It’s a problem with every job
Sure, some jobs are more stressful than others, but every job comes with its share of stress, no matter how much we love the work. The problem isn’t with the stress, but how it affects us and how we handle it. Are we allowing the stress to ruin our day? Do we focus on it until we can’t focus on anything else? Stress has a way of sticking with us, even once the stressor is gone. Sometimes we even take the stress home with us and in turn place the burden on the people we care most about.
It’s not worth it. This isn’t a post saying we need to jump from job to job until we find one without stress, because that job doesn’t exist. Instead, we’re going to explore ways to handle the stress when it arises.
Or just breathe through the stress. The point here is to take a few, deep breaths and let the stress wash away. If you’re still feeling the tension in your shoulders and the clench of your jaw, you’re not focusing on the breathing exercise.
Close your eyes and focus on your breath. Inhale through your nose while you count to four, and then release the breath for the same count of four. Focus on how the breath enters through your nose and fills your lungs. Then focus as you push the air from your lungs and out your mouth. Give this breathing exercise a couple of minutes of focus, and feel the tension deplete.
It doesn’t have to be long, and it doesn’t have to be strenuous. Take a break from work and go outside. Take a walk through nature to calm your mind while getting your heart pumping faster. Exercise is a great way to reduce tension, clear our minds, and allow us to focus on issues better. The natural setting helps calm our minds and balance us.
3. Make your morning count
What does your morning routine look like? Do you find that you enter the office already stressed? Are you strolling in late? Was your morning filled with activities that stress you out? Our morning routine goes a long way for setting the mood for the rest of the day, and if we’re not doing things to bring a sense of calmness to our minds, we’re going to be even more sensitive to stress when it happens at work. Have a healthy breakfast, exercise, read a book you love, or take a relaxing bath. These things will help you condition your mind and greet the new day in a better mood.
4. Do harder tasks first
When we get into the office, it’s important to plan our day, so we know what we’re up against. Once the to-do list is made, complete tasks by difficulty first. Our minds are fresh, we haven’t encountered any stress yet, and we can get the harder things out of the way quicker. As the day progresses, we will tire, and more difficult tasks will seem that much harder.
5. Know what causes stress
Knowing what causes us stress through the day gives us the opportunity to eliminate it from our day, or at the very least figure out a better way of dealing with it. When we know what our stressors are, then we can make plans.
Is it only one aspect of this stressor that upsets you? Is it a process you don’t fully understand? Is it long and tedious? Don’t shy away from the task or situation. Face it head on and control your stress. Knowing you’re in control and more than capable of completing the task or facing the situation puts the power in your hands and allows you to act on your own terms rather than react to the situation and the stress.
Did you enjoy this list? If so, you should check out our infographics that gives you short, bite-sized bits of knowledge to help you embrace different aspects of work, like knowing what makes a leader rather than a boss, how to use science to become more productive at work, ways to be more satisfied at work, and so much more!