Controlling Stress at Work

Marcelina Hardy, MSEd, BCC
Control your stress at work!

Controlling stress at work can be difficult especially if you have a job known to cause a lot of anxiety. The good news is that as stressful as your work may be, you can still work on controlling it by following some helpful tips.

Identifying the Root of Your Stress

The first part in controlling anxiety at work is identifying when your stress begins. Some people work well under pressure while others crumble. You will need to find out what stresses you out and what helps your productivity. One way you can identify where your stress is coming from is by keeping a journal of how you feel throughout a week, making sure to write down the activities associated with those feelings. After the week, you can look back to see what causes your anxiety; don't forget to look at what you did before you started feeling anxious because it may take some time before you realize you are under stress.

Tips for Controlling Stress at Work

Here are some ways you can reduce anxiety in the workplace. You will need to implement some of these tips for a couple of weeks before you will feel relief from the struggles you experience on a daily basis. Keep in mind that everyone is different, not all tips will work for everyone, so find the ones that best help you at controlling stress at work.

Schedule It

No matter how great of a memory you have and how much you feel you have everything under control, a schedule can help ease your mind. Each week, make a list of all of things you need to complete, and then schedule time for it throughout the week. Don't overload your calendar because you will need to set aside time for unexpected tasks.

Prioritize and Goal Setting

While making your schedule, take some time to think about what you would like to accomplish overall for the week. Goal setting and planning can help you feel like you have control over what you want to do in your career as well as your personal life. In the process of goal setting, you don't want to put off important tasks either. Prioritize what you need to do first and then work on what you want to do. Having control over things will help you feel less overwhelmed and anxious because you won't feel like you have a ton of stuff to do in a short period of time.

Take a Break Often

Some people will start working at 9 a.m. and won't stop until 5 p.m., or worse 8 p.m. or 9 p.m. These people don't take a lunch, never mind taking time for a break. This is the worst thing you can do for your anxiety levels. Feeling like you can't stop and re-energize will set your body into crisis mode. You may not notice but your heart may start beating faster and your blood pressure may rise. Take time to sit, have something to eat and collect your thoughts. You will feel a lot better mentally as well as physically.

Relaxation at Your Desk

Relaxing at your desk could not be easier. Every half an hour, stretch your arms, back and legs; this will help your blood circulate. Close your eyes and practice some imagery relaxation. Picture yourself in your favorite place and hold on to those thoughts until you feel relaxed. For a quick pick me up, concentrate on your breathing, and count down from 10. For those extra hectic days, start at 20. Make sure to breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth.

Listen to Music

Music is highly therapeutic. If allowed, bring in CDs and your earphones so you can listen to relaxing music. Not only will it help you keep you calm but it can also help you get more done because it blocks out distractions around you.

Don't be Afraid to Vent

Sometimes you just have to let it out. If you can't talk to your boss or co-worker, call a loved one so you can let off some steam. It will help keep you fromburning out and reenergize you to continue your work.

Learn to say, "NO!"

Taking on too much is the biggest culprit of stress at work. Sometimes you may not be able to tell your boss you can't take on a project because it's your responsibility. However, if there are tasks that can be delegated to others, do so, it will help you do better on the tasks you have to do and help you keep your anxiety low.

Conclusion

Don't ignore the stress you are under at work. Not only will it make your work life difficult but it can also make your personal one miserable. High anxiety levels can put you at risk for many medical problems as well as issues in relationships. Take time to use these tips at your workplace and you will soon see how much happier you can be at work and outside of it.

Controlling Stress at Work