Thursday, June 27, 2013

5 Quick Ways to Reduce Stress On the Job

Did you know Canada..  As the economy struggles and workplace demands intensify, when employees are interrupted an average of 7 times an hour and distracted more than 2 hours a day, it's no wonder we suffer from overbearing amounts of stress. We need a way to daily, if not hourly, reduce the amount of pressure we face on the job. 

1. Identify what you Can Control
Image via Flickr by Alan Cleaver

When a situation is out of our control, we experience stress. It actually activates a stress hormone, which can eventually wear you down and ruin your confidence, sense of well-being and your ability to concentrate. To remediate this feeling, you need to identify the aspects of the situation you can control. Those are generally your actions and responses. Work to be the master of these forces, and accept that some things you can't control and let them go.

2. Deep Breathing, Meditation and Prayer
Stress places unnecessary strain on our bodies and increases health issues. It will cause our heart rates to increase and blood pressure to rise. If you step out of a particularly stressful meeting, it is an excellent idea to gain control over these physical reactions. Deep breathing helps settle everything down. Inhale slowly for 5 seconds, hold for a beat then exhale through your nose. It's like a mini-yoga class at your desk. Close your eyes and meditate on simple quiet scenes. Silently pray and reach out to God for serenity. Similar ideas can be found at the Ed Young Fellowship.

3. Manage Interruptions
Today's workers are more bothered by interruptions than ever before. They can come in so many ways, phone calls, instant messages, emails, pop-ins, urgent deadlines, text messages. It's difficult to control the distractions, but with an appropriate response and good management, you can. First, decide to either accept the interruption, diagnosis its importance and make plans for it, or simply cut it off. Decide in advance which response you're going to make. Manage as many of them as possible by only answering email at a pre-designed time, set up office hours, and when necessary close the door and take the phone off the hook.

4. Schedule and Take Breaks
Trying to push through a 10 hour day will result in less efficiency because of stress. Take planned breaks following every 90 minutes of intense concentration. Walk, stretch, do a breathing exercise. This brief period of recovery will clear out the stress and rejuvenate our systems.

5. Diet and Sleep
Poor diets stress our systems. Stay away from the junk food and stay on a low-sugar, high-protein diet. Your body can use the right ingredients to better handle stress. Same goes for adequate sleep. The CDC says some 60 million of use don't get enough sleep, and that kills productivity the next day and adds to our stress levels. Try this simply breathing trick to fall asleep quickly: cover your left nostril and breathe through your right for five minutes.

Stress is a killer, and there is so much self-imposed pressure in our lives, compounded and reinforced by the jobs and expectations we put on ourselves. Not taking a moment to relieve all that tension could be fatal.

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