As you’ve probably discovered, your work can trigger all kinds of stress reactions. From minor annoyances to heart attacks, on-the-job stress is a major cause of many mental and physical ailments. Are you suffering the consequences of workplace stress?
Consider these questions:
- Do you find yourself feeling annoyed with your supervisor or co-workers?
- Have you been looking for excuses to be late to work or to stay home occasionally?
- Do you get a stomach ache or headache within an hour after getting to work?
- Are you having trouble focusing on a work project because your emotions are wrought up over a work incident?
If you answered “Yes” to any one of these questions, you’re probably experiencing job-related stress. The good news is: if you’re proactive about managing your work stress level, you’ll feel less wound up and enjoy more success at work.
Try these strategies to deal with job stress:
- Remind yourself, “it’s just work.” There will be times you’ll have a difference of opinion with your boss or co-workers. Consider it creative disagreement and move on.
- Learn to recognize the things you control at the office. By the same token, let go of the things you’re not able to control. Your work life will become much lighter and brighter when you acknowledge both of these issues.
- Work through “resolvable” issues immediately. Rather than let issues fester and grow, if it’s within your power to negotiate a resolution, do it as soon as you can.
- When you feel overwhelmed, ask for assistance or guidance. Everyone occasionally experiences work struggles. In nearly every situation, it’s appropriate to ask for help at work.
- Establish your work priorities; then methodically work to complete your projects. List your tasks in order of priority. Start at the top of the list and work down, crossing off tasks as you go.
- If you have any questions whatsoever about which task or project is more important to complete first, proceed directly to your supervisor and ask. Avoid excess job stress by seeking guidance if you need it.
- Silently review all the reasons you do the work you do. Re-connect emotionally with all the positives you love about work. These realities about your career are far more important than the things that stress you.
- Vow to avoid drama at work. Refrain from allowing yourself to generate too many feelings about work. After all, it’s business. It’s best to use tact, neutrality, and diplomacy when dealing with co-workers. Your chances of experiencing work stress will be vastly reduced.
- Take a brisk 15 minute walk when you get home. There’s nothing like a walk to clear out the stress from your work day. Tell yourself that by the time you get back home, you’ll be thinking about what you’ll have for dinner. Walking after work is a great habit to develop for so many reasons.
- Use visual imagery techniques to let go of minor annoyances and frustrations. Imagine your stress is a big red ball. You throw it into the ocean and watch it bob away on the waves. Say “good-bye” as the ball is completely submerged far in the distance.
- Soothe yourself after you arrive home. Snuggle up in your blanket on the sofa and read your novel for a bit. Call your brother or a friend to chat. When you soothe yourself, you’re showing you know how to take care of your own troublesome feelings.
- Journal your feelings about work. When you write down your irritations and sources of stress, you can psychologically release the negative feelings you experience.
- Practice yoga or meditation to de-stress. The eastern philosophies of yoga and meditation soothe the souls of millions of people the world over. You’ll be surprised at how effective these methods are at eliminating your stress and keeping you more centered and relaxed.
Work stress is an unfortunate result of the human condition. Everyone deals with it from time to time. Practice these methods to remain optimistic and keep your work stress at manageable levels. You’ll re-discover the passion you have for your career!
Stress is a constant companion, and most of us, through lots of practice, have become experts at elevating our stress levels. The ability to relax is an acquired skill too. Luckily, you can teach yourself to handle stress in a manner that minimizes it. However, the more stressed you feel, the more challenging it can be to relax.
Discover how you can relax your body and mind when your stress levels are out of control:
- Take a moment to stretch. Stand up for a few minutes and stretch your body. Release the tension and stress in your muscles. Shake your arms and legs individually and get back to work. Try this. It works!
- If you have more time available, 30 minutes of exercise can work wonders. Avoid limiting yourself to the standard walk or jog. Play a match of tennis or attempt to break your personal bench press record. Consider whether you’d prefer to exercise alone or with others and make it happen.
- Listen to music. Music can be very soothing. The theme from Rocky might make you feel great, but might not be the best choice if you’re feeling agitated. Choose music that you find relaxing.
- Meditation is simple, but challenging. You can learn to focus your thoughts and relieve your tension. Keep your thoughts focused on your breath and return to these thoughts whenever you get distracted. What could be simpler?
- Reach out to others. Some of us find relaxation in being alone, while others feel better with others. Reach out to your friends and family. You can discuss your feelings and the challenges you’re facing. You could also choose to use the people in your life as a distraction. Go out to dinner or watch a movie. Have a little fun.
