The ABCs of managing stress at work

08:35 | 15/07/2014
Many factors contribute to making a typical work day fairly stressful. To a certain extent, stress tends to boost human productivity, but after it passes a certain point it can become debilitating. The person suffering from severe stress becomes incapacitated and is unable to work well. Learn how to deal with stress before it makes you unable to function normally at work.

Stress ,Photograph: Martin Oeser/AFP/Getty Images

- Awareness

The first step to managing stress at work is being aware of what situations cause it. It could be one or a combination of the following – too many meetings, inefficient teammates, busy work that takes up time but shows nothing for it, an aggressive boss, co-workers who expect you to help them with their work, short deadlines with unrealistic expectations, clients who just like to be difficult to please, and so on. What you need to do is identify these specific stress factors, and then be aware when they come into play in your work place. Once you are aware of the stress building you move to the next step.

- Balance

Learn short techniques that help you calm down. This could include silently counting to ten, taking deep breaths, or doing stretches to release the physical sensations of stress. It can even help to train your mind to use a relaxing word. Find out which technique works best to help you balance the stress that you feel, then practice it repeatedly till you are able to use it to control the stressful stimuli.  

- Control

Some things are important, others are urgent, but not everything that is urgent is necessarily important. You need to identify what is important for you to accomplish each work day. Have a “to do” list for the day and mark out the things on the list in order of priority. This helps you beat unnecessary stress caused by clutter. Eat healthy meals even if you have to eat out or at the office. There is a tendency to feel more stressed out if you are hungry, so keep a fruit or an energy bar in your office drawer to beat stress. Drink lots of water to stay hydrated and stress free.

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