Practice The Art Of Not Holding Onto Thoughts
Meditation is one of the best ways to learn to stop dwelling on things that bother you. Mindfulness has been shown to help people stay in the moment and learn to be with themselves. The most basic form of meditation is to sit quietly without interruption and focus on your breathing. Listen, feel, and visualize each inhale and exhale.
Write Down Your Stressors
Identifying and recording stressful situations can help you understand whats bothering you. Some of these can be subtle sources of tension, such as an uncomfortable workspace or a long commute.
Keep a journal for 1 week to track your stress triggers and your reactions to them. Make sure to include the people, places, and events that gave you a physical, mental, or emotional response.
As you write, ask yourself:
- How did this make me feel?
- What was my reaction?
- What are some ways of resolving it?
What Does A Stress Leave Look Like
This will depend on what your doctor instructs you to do. Its vital that you follow her instructions and dont just treat this as a vacation. Even though you wont go into the office, you are not on vacation.
If your leave is approved under FMLA, then you cannot do any work during the time you are off of work. Other than answering a quick question, you should not check your work email, participate in phone calls or meetings, or do any work. You should focus on your health and alleviating the stress which caused you to take the stress leave.
FMLA is unpaid leave from work. Depending on your companys internal guidelines, they may require you to use your paid vacation and sick leave upfront so that you receive a paycheck while you are on stress leave. Some companies require you to do so, while others do not. You may also have short-term disability insurance that will cover at least a portion of your pay while you are on stress leave. Check with your HR benefits coordinator or your benefits provider.
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Five Ways To Reduce Stress
- Take time away. If the stress at work increases, try to take a short break and get away from the stressful situation. If possible, take a walk outside the workplace or spend a few minutes meditating in the break room. Physical exercise or finding a quiet place to regain your balance can quickly relieve stress.
- Talk it over with someone. In some situations, it can help relieve stress by simply sharing your thoughts and feelings with someone you trust. Talking about a problem with someone who is both supportive and empathetic can be a great way to let off steam and relieve stress.
- Connect with others in the workplace. Developing friendships with some of your colleagues can help you protect yourself from the negative effects of stress. Remember to listen to them and offer support when they are also in need.
- Look for humor in this situation. If used appropriately, humor is a great way to relieve stress at work. If you or those around you start to take things too seriously, find a way to lighten the mood by sharing a joke or a funny story.
Tune Out And Take Care Of Your Life
Sometimes, the first step to mitigating work stress is reminding yourself that your frazzled feelings are entirely valid rather than expecting your body to handle impossible workloads flawlessly all the time.
Many of us act like were invincible. We run around trying to be the perfect coworkers, the perfect partners, or the perfect community pillars, stretching ourselves too thin with obligations and deadlines and trying to prove our worth.
But we arent invincible. We burn out. We get sick. We are vulnerable. And excessive work stress only makes things worse, contributing to health issues like coronary heart disease and diabetes. Jaskanwal S, et al. . Association between workrelated stress and coronary heart disease: A review of prospective studies through the job strain, effortreward balance, and organizational justice models. DOI: 10.1161/JAHA.117.008073 Sui H, et al. . Association between work-related stress and risk for type 2 diabetes: A systematic review and meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0159978
Cut yourself a little slack and remember that youre more than the work you do. And rather than slogging through extra hours at the office each night, spend your off time tuning into the other parts of life that make you feel like you.
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Start With Small Changes
It is unlikely that your workload will be dramatically reduced, even if you threaten to leave. Your manager will not change either. The best solution is to start by making small changes, such as time management or learning how to say no to a crushing workload. You are in the frontline. Look after yourself. Nobody else will!
It is not stress that kills us, it is our reaction to it. Hans Selye
Many of us dream of living abroad but can often be scared to make such a big change to our routine lifestyles and leave our home countries behind. Daunting as it may be, living abroad can be a rewarding and fulfilling endeavor and can give you the quality of life you have been looking for.
From a warmer climate to a more easy going way of life, there are many foreign countries favored by expats who stay for a long time and sometimes forever. Taking into consideration livings standards, opportunities and social aspects, here are our top 15 best places to live as an expat and why.
