Published on June 3, 2019
7 ways to help reduce stress at work
Did you know that small doses of work stress can actually be a healthy part of daily life? Stress is a normal, hormonal response that can help us stay more motivated and productive in our jobs.
According to the Mayo Clinic, prolonged stress, can become overwhelming and lead to both mental and physical health problems ranging from anxiety and depression to digestive issues and cardiovascular disease1.
“Good” stress vs. “bad” stress
Whether you’re working towards a tight deadline or preparing for a high-stakes presentation, these positive stressors don’t last long.
If you’re stressed for more extended periods due to a demanding role, it can have a damaging effect on your physical and mental health, that can be a factor in things like headaches, sleep issues and 1.
7 ways to help reduce stress at work according to the Mayo Clinic1,2
1. Re-frame your thinking. Make a conscious effort to catch any negative self-talk and shift it into something positive. Keep a journal and write about your thoughts or what you're grateful for in your life1.
2. Keep moving. For example, walk around, stretch or schedule some exercise over your lunch break.
3. Tweak your diet. More fruits, veggies and whole grains. Less sugar, caffeine and alcohol.
4. Breathe deeply. Close your eyes and take a few slow, deep breaths. Inhale through the nose and exhale through the mouth.
5. Listen. Keep some headphones handy, so you can play some soothing tunes or relaxing nature sounds while you work1.
6. Smell. For example, smelling fresh-cut grass or having a stash of chamomile tea at your desk or even a small lavender plant offers soothing fragrances when you need them.
7. Slow down. Look for ways to reduce the number of commitments you have and free up time to focus on the projects that matter most to you.
If you’re struggling with managing stress, be sure to talk to your doctor about it. They can recommend appropriate lifestyle changes or treatments based on your needs.
- Chronic stress puts your health at risk. Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/stress/art-20046037. Published 2020. Accessed September 1, 2021.
- 5-4-3-2-1-countdown-to-make-anxiety-blast-off. https://www.mayoclinichealthsystem.org/hometown-health/speaking-of-health/5-4-3-2-1-countdown-to-make-anxiety-blast-off. Published 2020. Accessed September 2, 2021.
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