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4 ways for coping with stress at work
Written by The Healing Hub
If the last year has been relentless on the work front and you are struggling to stay calm and centred, you are certainly not struggling alone.
After all, we’ve had to adjust to new ways of working, almost overnight. Lots of us have seen our to-do lists get even longer in the face of restructuring. And we’ve still got so much uncertainty looming over us. Prolonged, unmanaged stress and high-intensity emotions can lead to exhaustion and burnout. So it comes as no surprise that the number of employees suffering burnout symptoms have jumped by a quarter.
But what can you do about it?
The good news is that work-related stress doesn’t have to get the better of you. To create more emotional balance and better manage stress, engage in practices that will enable you to access a place of calm, confidence and clarity. Growing numbers of stressed-out employees are using the Breathing Space technique - a blend of 4 powerful, active stressbusting techniques to manage stress fast and effectively - in fact, it only takes ten minutes to get started.
You don’t have to be powerless in the face of stress at work. To illustrate, here are some tried and tested tips for coping with it…
Be aware of the tell-tale signs of stress
Stress is one of those things that can creep up on you. Firstly, it’s helpful to take a step back and recognise if it’s becoming a problem. It affects different people in different ways. But some of the most common signs and symptoms include the following:
- Feeling anxious, angry, irritable or withdrawn
- Insomnia and fatigue
- Apathy and trouble concentrating
- Muscle tension and headaches
- Stomach problems and weight fluctuations
- Loss of sex drive
- Using alcohol or drugs as a crutch to cope
Gain control over your stressors
When you’re dealing with a significant life event, it’s easy to identify your source of stress. However, work is different. It’s tempting to say ‘it’s all just getting on top of me’ and leave it at that. But it’s a lot more useful if you can pinpoint individual stressors. That way, you can isolate them and gain control over your reaction to them.
One way of doing this is to focus on the occasions when you find yourself getting angry, start to panic or become withdrawn. Ask yourself, ‘Why am I acting like this?’. When I lost my temper at my partner, was it really because they hadn’t stacked the dishwasher correctly? Or was it actually because I’m worried about a pending audit?
This kind of real-time analysis can be challenging, especially when we’re not controlling our emotions and acting out-of-character. However, one of the most valuable things about Breathing Space is that it helps you slow down your response. It gives you clarity in the moment, granting you some much-needed perspective into what’s triggering the stress response.
Once you have identified the real source of your stress, you should find that your reactions to it are no longer out of proportion with the situation.
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Focus on empathy
When you are feeling stressed, it can skew your perspective. Especially the case when you’ve been suffering from stress episodes over an extended period: here, you are much more likely to perceive even unremarkable day-to-day situations involving other people through a negative lens.
When you try to change how you feel about others, you can change how others feel. For many people, positive affirmations and guided meditations are an effective way of helping people rewire the way they think.
Another area where the Breathing Space technique can be beneficial is that it gently encourages a gentle shift in how you perceive life, bringing about much more positive reactions to people and situations.
Turn to others
Colleagues and friends can be excellent sources of support. Especially when you’ve identified a particular workplace stressor, an open conversation can be a constructive way to devise a plan, helping you manage that issue more effectively.
However, be aware that if it’s past events that are unconsciously triggering you, these issues are things that no-one can change. Only you can work on your present self!
Want to discover Breathing Space for yourself? Start your free trial here.
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