Ten Top Tips For Managing Workplace Stress

Workplace stress

No self-respecting blog is complete without a Ten Top Tips list – and this is ours. Ten Top Tips for managing workplace stress.

1. Focus on the things you can change or influence
The only thing in life that you can directly control is yourself and your decisions. Focus your valuable energy on the things you can change. You might not be able to change the situation you are in, but you can change the way that you respond to it.

2. Learn to let go
We all hold onto things, whether it is possessions, bad habits, relationships or past mistakes. We revisit these things in our head again and again; we don’t need to. We can let go, allowing our feelings of frustration and regret to float away and acceptance and peace to take their place.

3. Understand the way that you think
Just because we think something, it doesn’t make it true. Our thoughts are just our thoughts. It is easy to get into poor habits of thinking; jumping to conclusions, catastrophising (“everything is going to go wrong”), thinking we can read minds, focusing on the negatives, feeling responsible for everything that happens. But these are just thinking styles they are not reality. Learn to recognise the automatic thoughts that pop into your head and learn to let them go, replacing them with more balanced, realistic thoughts.

4. Learn to relax
Find time for the things that you enjoy; reading a book, watching a film, walking in the park, riding your bike. And learn short relaxation techniques: tensing and relaxing your muscles in turn; visualising for 5 – 10 minutes a peaceful scene; or practicing taking long, slow, deep breaths in and out through your nose.

5. Think positively
People who have a positive attitude cope better with stress. At the end of each day spend a few minutes remembering the great things that happened in your day. Learn to reframe your experiences, seeing the silver lining and recognising the opportunities they bring.

6. Build and use your social networks
Connect with the people around you and find time for your friends. Think quality not quantity. You don’t need 100s of friends, just 1 or 2 people who you enjoy spending time with and who you can call if you need help.

7. Remember who you are and what is important to you
Our values are the things that are really important to us; the things that help make our life meaningful. Spend some time reconnecting with you work and life values. What are the things that you would refuse to compromise on? What, if anything, is preventing you from living to those values?

8. Remain curious
Being curious about the world is good for your mental health. Try new experiences, rediscover old interests, explore new places, cook different foods, meet new people – explore the world around you.

9. Keep active
Incorporate more physical activity into your day. Take a walk at lunchtime, take the stairs instead of the lift, get off the bus a couple of stops early, and find a sport or exercise you enjoy. It doesn’t have to be the gym or running, it could be dancing, cycling, playing tennis, rambling, yoga or skate boarding!

10. Manage your technology – don’t let it manage you
Technology has revolutionised the way we work, helping us to be more flexible and productive. But we can become a slave to our technology, constantly checking our email, updating our Facebook status and taking work calls late in the evening. Manage your technology. Turn your phone off during meetings, have separate work and personal phones so you can turn the work phone off, limit the times you check and respond to emails, resist checking up on your social networks until break times, schedule in focused work time when your telephones are turned off.


first published 25/9/13

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