Monday, 11 November 2013


image taken from here

Stress is a fact of life. In accordance with several medical surveys taken every single adult will experience a large amount of stress, in one form or another, during their lives. I know I've experienced it before; I became so stressed I lost two stone in weight in four weeks, felt weak, couldn't sleep properly and couldn't speak properly without feeling angry or tearful. Symptoms of stress can also include constant nausea, headaches and moodiness. Stress comes from people believing the demands being made of them are greater than they're capable of coping with. It leads to them feeling over-emotional and tense. A study conducted by the International Stress Management Association cites employment and the work environment as a key trigger for feeling stressed for various reasons. These reasons can include hours, unreasonable role expectations, bullying and harassment, lack of managerial support and having an undefined career structure.

Here are five ways that you can calm yourself in the moments that you're feeling stressed, regardless of where you work or what you do.

It sounds simple but too few of us do it. When we become stressed the body automatically goes into 'fight or flight' mode. This means that adrenaline and cortisol are released in our bodies which leads to a faster heart rate, a sharpened set of senses and quicker breathing among other things. By regulating your breathing with deep long breaths you'll be tricking your body into feeling calmer much quickly than it would do if you left it to calm on it's own. It sounds obvious but it really does work.

As mentioned before, when the body is in a stressful state it's in 'fight or flight' mode. For some of us (me included) the urge to 'fight' is easier to give into than the urge to 'fly' which results in snapping at people or, even worse, lashing out. Walk away from the stressful situation for a few minutes. Leave your desk and go to the water cooler or make an excuse to go to the stock room - just get out of the stressful situation you're in. It'll help you to clear your head and make a better judgement of the situation before you do/say something you may regret. If you do still feel the need to 'fight' when you get home go to the gym and take it out on the exercise machines or a punch bag until you feel better. Try to expel that stressed feeling in a positive way rather than a negative one.

If you feel like you can't stop the feeling of being stressed then try to channel it into something positive although admittedly this is easier said than done. When I feel stressed at work I turn it into a positive by using those heightened senses and the increased energy I get from that hit of adrenaline into working more quickly and better than I usually do. If the pressure is on I tend to perform better than when it isn't, purely because I channel those symptoms of stress into working to the best of my ability for a short period of time. Not everyone is capable of doing this but some people may find it useful and find they enjoy a little bit of pressure when they learn to turn stress into a positive thing.

The boss is constantly asking you to do more when you already have a full inbox. Your co-workers are lazy but expect you to pick up the slack when the manager asks if everything has been done. The office pervert is making lewd remarks about your lipstick choice again. As much as you want to be seen to be the best or the most competent you have to say 'no' once in a while - especially when you're already overloaded. Taking on more work when you have more than enough is being a glutton for punishment. For your own wellbeing you should say 'no' to people that are stressing you out. Tell your boss you think it would be more beneficial that the work be passed to a colleague with less to do than you so that it's done more quickly and given more attention. Tell your colleagues you'd appreciate a hand with the work you already have let alone doing their's as well. Tell that pervert that his comments won't be tolerated any longer. Saying 'no' stops you from being over-loaded and may earn you some much needed respect too.

If you can then play some soothing music. You may have to wait until you're on your lunch break or alone at your desk before you can put the earphones in but try to play happy music and relaxing tunes instead of songs with angry lyrics or a fast base line. It really does so wonders to calm you as a slow tempo will align with the beat of your heart, stopping it from racing, as will your breathing. Medical research suggests that listening to calming music for 30 minutes is the equivalent of taking 10mg of Diazepam so there really is something in taking your iPod to work with you.

What do you do to calm yourself down when you're stressed at work?

1 comment:

  1. Stress might hinder the team members from attaining the goal. Once a person is stressed, he won’t be able to function well, he’ll lose focus, and would start blaming others for own mistakes. Also, a workplace that doesn’t have integrity and teamwork could be very stressful.


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