We all know how difficult it is to manage our emotions and performance when under stressful situations at work. In fact, with all the technological and communicational advances nowadays, we never separate from work, and we are “active” 24 hours a day, seven days a week. But what mechanisms do you have to cope with these situations?
For most of the population, managing stress, anxiety, and distress levels is a problem they face daily. As we know, many people are now enjoying the privilege of working from home, and while it may seem like the most exciting thing in the world, it certainly has its drawbacks. For example, when working from home, it is difficult to separate work and resting hours, or it is complicated to manage time properly, which leads to more stress.
With the help of this article, you will find several ways to deal with stress, anxiety, and all those feelings that make us uncomfortable at work so that you can be a more productive and active person.
The goal of this article is not for you to eliminate stress completely, that would be unrealistic. Instead, the purpose is to understand what situations cause you to stress, analyze your feelings, and channel your energy to have a productive and successful day at work.
Stress will not disappear completely, but you will have the necessary tools to cope with this unwanted feeling and win your day-to-day battles.
1. Establish priorities
First, it is essential to determine what is important and what is not. Nowadays, it is common to have too many responsibilities at work, and they all seem to be “urgent,” but the truth is that “urgent” and “important” are not the same thing. For example, it is common –and at the same time problematic– for the 21st-century worker to expect that in an eight-hour workday, they must complete four projects, respond to seven clients, and start three more assignments. To avoid these levels of hyper-productivity, it is advisable to take ten minutes in the morning, make a list of our “to-do’s,” and establish priorities.
2. Define realistic goals
Setting realistic goals goes hand in hand with the previous statement. You may have more meetings during the day than you expected, so you should divide your time as strategically as possible to avoid self-imposed stress. A good strategy is to set daily goals instead of long-term goals. This way, you will see how, little by little, your efforts will help you meet your goals for the day, and you will avoid the pressure to finish everything “at once.”
3. Take short breaks during the day
An important concept we mentioned previously is self-imposed stress. According to Bigthink, “Self-imposed stress is the stress we cause ourselves with our emotional responses and attitudes to certain situations.” However, many people don’t know that just as we inflict this stress on ourselves, we can also get rid of it. There are several techniques, but one of the best is to take fifteen-minute breaks during the day to fight fatigue and stimulate brain productivity.
4. Make meditation your best tool
I’m sure it’s not the first time someone has recommended meditation to you. As a practice, it has gained much popularity; however, many people still believe that “meditation is not for them” or that “they don’t know how to meditate.” At first, no one knows how to meditate, and many think, “Connecting with my deepest feelings and thoughts? I don’t think so, and I don’t have time for that!” Although meditation requires time, patience, and practice, it is a handy tool to achieve better concentration, reduce stress and anxiety levels, and find peace in times of difficulty.
5. Take a deep breath; everything will be alright
The way we breathe affects the whole body and is one of the things we ignore daily. Since breathing is an automatic and mechanical process, we don’t realize it changes when under stress. Have you ever used breathing as a method of relaxation? If the answer is no, it is time to start doing so. One of the most basic but most effective techniques to combat stress is to breathe deeply. According to the American Institute of Stress, “Deep breathing increases the supply of oxygen to your brain and stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, which promotes a state of calmness.” Therefore, it is essential to take a deep breath when we are under stress and remember that everything that happens to us externally has an internal chemical reaction in our body.
Managing stress is not an easy task, but with these five self-help mechanisms, you will be able to combat difficult situations in a humane, healthy, and natural way. As human beings, we are equipped with all the necessary tools to deal with the day-to-day; we just need to listen and understand ourselves to manage our emotions and become people capable of coping with stress, anxiety, or distress.
We invite you to read our articles on well-being at work during this mental health awareness month.
Remember, you are capable of managing stress and even more!