Stressed by work? No matter the industry or job, it’s rare these days to find someone who isn’t at least a bit frazzled from their job. Whether your daily work stress involves deadlines, an overly demanding boss, pushy clients, taking on the additional responsibilities of eliminated positions, or even a chatty colleague, here are a few tips to help you stay calm.
- Delegate: If your to-do list overflows and your calendar is full, don’t try to do it all yourself. Try to delegate to team members or call in favors from colleagues.
- Breathing: Regularly practicing deep breathing exercises can calm you down and help lower your blood pressure. It even helps slows the aging process! Sit up straight. Inhale through your nose while slowly counting to six. Exhale through mouth, counting to eight. Repeat several times. Instead of tensing and raising your shoulders while inhaling, relax your arms and shoulders and let your abdomen expand with air. These cleansing breathes are perfect before, during, and after a busy day or a stressful meeting.
- Minimize Caffeine: Coffee might give you energy quickly—but a coffee buzz can also add to that stressed-out feeling and increase your blood pressure. Prefer a warm beverage over cold water? Try green tea. Sure, it has some caffeine—but not nearly as much as coffee. Green teas also contains the most antioxidant polyphenols among the various types of tea, notably a catechin called epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), which is believed to be responsible for most of the health benefits linked to green tea.
- Eat Frequently: But not too much. Eating small, healthy snacks throughout the day helps keep you energized and helps maintain a stable blood sugar level, which can help reduce anxiety.
- Go Outside at Lunch: Whether grabbing a bite out or just walking around the block, be sure to take time to catch a breath of fresh air.
- Just Say No: If you’re the co-worker who always agrees to take on extra work, trade hours with a colleague, or plan the next work party, start occasionally saying “No.”
- Laugh: Go to lunch or break with co-workers who make you smile and laugh. Laughing has been proven to be a stress-reducing activity that actually increases your immune system. A few jokes and funny stories can produce cleansing laughs and help you face the rest of your day with a fresh attitude.
- Communicate in Person: Instead of answering an e-mail with yet another e-mail, try walking over to your co-worker’s desk and having an in-person conversation. People are social by nature, and the interaction might not only reduces the chance of miscommunication but also helps reduce stress through socialization.
- Stretch: The internet is full of work-appropriate stretching exercises and apps that can help increase blood flow and energy. Try a few minutes worth of stretching during those long afternoons.