very important when dealing with stress; stay away from sugary snacks and have unsalted nuts and fruit available.
- Get fit. Exercise a little every day. This releases endorphins that can lower stress levels, also eat chocolate it also releases endorphins, but only in a small to moderate dosage.
- Get enough sleep, and, if possible, get into regular sleeping habits.
- Stress is a well-known trigger for depression and it can also affect your physical health so it’s important to identify the causes of stress in your life and try to minimize them. It is important to recognize the causes (some stress is natural) and, if possible, take steps to deal with the root of the problem or ask for help from friends and, in severe cases, professionals.
Your health is your best asset, so it’s important to act to relieve damaging stress before it affects your physical or mental health.