- Maybe laughter is the best medicine. Pull out your favorite video or spend the evening at a comedy club. Call your funniest friend for a chat. Read a book of jokes. Find something or someone that will make you laugh.
- Feel gratitude. It’s easy to forget about all the wonderful things in your life during challenging times. Make a list of all the blessings in your life. Focus on feeling gratitude. By reminding yourself of all the good things, the bad things won’t seem nearly as bad.
- Take a nap. One of the best ways to reset your nervous system is sleeping. Find a quiet place and lie down for an hour. A nap can be the best stress-buster.
- Think happy thoughts. Remember a happy, past event. Relive it in your mind. Creative visualization can be an excellent way to take a break from your stress. Be creative and enjoy yourself.
- Drop the caffeine from your diet. Caffeine and stress don’t combine well. Give your nervous system a reprieve and avoid caffeinated beverages. Do you really need to be any more stimulated?
- Close your eyes and listen to the sounds around you. You could also cover your ears and focus on what you see. You’ll just look sillier. Block off one of your senses and focus on your environment. This is an excellent way to be more present. Giving your attention to your surroundings will stop your mind from creating more stress.
Stress is a part of daily life. Learning to manage it makes life more enjoyable.
The best time to address stress is the moment it begins. There’s a momentum to stress. Once your stress reaches a high level, it’s far more challenging to reduce. Most stress-reduction techniques provide a small to moderate amount of relief. Use them sooner, rather than later, and prevent a meltdown before it happens.
Panic attacks can be all consuming and downright frightening (and do I also need to say stressful?). That is, if you allow them to be…
They frighten you because you aren’t sure what’s happening to your body. Fear of the unknown is generally the most frightening part of a panic attack. The mind is the most powerful instrument that humankind was given. You can use this to your advantage by mastering your mind. Remember, you control what you think. So therefore, you have the ability to control the intensity of your emotions! Only you can determine what you believe to be true, and most importantly, you have the ability to control your panic attacks!If you refuse to have a panic attack, your mind will have no choice but to oblige.
While this is easier said than done, here are 10 strategies you can use to help you overcome your panic attacks. Note: Consult with your physician or health care provider before initiating any drastic changes to your life.
1. Just say no. Panic attacks are like an annoying little brother; they’ll keep coming back if you grant them the attention they so desperately seek. When you feel a panic attack coming on, focus your attention on something else.
2. Face your fears. During each panic attack, are you convinced that you’re experiencing a heart attack? If so, head to the doctor and have him evaluate your heart-health – that way you can have a professional do the diagnosing and treatment. P.S.: Once a medical professional eliminates heart attacks from your list of fears, the intensity of your panic attacks will likely lessen.
3. Breathe. Deep breathing will help calm your overall state of mind. Visualize the air filling your lungs and then slowly release the air. Repeat until your feelings of panic have diminished.
4. Recall past episodes. You’ve had panic attacks before and felt as if the world was coming to a screeching halt. However, just a few minutes after the attack, you went about your day normally and experienced no injuries or health problems. P.S.: Remind yourself that you’ve lived through panic attacks before and, if necessary, you can certainly endure them again.
5. Drink a glass of water. Recite to yourself, “In the time it takes me to drink this glass of water, my panic will have subsided.” Think of each drop of water as your tonic for the day. P.S.: Each drop of water washes your panic away and allows you to go about your day with a fresh perspective.
6. Take control. You’re the authority of your mind and body! You alone control your thoughts. When you feel the symptoms of a panic attack creeping up, take control. Firmly shake away the fear. P.S.: Deep down inside, you know that you have nothing to be afraid of. Panic attacks are just an annoyance, a minor disturbance, and not a health risk.
7. Seek support from others with panic disorder. If your community offers a support group for panic disorder, join. Alternatively, you can join an online forum specific to panic attacks or panic disorder. P.S.: Speaking to others who can identify with what you’re going through can make a world of difference.
8. Purchase oriental therapeutic balls. Though panic attacks aren’t directly correlated with stress, the stress sure does mount throughout the course of a panic attack. Slide two oriental therapeutic balls around the palm of your hand until you’ve calmed down.
9. Educate yourself on panic attacks and panic disorder. Do your due diligence when it comes to informing yourself about panic disorder. Research what happens during a panic attack, the normal reactions, the health effects of a panic attack, and available treatments. P.S.: You’ll soon begin to see that panic attacks pose no threat to your health or wellbeing.
