You can never control everything that happens in your work environment but that does not prove you to be a powerless person even in the hardest situations. When one wants to cope up with work stress, they will need to learn that it is not about thinking twice concerning their career or changing their ambition altogether, but it’s all about putting a focus on one thing and that thing has to be within your control.
The average business professional has 30 to 100 projects on their plate. Modern workers are interrupted seven times an hour and distracted up to 2.1 hours a day. Four out of 10 people working at large companies are experiencing a huge corporate restructuring, resulting in uncertainly about their futures. This may be why more than 40% of adults say they lie awake at night afflicted by the stressful events of the day. “People are asking me for answers,” says Sharon Melnick, Ph.D., a business psychologist, “Everyone feels overwhelmed and overly busy.”
Several questions are asked everyday like how does one keep cool after a long day at work and so many demands? How can steady focus be maintained throughout the day? Can you do everything that needs to be done and still be energetic after work? Educated by 10 years of Harvard research and field tested by over 6000 clients and trainees, Melnick suggests the following tactics to take your work stress down a peg, before it quickly takes over your life in a blink of an eye.
Act Rather Than React
“We experience stress when we feel that situations are out of our control,” says Melnick. It activates the stress hormone and, if chronic, wears down confidence, concentration and well-being. She advises that you identify the aspects of the situation you can control and aspects you can’t. Typically, you’re in control of your actions and responses, but not in control of macro forces or someone else’s tone, for instance. “Be flawless for your 50%,” she advises. And try to let go of the rest.
Take a Deep Breath
In the event that you are feeling overwhelmed or you just came out of a serious and tense meeting you just need to relax and clear your head, try out a few minutes of deep breathing. This will help you restore balance, only inhale for 3-5seconds, hold it in and slowly exhale in the same pace through the nose. “It’s like getting the calm and focus of a 90-minute yoga class in three minutes or less at your desk,” she says.
“Most of us are bombarded during the day,” says Melnick. Phone calls, emails, pop inns, sudden urgent deadlines, instant messages etc all combine and make today’s employees more distracted that ever before. Although you may not have control over who interrupts you, you can control your response. Melnic again advises in at least trying to respond in one of the following ways: Accept the interaction, Cut it off, or analyse its importance. Many of the interaction are repeated and can be anticipated. You can also train those around you by answering email during certain windows, setting up office hours to talk in.
When stress at work interferes with your ability to perform in your job, manage your personal life, or unfavourably impacts your health, it’s time to take action. Start by paying attention to your physical and emotional health. When your own needs are taken care of, you’re stronger and more resistant to stress. The better you feel, the better equipped you’ll be to manage work stress without becoming overwhelmed. Do not try to fix the uncontrollable, things beyond your own control.
Taking care of yourself should never take a toll on you. It’s always the smallest things that make a big impact, increase your energy levels, and make you take the wheel. One thing at a time is the way to go and the more you make positive lifestyle choices, the sooner you realise the decrease in your stress levels, both at your workplace and at home.
Get moving and be active
Exercising regularly is a very powerful stress reliever, although it feels like it will take a lot for you to just lift a leg. For instance aerobics, these are exercise that speed up your heart rate, resulting in sweat and this is a great way to lift your mood up, increase energy, relax both the body and the mind, let alone sharpen your focus.
A whole lot of us encounter stress at work because of negative thoughts and behaviour. If these can just be twisted and turned, you will notice that the stressed imposed from your employer will be quite easier to handle:
- Resist perfectionism
There is no situation, task, project or decision that is perfect so attempting to perfect every single thing will only increase unnecessary stress to your day. This mostly happens when you set unrealistic goals for yourself, or you don’t do things on time and now when you’re doing them, you are forced to finish all in a one day which will be a little too much; you will only be setting yourself up for that unnecessary stress.
When it’s time to knock off work, go home and be with your loved ones. Staying at work late is an option, yes, but it will never perfect everything at all. The best is to do things on time and aim to do your best, no one can ask for more than that.
- Clean up your act
Order is the first law into the stress free life. If running late is one of your weaknesses, set alarms earlier and give yourself extra time to do everything on time. If you are working on a messy desk, file things up and throw away the litter. You only have to know where you pack everything; it will save you some time and the stress too. A to-do list is usually the way to go! Plan your day; try as hard to stick to that planned schedule and you should feel less overwhelmed by the end of the day.
- Change your negative thinking
If you’re always seeing the disadvantage to every conversation, connection or situation, you will always stay less motivated and less energetic too. Try to be as positive as you can about wok, and avoid thinking negatively even about your co-workers and pat yourself on the shoulder for any accomplishment even when no one else does, be it small or big. Many things that happen at work will be beyond your won control like the attitude and behaviour of people. You can never control the uncontrollable. Instead of crying and stressing over them, take that time and pay attention to the things you can control such as the way you choose to respond to different behaviours and react to different problems too.