Work stress is an inevitable fact of life: deadline pressure, issues with co-workers or employees, juggling numerous responsibilities, and even inconveniences like traffic, all add up to increased stress levels. Constant stress can be extremely bad for the body, and can lead to long-term health complications such as high blood pressure, heart disease, strokes and obesity. In order to function effectively and productively at work, while maintaining a life-work balance and achieving job satisfaction, Seartec has put together a list of stress management hacks to get you back on track.
Recognise the signs
Stress can manifest differently in different people but can generally be described as a sense of being out of control, or not having the resources to deal with demands. While everyone experiences stress at some point or another, chronic stress can lead to exhaustion and burnout. Some of the symptoms of stress include headaches and back and neck pain, panic attacks, sleep disturbances, irritability or inexplicable anger, weight gain or loss and appetite changes, and chest pains and heart palpitations. Read more on the American Institute of Stress website. Once someone has identified that they are experiencing chronic stress, they can put steps in place to alleviate it.
Manage your expectations
Peter Bregman, author of 18 Minutes: Find Your Focus, Master Distraction, and Get the Right Things Done suggests that frustrated expectations, where things go differently to the way we have anticipated or planned, is a major source of stress. Simply by adapting your expectations to include a certain amount of unpredictability or problems can alleviate stress when these things occur. Another trick Bregman suggests is altering your perspective. When rating a problem from 1 – 10, where 10 is the worst disaster imaginable, most day-to-day issues would probably rank between 1 and 3, making them seem less stressful and easier to ignore. Ones that rank higher deserve more attention, and can help you to plan your time.
Don’t ignore your body
Exercise, meditation, enough sleep, adequate hydration and nutrition. We all know that these things are important but somehow, they get moved down the list of priorities as our days get busier. But each of these things helps your body to respond to and cope with stress better. Try and schedule non-negotiable time in your diary for exercise, even if it just a short walk, and avoid takeaways and restaurant meals. In fact, the Wall Street Journal suggests that cooking is an excellent stress buster!
Aim for progress not perfection
Voltaire said that “Perfect is the enemy of good”. Often, perfectionism, which is not achievable, causes frustration and a sense of not being good enough. Instead, focus on progress and growth. Focus on the “small wins”, as defined by an article in the Harvard Business Review to track your progress and boost motivation and satisfaction. Additionally, analyse how mistakes and setbacks can help you to learn and grow, in order to help you progress even further.
Think about technology differently
Technology can be an excellent tool for decreasing stress or it can exacerbate it. Make a habit of unplugging at the end of the day – switch off your smartphone, limit your screen time before bed and spend some time disconnected from the virtual world. At the office, invest in technology that increases efficiency, such as office automation products like multifunction copiers, and source suppliers that provide after-sales support to tackle maintenance issues without hassle or excessive down time. Seartec can assist with products and services that create a seamless office environment for reduced stress.
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