7 ways to reduce stress at work

Did you know that small doses of work stress can actually be a healthy part of daily life? Stress is a normal, hormonal response that can help us stay more motivated and productive in our jobs.
 
Prolonged stress, however, can become overwhelming and lead to both mental and physical health problems ranging from anxiety and depression to digestive issues and cardiovascular disease. (1)
 
“Good” stress vs. “bad” stress
 
Good stress
Whether you’re working towards a tight deadline or preparing for a high-stakes presentation, these positive stressors don’t last long. They cause your body to release adrenaline, giving you more energy as a result.
 
Bad stress
If you’re stressed for more extended periods due to a demanding role, it can have a damaging effect on your physical and mental health, that can be a factor in things like headaches, sleep issues and depression.
 
7 ways to reduce stress at work
 
1.    Re-frame your thinking. Make a conscious effort to catch any negative self-talk and shift it into something positive.
 
2.    Keep moving. Walk around, stretch or schedule some exercise over your lunch break.
 
3.    Tweak your diet. More fruits, veggies and whole grains. Less sugar, caffeine and alcohol.
 
4.    Breathe deeply. Close your eyes and take a few slow, deep breaths. Inhale through the nose and exhale through the mouth.
 
5.    Listen. Keep some headphones handy, so you can play some soothing tunes or relaxing nature sounds while you work.
 
6.    Smell. Having a stash of chamomile tea at your desk or even a small lavender plant offers soothing fragrances when you need them.
 
7.    Slow down. Look for ways to reduce the number of commitments you have and free up time to focus on the projects that matter most to you.
 
If you’re struggling with managing stress, be sure to talk to your doctor about it. They can recommend appropriate lifestyle changes or treatments based on your needs.