No matter how much you enjoy your career, job-related stress can lead to considerable problems with your happiness, overall enjoyment of life, and even your health. For those people who do not have their dream job, stress from overbearing bosses, difficult coworkers, market insecurity, meetings, deadlines, and boredom and cause many negative repercussions that may convince you to quit and try something new. Unfortunately, in today’s job environment, doing that could spell disaster for your financial life.
It’s not surprising that a large percentage of employed adults in the country feel stress at work on a regular basis. Many of these indicate that the dissatisfaction and strain affect their finances, home life, relationships, physical health, and emotional well-being.
Stress seems unavoidable. Luckily, these five stress-busting tips can help you manage your discomfort and reduce the potential problems created by circumstances at work that feel beyond your control.
No matter where the issues come from, one or more of these ideas can help you minimize the negative effects. Try one or try them all to give yourself relief and continue with your career more comfortably.
Your manager or supervisor may dictate when you do certain tasks, but most people have some leeway to mix things up or change your schedule as long as you still get everything done. The old idiom, “A change is as good as a rest,” makes sense when your stress stems from boredom or complacency. Do things in a different order, chop large or frustrating tasks up into smaller pieces, or approach things you have to do from a new perspective.
Many doctors and researchers believe that long periods of sitting down have created a 21st-century health issue that affects you physically, mentally, and emotionally. If you work in an office or other environment that a lot of time in a chair staring at the screen, your mental energy could deplete, and your physical health may suffer. Schedule regular physical breaks into your day. Get up at least once per hour to take a quick walk to the water cooler, stretch behind your desk, or simply stand up for a period of time while you answer phone calls or do any type of task that requires movement.
Take a Mental Vacation
Visualization and imagination are great ways to escape the mundanity of your job. If you are like most people, you spend most of your workday looking at the same walls, interacting with the same people, or staring out the same window. Give your brain a break with a mini mental vacation that allows you to refocus on something unique, unusual, soothing, or stimulating instead of your daily grind. You can do this by thinking about a pleasant memory, using a relaxation app, or practicing meditation with focused breathing and mental clarity.
For your own health and well-being, you must know when to speak up and ask for a shift in duties, time off, or a simple restructuring of your workday. Unfortunately, some supervisors or bosses are not open to employee input to a large degree. However, if the levels of stress affect your ability to work or enjoy your life, there is nothing wrong with saying so. Be honest about how much work you can do and if you need help to finish necessary tasks. Also share your honest opinions about deadlines.
In most job environments, this tip has the potential to backfire. Do not speak up if it would threaten your employment status. However, pushing back gently against pressure to always do more, stay later, or get things done more quickly can provide stress relief for the long term.
In the business and marketing worlds, gamification is a popular concept that not only attracts a lot of attention but also reduces the negative perceptions of advertisements or boring tasks. The term basically means to turn tasks into games by creating a system of challenges and rewards. There are two ways to use this idea to fight stress at work.
First of all, you could approach your manager with an idea for friendly competition or a system that involves enjoyable challenges with coworkers. Second, you can do the same thing just for yourself. Set challenges for everything from sales to stocking shelves and reward yourself in some small way. Gamifying unpleasant or repetitive responsibilities can reduce stress by releasing tiny bursts of endorphins when you accomplish your goals.