Stress is a natural response to situational demands or pressures, experienced by all, most commonly on a daily basis.
With that said, the intensity, frequency, and duration of stress varies severely from person to person.
With a healthy growth mindset, stress can be beneficial, as it can be motivational and encouraging while facing everyday changes.
For most, however, stress is, unfortunately, a detriment to daily life, caused by poor stress management.
Here’s how you can reduce stress in the workplace:
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Practising Optimal Time Management
Not only does optimal time management promote productivity, but it also significantly decreases stress levels.
Especially in the workplace, optimal time management is crucial to completing tasks efficiently and effectively.
However, a conjunction of poor time management and stress can oftentimes cause panic and an overall decrease in work completed as well as work quality.
In fact, according to Cornerstone Dynamics, up to 80% of the average workday is spent on activities with little or no value.
Thus, it is crucial to implement optimal time management practices throughout daily professional and personal life.
Below are Select’s methods for sharing optimal time management skills in the workplace:
1. Prioritising Work
Using examples from colleague workloads, talk through the principles of dividing tasks into A-, B-, and C- tasks.
Then, allocate a set number of each to do on a daily basis.
2. Using Diaries and Planners
To discover working patterns, colleagues are suggested to keep time logs, then review them together.
With working patterns discovered, help each other create an appropriate planning system.
3. Filtering Information
Encourage colleagues to assess each item of information received, to decide what action is required.
Also, based on personal experience, provide ways to practice faster reading.
4. Delegating and ‘Following Up’
Discuss specific, related examples from the past, to determine the best, current course of action.
Be prepared to review any new systems that are set up as well.
Living a Stress-Reducing Life
While experiencing stress is inevitable, there are many daily practices that can positively affect the way stress is handled.
This is crucial because if handled improperly, prolonged feelings of stress can cause many mental and physical health complications.
In fact, 77 percent of people currently experience stress that affects their physical health, while 73 percent of people currently experience stress that affects their mental health, according to the American Institute of Stress.
Therefore, implementing a stress-reducing lifestyle can prevent these long-term health consequences, as the basis of a low-stress life.
To implement a stress-reducing lifestyle, we recommend:
1. Eating Properly
Consuming proper ‘fuel’ gives the body the energy needed to battle the harmful effects of stress.
However, among the chaos of everyday life, food consumed often becomes an afterthought, resulting in unhealthy food choices.
Try to be more mindful and progressively make changes to food choices to better combat the effects of stress.
These changes may include choosing to eat a salad for lunch, eating fruits and vegetables instead of processed snacks, or just eating a smaller portion.
2. Exercising Regularly
Exercising regularly is an important part of stress reduction for a multitude of reasons.
These include making the body physically stronger, clearing the mind, helping clear out negative emotions, and giving time to think through situations.
These benefits all make the body and mind significantly more resilient to stress.
To exercise more on a daily basis, try walking during work breaks, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or riding a bike to destinations instead of taking a car or bus.
3. Sleeping Well
A good night’s sleep heals and resets the body to properly prepare it for the events of the following day.
To build better sleeping habits, consider using the bed only for sleeping, making the bedroom a calming and comfortable place, and having a nighttime routine to ‘wind down’.
Using Physical Relaxation Techniques
As mentioned previously, prolonged periods of stress can cause many negative consequences on the body and mind.
These include and are not limited to, muscle tension, headaches, obesity, high blood pressure, insomnia, depression, digestion problems, increased risk of heart attack and stroke, and increased susceptibility to illness.
So it’s important to use physical relaxation techniques to relieve the effects of stress, to ensure these effects do not worsen with time.
We recommend the following physical relaxation techniques to combat the long-term effects of stress:
1. Soothing Stretches
Doing quick and easy stretches throughout the day will help relieve the physical tension caused by stress.
Some recommended stretches to learn are the Neck Roll, Side Stretch, and Lumbar Stretch.
2. Deep Breathing
Deep breathing can reduce blood pressure and muscle tension, boost endorphins and metabolism, and clear the mind.
The basic technique is to breathe in slowly from the nose and breathe out slowly from the mouth.
This can be done in many ways such as in stressful situations to calm down or in conjunction with stretching for deeper alleviation.
Meditation is the ancient art of moving the mind into a deeper state of awareness, through relaxation.
Most forms of meditation involve sitting or lying in a comfortable position and tensing and relaxing certain groups of muscles while deep breathing.
Other forms focus simply on breathing and emptying one’s mind.
Meditation can be practiced for long or short periods of time, and can both prevent high levels of stress, as well as alleviate immediate stress.
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