10. Record positive statements. Carry a recorder with you at all times. Record positive statements, such as, “I am the master of my mind,” and “fear is no match for my unlimited spirit.” Play this recording when you feel as if a panic attack may strike.
Use these simple tips to help you rise above panic attacks. When used one at a time, these tips may seem simple and relatively ineffective. However, when implemented collectively, the tips above just may help you ward off an impending panic attack that is headed your way.
If you find yourself dealing with financial stress, it can be an exceptionally difficult time. However, you mustn’t let the stress take over your life. If the bills are piling up, there are steps you can take to reduce your stress and your debts.
The most important thing to keep in mind when you’re faced with financial troubles is to make a plan and stick to it. If you need help with this plan, it would be in your best interest to seek out a financial planner.
Here are a few tips that can help you on your way:
- Don’t spend money to relieve your stress. It’s often tempting to reduce stress by going out for meals, entertainment, and other activities. This is clearly counterproductive. Instead, use some free stress relievers such as a warm bath, a good book, or a social event with friends at home.
- Accept your situation. Being unwilling to accept that you’re dealing with a hard situation can increase your stress. In many financial scenarios, you’re unable to control the situation. However, once you surrender control and accept it, you’ll feel better knowing that you can only do what you can to improve your financial outlook. It may take time, and that’s okay!
- Don’t be risky. If you have investments that may be on the risky side, it may be time to switch them to more of a sure bet. This security alone may ease your financial stress.
- Discuss your problems with family. If you have a spouse, make sure you keep the lines of communication open. Many marriages suffer during times of financial stress, but with honest communication and careful planning, you can keep your marriage and family happy.
- Stay Organized. Make lists and keep a calendar. It’s important to schedule time for relaxation, too. You’ll need some time where you can enjoy yourself without worrying about anything – especially your financial troubles.
- It’s never too much to remind: Have a Plan. Simply having a plan to improve your financial problems can reduce your stress level. Plans and goals will help you keep things in perspective and show you that you’re making progress towards a better life. By the way, you don’t need to do this alone. There are many professionals available to help you create a successful financial plan, even in your current situation.
- Here are some items you may want to review before forming your plan:
- If you find that you’re spending more than you’re making, find ways to cut expenses.
- See if you can pick up a part-time job or implement other ways to add to your income.
- Look into refinancing options for your current loans.
- Start using your debit card instead of a credit card.
- Maintaining Your Health: People often forget how important it is to maintain your health. When your body is dealing with any kind of stress, it can take a toll if you don’t take steps to relieve it. Next time you feel exceptionally stressed out, become aware of the state of your body. You’ll likely notice that all of your muscles are tense. Take a few moments to relax your muscles and take a few deep breaths.
While you may not have control of your financial situation, you do have control over how you feel about it. Focus on taking action to do what you can to improve your situation and know that better days are ahead.
“There’s not enough time in the day.” How many times have you heard that, or said it yourself? Probably more than you can count. So it’s no surprise that just like death and taxes, we can probably also always count on stress being a part of our lives.
Of course, there is good stress and there is bad stress.
Good stress comes in the form of a job promotion, a wedding, the birth of a new addition to the family, or taking a long-awaited vacation. Other examples of good stress would be learning a new skill, taking up a new hobby, going back to school, or the excitement of an upcoming holiday celebration.
Bad stress, on the other hand, can be seen in losing a job, financial worries, relationship woes, or loneliness.
Good stress naturally includes a desired outcome. For instance, the stress of a job promotion is tempered by a pay raise. The stress of planning a wedding results in a happy wedding day.
Take a look at bad stress situations, and they usually don’t have a definable outcome, so there isn’t a resolution.
By taking a bad stress situation and attaching a realistic desired outcome, you create a positive out of a negative. Now you can take action steps to attaining that desired outcome, instead of simply letting negative thoughts and worries take over your mind.
In order to accomplish this, of course, you must first be able to detect the stress, and label it good or bad. Then, you must be willing to turn the bad around and create a positive situation from it.
Our brains can’t tell the difference between the two types of stress – so with either good or bad stress comes the physical reaction of the brain releasing the stress hormone called cortisol.
Cortisol is the “fight or flight” hormone that enables us to get up and moving in a stressful situation. This was very useful in hunting-and-gathering times, but is less useful today as we simply do not need this hormonal response in the ways or in the amounts that we used to.
Be willing to take a deeper look at your stressful situations so that you can decide to flip it around if necessary. Create goals that attach to negative stress, and then work the steps necessary to achieve those goals.
Take control over your stress, and you’ll see a noticeable difference in your life!