Workplace Stress: 10 Tips for Better Health on the Job

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stress-at-workDid you know that workplace stress continues to be the cause of many health issues, including:

• Physical and emotional illnesses
• Chronic conditions and diseases
• Premature aging
• Weight gain
• Digestive issues
• Sleep problems
• Depression… and more

So, if you’re feeling stressed on the job, here are ten tips to help relieve workplace stress for better health.

1. Learn how to say “No”… and mean it! Though it should be a no-brainer, when you’re already overextended, taking on additional tasks only creates more stress and anxiety. Learn to say “No” and mean it, instead of piling more onto your already overextended workload.

2. Make your workspace work for you. Personalizing your workspace with things that calm and soothe you is one of the best (and easiest) ways to create a more peaceful environment on the job. Use pictures of loved ones or photos of serene settings, a calming figurine or inspirational quote placed on your desk, even music playing softly in the background to change your workplace atmosphere. There are also apps you can download with sounds like waterfalls, birds, rain, wind or whatever sounds give provide you with serenity and calm. 

3. Keep things in perspective. You will always have projects to finish and deadlines to meet, but since stress is tied to many illnesses and diseases (and is a main reason for many emergency room visits), consider this: is what you’re getting stressed over really worth the risk to your health?

4. De-clutter and organize. For many, the workplace is your “home away from home.” Keeping it clutter-free and clean just makes sense when you spend so much time there. Decide what to keep, file or toss. Organize everything that must remain within your space so that things are easy to find. Decrease clutter and you decrease stress – and de-clutter your mind – for better health.

5. Improve your productivity. How you’re scheduling your workday and what you’re spending your time on matters. Try delegating certain times to check your email, make necessary phone calls, and schedule much needed breaks so you have better clarity to focus on specific tasks.

6. Be realistic – not overwhelmed. Making progress the goal, not perfection, will keep things in check and prevent the overwhelming feeling that threatens your workday. Trying to be perfect is such a perfect recipe for stress, so prevent it wherever you can. Yes, you want to do a good job – but making progress is more important than making yourself sick. Keeping the right perspective keeps your stress in check.

7. Steer clear of “energy vampires.” Feeling drained, depleted and uninspired? You could be surrounded by “energy vampires.” They’re the people who drain you of your time, energy and motivation… if you let them. While sucking the life out of you, they also increase your stress. By spending as much time as possible in the workplace with those who are positive, uplifting, fun and inspiring, you’ll reduce stress and energy depletion on the job, while being encouraged to be, do and have more, which equals better health.

8. Exercise. When things begin to get overwhelming – maybe even unbearable – burn off some steam by taking regular breaks to move and stretch throughout your day. Also:

• Exercising before your workday can set the tone for a productive, energetic day.
• Exercising after your workday can help reduce your stress before you get home, for a more enjoyable evening.

No matter when you exercise, the benefits to working out regularly include:

• Reduced stress levels
• More restful sleep
• Reduced risk for stress-related conditions and disease
• Better physical, mental and emotional health

9. Look at your job/career objectively. What is the truth about what you do for a living? Are you enjoying your work? Does it bring you satisfaction and fulfillment, or is it simply the means to a paycheck?

Stress is often a result of dissatisfaction and a lack of joy and if this is the truth about your work, maybe it’s time to change what you do, take on a new challenge, or possibly a new career. Work doesn’t feel like work when you’re doing something you love, so take a clear look to see how you truly feel about how you spend your day.

10. Have more fun on the job. Being responsible doesn’t mean you can’t have fun. Lighten up and laugh more, being mindful of who and what you’re allowing into your life. Negative people, programs and information increase anxiety, stress and fear. Surround yourself with positive influences, to strengthen your immune system and make life – and work – more enjoyable.

Be strict about the messages you allow yourself to see, hear and absorb in every area of your life, including the workplace, for better health – physically, mentally and emotionally.

Photo from here, with thanks.

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October 2014
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