What sets workplace stress apart from stress we feel in other areas of life is the fact that you can do little to avoid or alter the stressors in most cases, as many of us would normally do when facing a stressful situation. When you add the pressure of always having to be on the top of our game or as close to it as possible in almost any line of work into the mix, you get the recipe for a stress overload which will surely cause havoc in the body. Therefore, finding a way to deal with it becomes crucial in work environment and the first step to solving any problem is recognizing it.
This process is somewhat trickier in the case of stress, as it doesn`t involve only acknowledging the fact that something or someone in our environment is stressing us out. It is also necessary for us to examine our internal mechanisms for dealing with such outside influences objectively and to shape them accordingly. In other words, it is crucial to adopt certain habits in terms of stress management. To that end, here are some tips on how to effectively deal with workplace stress.
As said before, recognizing the fact that the stress in building up in you is just the first step. It is equally important for you to act as soon as possible, as it will be much harder as time goes by. Humor is one of the most effective ways in dealing with stress. The trick is forcing yourself to turn to humor at an essentially humorless time, when you are pushing hard to finish what you have set out to do while the stress is building up in you. No one feels like smiling at that point, which is ironic, because that is when you need a laugh the most. Therefore, take a break from whatever you are doing and take a moment to have a short chat with a colleague or anyone else that makes you laugh. You can watch a funny video on Youtube or do whatever works for you, just be sure to do it when you least feel like it.
Sometimes people simply need a break to clear their thoughts and reset their internal mechanisms. A power nap is a perfect way to do just that. If you feel tired and/or stressed out, fin a quiet place and take a nap for half an hour. This will help your body to recharge and tune itself up for maximum performance, which will allow you to continue with your work with much less effort. You brain will function better, muscle balance will be restored and you will be prepared for new challenges as you ever were.
Noise is an ever-present plague of the modern age and one of the sources of stress that is most often overlooked. The reason is that we are born into noise and ignoring it had become an involuntary operation we perform daily in many situations. However, this doesn`t mean noise doesn`t affect our ability to meet the challenges we face in our daily lives, only that our bodies have found the way to filter it out by forcing our nervous system to work at a maximum capacity. This translates as stress, plain and simple, as the energy we absorb in the form of noise stays in our body. If not redistributed properly, this energy will simply accumulate as stress.
The fact that we are used to functioning in a noise-polluted world means that we hardly ever notice distracting noise unless it is truly unbearable, like in midst of road works, or some construction site placed near your office. Did you know that one of the noisiest jobs except manufacturing and construction is teaching? This is why it is necessary to address this problem on faith, so to speak, and not to wait for your body to send an alarm signal. The simplest, cheapest and the most effective individual solution is using earplugs or some headphones that will physically prevent the unwanted decibels from entering the body, which in some cases cannnot be applied. As far as the systematic solutions for noise pollution go, there are many of those available as fairly reasonable prices and they are completely adaptable to the type of noise you are faced with, like noise walls for instance.
Noticing increased stress levels in your body can be very tricky, especially when you are focused on the task at hand and cannot bring yourself to take a breather and analyze your current physical and psychological state. Technology comes to our aid in this instance in the form of mobile apps that measure stress levels through the sensors on your smartphone.
By monitoring heart rate and several other vital body functions, apps like Stress Doctor, Stress Check and such can recognize the stress building up long before you do, which will enable you to act at the right moment and address the issue by nipping it in the bud, so to speak. In addition, many helpful apps offer quick access to some stress relieving techniques, usually for a small fee. You should check these out to, as it could be very convenient to have such resources available at all times at your fingertips.
Managing stress and dealing with it had evolved into a psychological and physiological warfare for our well-being that never stops. The cunningness and stealth approach of this particular enemy should force us to take it very seriously and handle it with respect it deserves. If not, is will surely find a way into every cell of our body so that we will begin to treat it as a part of us, which is when it can cause the most damage.
Mary Ann Keeling is a blogger and a business consultant from Brisbane. She is exploring ways in which to make her work environment stress free, especially noise free with some simple solutions like modern acoustic doors. She spends her free time doing yoga and hiking.