Stress is a term that causes anxiety and it is usually connected with nervous tension and fatigue. The workplace is one of the major contributors of stress for all people. Despite the reasons that can cause stress, there are quick and easy ways to manage stress at work and become more productive. This article outlines 12 methods you can follow to manage and relief your self from stress those difficult days at work.
12 Ways to manage stress at work
1. Give up your coffee
Coffee flows in your blood, this is the problem. The caffeine is like wet stress that flows in your veins. It increases the production of adrenaline and simultaneously it prevents the production of adenosine, a natural sedative for your brain.«Blocking the caffeine from your daily habits is the most effective strategy to reduce stress as far as I know,” says David B. Posen, stress expert and author of Always Change a Losing Game. Posen supports the fact that 75% of decaffeinated coffee patients feel more relaxed and more active at work, mainly due to better sleep. For more information about coffee, you can read The real truth about the myth of coffee.
2. Get Organized
Who is the greatest ally of stress in the office? Organization. «It is what is needed most and there is none» says David Allen, author of Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity. Even a very basic organizational habit saves you many hours of practical work in the week – and certainly more time means less stress.
The favourite and most useful habit of Allen is at the end of the week: «It is the outcome of the whole week. I am looking my messages and the list of my obligations. It is by far the most fruitful time of the week ». One hour every Friday and Allen is never tired or stressed the Monday morning.
3. Observe yourself
Did you develop a hunch because of the keyboard and you feel that your shoulders are very tight? Probably you will not understand this until you stop for a moment and think about it. Who has time to stop and think when everybody around you shouts «come on, come on» as the hysterical Cheerleading of hell?
Researchers in America found that the stress level actually dropped for 54% of people who followed a two months program on “how to learn to observe your self” – i.e. simple observation of the symptoms of stress, such as tense muscles and quick and dispersed thinking. The good news is that you do not need to get into the program for two months. «Minor changes offer spectacular results,” said Kimberley Williams, author of the study. You should observe whether your thoughts are too fast or if you are not breathing deeply.
4. Stretching in front of your PC
When we are stressed, we tend to lean forward in order to focus our attention on what we do. This makes the small muscles of the throat and back to work overtime. For a quick relief, cross your fingers behind your neck and push your shoulders backwards so that they come closer. Then leave your head to fall forward and your chin to touch your sternum. Bring your elbows in front and join them. Push your hands down for a few seconds and then relax. Repeat the same exercise 6-8 times every time you feel tension.
5. Use multi-vitamins
In a recent study in Britain between males from 18-42 years, researchers found that those who took daily multi-vitamins rich in vitamin C and B reduced the stress experienced by 21%. Moreover, men who took the multi-vitamin were less tired and more attentive than those who did not. The survey showed that vitamins B and C help to alleviate the effects of stress.
6. Take 5-minute breaks for a good laugh
Humour and laughter play a very important role in reducing and managing stress.
Laughter reduces blood stress hormones such as adrenaline, the cortisone, the epinephrine and dopamine, while increasing the levels of hormones that promote health such as Endorphin and neurotransmitter.
The psychological and physical relaxation that laughter gives us is known. It takes the attention away from things that cause anger, guilt, stress and other negative emotions. It allows us to see difficult situations with a fresh perspective, more like a challenge rather than as a threat.
At the social level, laughter and humour, create links and better relations with other people. Also, because laughter is contagious, when we laugh we are helping others in our environment to laugh more, which can have positive implications on many levels.
Improving the mood of others who are with us through the laughter and humour, not only reduces their stress level but also ours.
7. Do not forget your successes
Take a note of your successes at work by creating a folder with information to which you can look at any time. This will help you in the future to avoid the negative reflections of the type «I will not manage to do this and that…” it will also give you motivation when you are ready to look for another job.
8. Do not become an “email slave”
Do not let e-mails to distract your attention. When this happens it is difficult to concentrate again and go back to work. Try to check your e-mail at specified intervals and not all the time.
9. Free you mind
After an intense concentration let for a moment your mind free. Allow yourself to dream for a couple of minutes. Think of parties or where you want to go for holidays.
10. Do not eat lunch while working
Take a break for lunch. Do not eat your lunch while you work. If you eat under pressure then most likely you will suffer from indigestion or flatulence.
11. Get some fresh air
Find time for fresh air, even if they choke you, and even if the phones are hitting ceaselessly. Get a few minutes to get out of the air-conditioned workspace and breath some fresh air.
12. Sleep is vital for your work performance
Do not stay up late every day. Lack of sleep reduces your energy and has an impact on your performance at work. You should get at least 7 hours of sleep every night.
8 Consequences of work stress
Proven research showed that work stress can have the following consequences:
1. The intense pressure and stressed experienced by workers increases the risk for heart attacks.
2. Work stress proved an important factor, which favours the occurrence of myocardial infarction.
3. Men were 80% more likely to suffer a heart attack if they had conflicts or problems in their work during the 12 months of the investigation.
4. In women, taking more responsibility at work, especially when these responsibilities are often perceived negatively and causing increased stress have 3 times more changes to experience a cardiac episode. For men, the situation, have multiplied the risk of a heart attack by 6 times.
5. Approximately 8% of patients had a significant episode related to their work 24 hours before the onset of a stroke.
6. The emotional intensity in patients due to the pressure to meet a deadline, deliver a project or work increased by 6 times the risk of having a heart attack in the next 24 hours.
7. The worsening of the economic situation increased the risk of heart attacks for women by 3 times.
8. The competitive situation in the workplace increased the risk of a heart attack by 2 times.