This #StressAwarenessDay, we’re tackling the issue of stress in the workplace. After all, according to InspiringHR, working adults spend 33% of their waking hours at work, and according to Forbes, more than 40% of adults say they lie awake at night plagued by the stressful events of the day.
The following are eight tips to help eliminate stress at work, sourced from Sharon Melnick, Ph.D., business psychologist and author of Success Under Stress.
1. Act on what you control
Lack of control is a trigger for stress, but focusing on that lack of control can inhibit a person from moving forward. Instead, work on what you can control, and let go of the rest.
2. Practice deep breathing
This is an obvious one, but have you ever tried breathing in through your mouth as if you are sipping through a straw, and then breathing out normally through your nose? This technique has a cooling sensation over the top of the tongue that can help calm you down in tense, frustrating situations.
3. Reduce interruptions
You may not be able to stop the influx of emails, phone calls, text messages, and unexpected deadlines, but you can control how you respond to them. Melnick advises that you can train those around you by answering emails during certain windows, setting up office hours to talk in person, or closing your office door when you need to focus.
4. Schedule breaks
In today’s hyper-connected culture, it’s encouraged to have an “always on” approach to life, but pushing through a full 10-hour workday can bring productivity down and stress levels up. Instead, schedule breaks throughout the day to take shorts walks, stretch, and continually clear any buildup of stress.
5. Eat and sleep well
According to the CDC, an estimated 60 million Americans do not get sufficient sleep, which is a critical recovery period for the body. Eating badly also adds stress to the body. These two things must be prioritized to keep stress levels at bay.
6. Be objective, not subjective
Make sure to address stressful work situations with an objective lens. Typically, people filter their thoughts on an event with their own self-doubt. If you can look at things objectively, you can get to the root of problems and find a mutually beneficial solution.
7. Use your acupressure point
According to Melnick, positioning your thumb on the side of your middle finger and applying pressure instantly helps regulate your blood pressure and reduce anxiety.
8. Train yourself with positivity
Negativity isn’t always external, and the internal kind can easily stress you out. Try exercising an encouraging thought process to help motivate you and train you to inspire that in others.