12 Ways to Decrease Your Stress Levels at Work: Practical, No-Nonsense Advice
12 Ways to Decrease Your Stress Levels at Work: Practical, No-Nonsense Advice
We all deal with stress in different ways. Some of us have a drink at the end of a long day, some people take up yoga and others just go to bed early. Whatever your method is for dealing with daily life, it's important that you find a way to manage your stress levels because if they're too high, then you might experience depression or anxiety which can make things much worse! In this article we will share 12 practical tips from experts on how you can decrease your stress levels no matter what kind of job you work.
Tip #1: Take a break from technology. If you have been working all day and find yourself checking your phone, laptop or tablet more than usual then it's time to take a step back for a minute. Stop thinking about the million things that need doing on your plate at work and give yourself permission to stop being so hard on yourself! A great way of relaxing is by going out in nature which allows us to really switch off our minds, but if you can't get away during the weekdays because of family commitments etc., why not go for an evening walk instead? The important thing here is that *you* choose what works best for *yourself*. There are no rules other than taking some 'me-time' every day to relax your mind and make sure you don't get overwhelmed with stress.
Tip #2: Don't be a perfectionist! We all want to do the best that we can in life, but it's important not to fall into the trap of becoming a perfectionist because this only adds pressure on yourself which is going to lead you down an unhappy road. Instead of aiming for being perfect at everything, focus on being more efficient so that you have time left over after work or during your lunch break for relaxation techniques such as yoga, meditation etc., which will help lower your stress levels significantly. If something needs doing then just get it done without spending too much time worrying about how good/bad the result might turn out- nobody is perfect, and that's okay!
Tip #3: Cut down on caffeine. Too much caffeine can increase anxiety levels as well as make you feel jittery, so if you're finding yourself reaching for another coffee or energy drink to keep you going throughout the day then it might be time to cut back. Try substituting caffeinated drinks with herbal tea instead- Chamomile Tea is great for relaxation and has been known to help people get a good night's sleep. If you really need that morning coffee to kick start your day then try limiting yourself to just one cup and see how you feel after a week or so- chances are, you'll find that your stress levels have decreased because of it!
Tip #4: Exercise. This might seem like a no-brainer, but when life is getting to you and stress levels are high then the last thing on your mind is going for a run in the park or swimming at your local pool! However, exercising regularly not only helps strengthen your mental health because it reduces anxiety and depression symptoms thanks to that feel good hormone called serotonin being released into our bodies, but it also increases energy levels which means we have more time available after work/during lunch breaks for relaxation techniques such as yoga etc., so if you can fit it in during your day don't forget about exercise!
Tip #5: Quit smoking. Smoking really isn't doing any favors for anyone's stress levels these days because although nicotine acts as a stimulant which can enhance mood and reduce stress, smoking is actually one of the worst things you can do for your health so why continue to put yourself at risk? If quitting isn't an option right now because it's too difficult then try switching to e-cigarettes or vaping instead; there are plenty of great starter kits out there that will help make quitting less painful.
Tip #6: Avoid negative people like the plague! Negativity really does drain us mentally as well as physically (and not just when someone cuts in front of you on the road either!) Surrounding ourselves with positive people who uplift our spirits helps raise our self esteem levels because we know they believe in us, whilst spending time with those who constantly say 'no' or put us down will only add more stress to our lives. If you can't avoid someone at work then try not to spend too much time in their company, and if they live close by then try distancing yourself from them as much as possible- it's for your own good!
Tip #7: Take a break. This one is especially important for those of you who feel like you just can't switch off from work even when you're home because the pressure of unfinished tasks/projects is always there lurking in the back of your mind. When we take a break we're actually giving our brains some breathing space so that we can come back to whatever it is that's stressing us out with a fresh perspective; this could be as simple as having an hour long bath or heading to the cinema for a few hours (the latter is even better because you can enjoy some popcorn too!) Spend time with your friends and family, do something that makes you happy- life really should be about enjoyment after all!
Tip #8: Organize your time. This one is especially helpful for those of you who feel like you're constantly running around like a headless chicken! When we have a plan and know what it is that we need to do then it makes us feel more in control of our lives, as opposed to the feeling of being at the mercy of whatever tasks come our way. Start by writing down everything that needs to be done within a set time frame- whether this is during the week, month or even year!- and then start working through them one by one. Breaking things down into manageable chunks will help reduce stress levels because we're not overwhelmed with an endless To Do list.
Tip #9: Take some 'me time'. We all need this every now and then, especially when stress levels are high! When we take some time out for ourselves we can relax and recharge our batteries so that we're able to face the world with a positive attitude again. This doesn't have to be anything extravagant- a few hours reading your favorite book, taking a walk in nature or even sitting in silence meditating will do the trick- it's all about giving yourself permission to switch off from everything else going on in your life for a little while.
Tip #10: Eat well. Eating healthy foods not only helps our bodies function at their best but it also has an impact on our moods; consuming too much caffeine or processed foods for example can actually make us feel worse! When we eat a balanced diet full of fruits and vegetables then this not only helps regulate our blood sugar levels but it also makes us feel more energized, which certainly comes in handy when you're trying to manage your stress levels.
Tip #11: Exercise regularly. This one is especially important because as well as giving ourselves some much needed time away from work, regular exercise has been proven to reduce anxiety and depression symptoms- what better way to take out frustrations on those punching bags at the gym? If exercising isn't really an option right now due to lack of free time or money then try going for a short walk during lunchtime instead; even ten minutes outside can help boost moods plus you'll get a little fresh air into the bargain!
Tip #12: Talk about it. We're all guilty of keeping our feelings to ourselves, particularly when we feel like everyone else is having things easier than us- whether this means waiting until someone close to you has gone out for a while or even locking yourself away in your bedroom. The truth however is that bottling up negative emotions can actually make stress levels increase because holding everything inside leads to depression and anxiety; if something's bothering you then talk about it with whoever will listen instead- chances are they may be able to offer some helpful advice too!
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
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