12 Stress Management Tips
Everyone, everywhere, has felt stress at one point or another. It is a natural part of our everyday life. Stress at work can bring its own unique issues.
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) defines job stress as the harmful physical and emotional responses that occur when the requirements of the job do not match the capabilities, resources, or needs of the worker. OSHA (The Occupational Safety and Health Administration) estimates put the cost of stress on American industry at more than $300 billion annually.
Stress management starts with identifying the sources of stress in your life.
Your true sources of stress aren’t always obvious, and it’s all too easy to overlook your own stress-inducing thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. For example, you may know that you’re constantly worried about work deadlines. But maybe it’s procrastination, rather than the actual job demands, that leads to deadline stress.
A stress journal can help you identify your regular stressors and how you manage them.
Each time you feel stressed, keep track of it in your journal. As you keep a daily log, you will begin to see patterns and common themes. Write down:
What caused your stress
How you felt, both physically and emotionally
How you acted in response
What you did to make yourself feel better
Now that you have a more clear understanding of your coping mechanism, the symptoms, and cause of your stress, you can more easily identify better ways to handle stress.
Workplace Stress Management Tips
Eat a healthy diet. A healthy diet can help relax muscles and reduce anxiety. Healthy fats, whole grains, lean protein, low glycemic fruits and green vegetables are all great choices.
Reduce caffeine and sugar. Caffeine is a nervous system stimulant and sugar causes the release of insulin which in turn increases inflammation, both increase the bodies stress response.
Avoid alcohol, cigarettes, and drugs. Many people use these substances as a relaxation technique but it can be self-defeating. Additionally, it may cause additional stressful situations such as causing work tardiness, missed deadlines, and an inability to concentrate.
Get plenty of sleep. Being sleep deprived can make your problems seem worse than they really are. Additionally, a lack of sleep can cause you to overreact.
Supplement with magnesium. Chronic stress can suppress your immune system and increase inflammation. The American College of Nutrition recommends supplementing with magnesium during times of stress. Ask your doctor what’s right for you.
Identify professionals who can help. Your healthcare provider, Vida coaches, Vida therapists, financial planners, and other professionals can be of help. Ask for help when you need it.
Lifestyle Stress Management Tips
Shift your perspective. When dealing with problems, imagining worst-case scenarios will only increase your feelings of stress. Focus on finding solutions.
Prioritize goals and organize your time. Set deadlines, make a list, and use your calendar and other resources to get focused and stay on task.
Simplify your schedule. If you consistently feel rushed, take a few minutes to review your planner. Look for activities that can be cut out or assignments that can be shifted to another team member.
Form friendships. A workplace buddy can help take your mind off of stressors, lend a trusted ear, or provide guidance and support.
Take a break and breathe. Making a conscious effort to deepen and slow down your breathing can help you relax.
Exercise. Physical activity is a natural stress buster. Yoga and meditation are great options, as are going for a walk or taking advantage of the company gym.
Stress will never be completely eliminated from life. Having several strategies in place for handling stress both before and after it occurs will help you to improve your life exponentially.