When we are stressed at work it doesn’t take long for it to affect our productivity. Whether the stress comes from work itself, or other personal events in our lives, just walking out or zoning out isn’t going to be an option if you want to keep your job. But the truth of the matter is, you do need a mental time out from time to time to help you refocus, reenergize, and destress to be more efficient at the task on hand.
Although we often have many effective ways to destress out of work, many people struggle with moving past stress while at work. This article highlights what personal steps you can take both at home and at work to help you recognize stress and allow yourself the means to move past it in a meaningful manner.
Why Stress is Dangerous
Not only can stress waylay your effectiveness at work and keep you from growing into the leader you feel you should be, it also can wreak havoc on your overall health. You don’t need a doctor to make it obvious that stress is not good for you, and when you do not address the stressors you are under you can find yourself suffering from chronic headaches, skin conditions, sicknesses that will not go away, insomnia, anxiety, depression, and high blood pressure. Overtime this can tax your heart and lead to heart disease and diabetes to name a few.
In the workplace, this usually results in an inability to be organized, a lack of focus, poor time management, and problems with communication. Accidents are also common due to a lack of sleep and stress disruptions, making certain workplaces hazardous for those suffering from consistent stressors.
Tips to Work Past Stress and Refocus
Recognizing stressors and finding meaningful ways to work past them is a great way to introduce healthy practices into your daily life. Once you have a good grasp of the techniques you can apply to stressful moments, you can practice them to use them in a more effective manner- whether you find yourself unexpectedly surrounded by stress, or have felt stress mounting through the month.
Diffuse Essential Oils
Natural essential oils have many therapeutic qualities to help calm the mind, reduce stress and anxiety, and provide a sense of focus. You can easily incorporate a cool-mist diffuser or essential oil nebulizer in your workspace to create a relaxing, more peaceful environment. You don’t have to wait until you are stressed to take advantage of this either. Take Time to Meditate
Put aside a few minutes of your day to practice controlled breathing, help clear your mind, and to bring both your mental and physical attributes back into balance. You can even do this in the middle of a workday if you start to feel overwhelmed. Simply dim your lighting and sit still as you allow your mind to empty. Don’t focus on any thoughts, rather allow them to pass through your mind rather than allowing them to linger.
Take the physical effects of stress, such as a raised heartbeat and feelings of anxiety, back under your control. Use purposeful movement to help control these responses by taking a walk around the block, climbing stairs, or simply standing and working or stretching out for a few minutes. Yoga techniques can also be applied.
Make Healthy Eating Choices
Be proactive about your health both at home and at work by choosing healthier snacks to replace fast carbs, sugars, and caffeine you may depend on to get yours through the day. Fresh fruits, cheese, almonds, and crackers with hummus provide proteins that last rather than a spike and dissipate- which may leave you feeling even more tired.
Try to get in at least 20 minutes of cardio each day as well with a brisk walk, swim, or other purposeful movements. This helps improve blood circulation and tone your body for faster brain responses. It also can help you sleep better and be a source of stress release.
Get Enough Sleep
As an adult, you are supposed to get 7 to 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep at night. This allows your brain and body to recharge and heal as your body cycles through processes designed for whole-body health. Also, provide a proper sleep environment (such as keeping technology turned off at least one hour before bed), and avoid caffeine at least 6 hours before bedtime.
Overcome Bad Habits
Try to kick bad habits such as smoking or over-drinking as they often become a source of stress. Smokers also lose a lot of their workday to taking smoke breaks, which leads to tensions in the office and added stress. If you find your habits are becoming a source of anxiety, look for healthy ways to begin to wean yourself away from them and replace them with healthier choices.