If you say that you don’t experience stress at work, then you are lying to yourself. No matter how much you love your job there will inevitably be days when something goes wrong. Maybe a client is having a bad day and wants to share their aggravation with you? Perhaps your boss forgot about a 20 page report he would like you to write…and it’s due this afternoon. Whether you are a bartender, an office slave, or a doctor, it is inevitable that you will encounter stress.
Since stress is an unavoidable part of life, the best things to learn are some easy everyday practices to reduce stress in the office. Whether your office is a cubicle, or the seat of a dump truck, the following 5 ways to reduce stress are guaranteed to make your work hours a lot more enjoyable. Give them a try! The stress isn’t going to go away, so what do you have to lose?
#1 – Meditation
You don’t have to light candles, or be sitting in the lotus position to meditate. Simply close the door to your office, dim the lights, and try to clear your mind of any thoughts. Focus on breathing in and out, and try to focus your eyes on a single point in space. When thoughts come in, let them come in, but don’t dwell on them and let them pass. After about five or ten minutes of this you will be able to return to work with relaxed muscles and a clear head.
#2 – Turn off Your E-mail
When you start to become overwhelmed at work, turn off your e-mail for a couple hours. E-mail can become very addictive, and it will only add more stress each time you check it. Take time to get caught up on the work you already have on the table, and once you are free and clear you can check on new assignments, or give updates on the work you have just completed. If you try to constantly stay caught up on e-mails, you will never get the actual work done.
#3 – Get some Exercise
Talk to your boss about taking a 15 minute break every few hours to go out for a quick jog or a brisk walk around the block. This will give you time to clear your head, and will also get your blood flowing so you will be more alert during your work. Most supervisors will appreciate your dedication to you work, and will be much happier to grant you this short break to boost productivity, instead of having you sit at your desk watching the clock.
#4 – Take Lunch Breaks
Even if you don’t eat much for lunch, you should still take your lunch break. Bring a book or go for a stroll. Either way, it’s important to get out of your office for a while so that you can keep yourself mentally “fresh.”
#5 – Leave Stress at the Office
When the day is over, forget about your work. Go home and spend time with your family, have a beer with some friends, or even sit on the couch and enjoy a movie. Whatever you do, leave your work at work. Your e-mails will still be there tomorrow, and your voicemail will be glad to remind you of any phone calls you missed. If you take your work home with you then you will never be able to get away from stress, and every day will be worse than the day before.