Workplace stress is a silent killer that affects the employees’ productivity and an organisation’s bottom line. It affects one’s focus, energy, and even confidence, so much so that it accounts for more than 50% of work absences in the UK.
Unfortunately, work stress also has a lot of physical and mental health consequences, that range from colds, and flus to heart diseases and depression.
That said, employers and employees should adopt effective strategies to reduce and deal with stress at work. It is only through the collaborative effort that a healthy, creative office environment can flourish.
On that note, let’s look at some stress management techniques that can help blow off some steam.
Start from the basics – Create a sleep routine
The importance of a good night sleep can never be underestimated. The stress-sleep relationship is very tight. While most people think that stress can affect the quality of sleep and cause insomnia, only a few of them know that poor sleep routine can also increase stress levels.
Sleep deprivation makes it difficult for brain cells to communicate effectively. This results in delayed responses, inability to cope up with daily tasks, and increased stress level. To be precise, you cannot reduce stress if your sleep cycle is disturbed. So, create a sleep routine and stick to it. Reduce your screen time before bed. Take power nap and reduce irregular daytime naps, even during the weekend.
Begin your day with laughter yoga
With its immunity-boosting and endorphin-releasing properties, laughter yoga is the best way to reduce stress and cope up with life’s challenges. The therapy has enormous healing powers that help relieve mental, physical and emotional stress altogether. Not just that, yogic breathing, combined with laughter exercises, can also have a calming effect on the body. So, attend laughter workshops and training sessions at United Mind Laughter Yoga Specialists
Eat healthy to feel healthy
Have you ever heard about ‘stress-eating’? Stress increases the levels of cortisol and hunger hormones in the body. That said, stress situations increase cravings for sugary, fatty and unhealthy foods. But this is definitely not the right way to tackle stress.
Consuming unhealthy foods not only makes us lethargic to tackle the situation that stands before us, but it also creates a feeling of guilty eating that further increases the stress level in our bodies.
It is important to eat food rich in fibres and complex carbohydrates that boost brain activity and increase concentration. Eating healthy makes you feel healthy and helps overcome stress at work.
Prioritise your work and stay organised
Two factors that majorly contribute to job burnouts are unclear requirements and disorganised approach to work. If you don’t know what’s causing you work stress, pull yourself together by prioritising your work and staying organised. Here’s what you must do:
- Know what is expected out of you. Sit with your manager and discuss the goals, and the strategies you should adopt to meet them.
- Prioritise. Once you know your goals, prioritise against them. Evaluate each task at hand and ask yourself which one is the most important.
- Ditch multitasking. During the hectic phase, do not try to overdo in order to complete everything. Rather, focus on important tasks. Sit down with your team and discuss the right approach.
- Work with deadlines. If you are assigned a task that does not have a deadline, set it. Without a due date in mind, you may feel lazy, push that work for later and pile yourself up with a lot of work in the future.
- Plan your month. Stay ahead of time and plan in advance. This will help you delegate time for each task.
Listen to feel good music on your drive home
Lastly, listening to your favourite artists after work can calm your mind and dismiss stressful thoughts from your brain. Music can not only lower the stress hormone levels but also relaxes your senses, making you feel good. Good music boosts your brain cells and improves focus and productivity.
While dealing with work stress is definitely a bigger problem than it appears, the good news is that it is solvable. Follow these tips to improve mental and emotional health and feel positive at work. Something as simple as changing your daily routine can help you a lot down the road.
Helen Bradfield did her degree in psychology at the University of Edinburgh. She has an ongoing interest in mental health and well-being.