The Oxford English Language dictionary defines stress as, ‘A state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or demanding circumstances’. It seems that increasingly more and more people are suffering from stress, particularly in the workplace. Read on to discover top tips for a stress free day.
The consequences of stress
Research recently highlighted that stress may increase a woman’s risk of developing dementia
This leads to reduced productivity and higher levels of absence causing additional pressure on colleagues, not to mention the adverse affects on the individual themselves. And with research recently highlighted by the BBC indicating that stress may increase a woman’s risk of developing dementia it is essential to reduce the levels of stress we tolerate.
So here are a few proven strategies for reducing stress. Just implementing a few of these strategies will have an immediate effect.
When you are asked to attend a meeting, consider whether it is really necessary for you to attend
1. Identify your stressors or ‘hot buttons’
It may sound obvious but the first step towards eliminating stress is to identify what causes it. Take ten minutes to think about what makes you feel stressed during your working day and be observant of your emotional reactions throughout the day.
Once you are more aware of what topics or situations are likely to increase your stress levels you can try to avoid them or you can prepare yourself.
2. Do it now
We all procrastinate from time to time, of course, but a long list of overdue tasks is sure to cause us stress. Try to take time early in the day to do those difficult tasks that have been lingering too long on your to-do list. We are all busy but do your best to keep your to-do list short and your inbox clear.
3. Be organised
Living and working with clutter causes unnecessary stress. There is nothing worse than not being able to find the information you need for an important meeting and taking time to get organised is an easy investment in terms of reducing work place stress. Make sure not only that your desk is clear and tidy but also your inbox and online filing systems.
4. Let go
Learning that we cannot control everything that happens to us nor can we control other people’s behaviours can be a tough lesson. When things go wrong, it isn’t always within our control and we need to learn to move on and let go of negative emotions.
Try to avoid the ‘busy syndrome’ and make sure you have gaps in your schedule so that you have time to catch up, reflect and take time out rather than back-to-back meetings and appointments. When you are asked to attend a meeting, consider whether it is really necessary for you to attend or even see whether you can achieve the same outcome by email or phone.
6. Spend time with others
You don’t need to have a jam packed social calendar but spending time with people you care about and who care about you is one of the best ways of relaxing – and a way of sharing your concerns if you need to. Learn to take it easy, enjoy yourself, and let things happen – this will help you top put the stresses of the work place into perspective.
7. Relax throughout the day
Make sure you take regular short breaks throughout your working day and make sure these breaks involve stepping away from your technology.
Try to take a lunch break as often as you can whether to catch up with a friend, go for a walk or attend a class. Switching off, even for a short time, will make you more likely to return to your desk refreshed and de-stressed.
We hope these tips for a stress-free day will help you be more productive at work and more relaxed at home.