Simple Ways To Deal With Stress At Work
Research has indicated that the percentage of Americans who are stressed at work is highand its only getting higher. According to a survey of more than 2,000 full-time U.S. employees, ages 18-79, more than half of employees find themselves stressed during at least 60 percent of the workweek.
Work stress has significant health consequences that range from relatively benign to potentially serious .
While stress at work is common, finding a low-stress job is hard . A more realistic approach is to adopt effective coping strategies to reduce stress at your current job. Here are some stress management techniques you can try if you are finding it hard to cope with work stress
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What To Do When You Get Home
Create a Soothing Home Environment for Yourself: Because we spend so much of our non-work hours at home, it’s important to have a home environment that soothes your stress rather than one that leaves you feeling more stressed and tired than it should. Because clutter has a subtle but very real effect on our stress levels, it pays to declutter as regularly as possible. If your home is a haven from stress, it’s easier to let job stress melt away once you get there.
Treat Yourself: Think about those little treats in life that put a smile on your face, and get more of them into your day. These little happiness-boosters, known as “pleasures” by psychologists, can lift your mood in a measurable way and reduce stress in the process. It can be a cup of tea, your favorite comedy, a long walk with a loved one, a soothing bath, or anything else that brings you a bit of joy. Try to mix them up so they have a bit of “newness” to them and you’ll enjoy them even more. You deserve it.
Enlist Support: If you need to talk about the things that stress you at work before you can let go of them, it helps to have a supportive person who will listen and help you to let go of the stress.
Determine Whether You Are Eligible For Fmla
The Family Medical Leave Act applies to companies with 50 or more employees within a 75-mile radius of the workplace. For FMLA eligibility, you must have been employed by your company for at least a year and have worked at least 1250 hours in the past 12 months. If you meet these qualifications, its possible that you are eligible for legal protection for your stress leave.
Go to your Human Resources department and let them know you would like to take an FMLA-approved absence for stress leave. They will provide you with the necessary paperwork that you must take to your doctor. Just saying you are too stressed out to work is not sufficientyour doctor will need to recommend that you take a stress leave.
When you speak with your doctor, its important that you speak honestly and not downplay your symptoms. She or he cant make a fair evaluation if you keep saying, Its fine. Everything is fine. Im just a little stressed. Remember, stress can affect you physically as well as mentally.
Web MD says Stress seems to worsen or increase the risk of conditions like obesity, heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, depression, gastrointestinal problems, and asthma. Stress is not something you should ignore.
You have 15 days to return the FMLA paperwork, so make sure you get it back into HR. Its also okay to send the paperwork in with a spouse or a friend if your condition prohibits you from going into the office.
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What Is Overthinking Disorder
Overthinking is not a disorder, but instead tends to be a part of anxiety disorder. People who overthink may pick through their worrying thoughts with a fine-toothed comb, using all they can to worry and over-analyze their thoughts. While critically thinking about your life is important, overthinking tends to involve making a mountain out of a molehill, and it’s important to learn ways to stop worrying and overthinking if you want to have peace of mind.
Drink Alcohol In Moderation And Avoid Nicotine
Alcohol temporarily reduces anxiety and worry, but too much of it can cause anxiety when it subsides. Drinking to reduce stress at work can ultimately lead to alcohol abuse and dependence.
Similarly, smoking may have a calming effect when you feel stressed and overwhelmed, but nicotine is a powerful stimulant – leading to higher, not lower, anxiety levels.
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Should You Take A Stress Leave From Work
Everyone knows that if you have the flu, you should stay home from work to recover and not spread the infection to your colleagues and friends. Its also clear that giving birth requires time off from work. But what about stress? Can you really take a stress leave from work?
You can, and sometimes taking a stress leave is the right thing to do. You may not see your situation strictly as needing a stress leave, but you may see it as experiencing burnout, anxiety, or depression. You need to apply for a leave of absence for any of these reasons in a similar way. Heres how you should approach making the request for a stress leave from work.
Reduce A Worrys Power Over You
One very effective way to reduce a worrys power over you is by getting the negative thoughts out of your head and on to paper. Being able to see the worry in black and white helps give you more perspective.
Study your worries by keeping a Worry Diary.
Write down what you fear might happen and then later write down if what you were worried about actually happened, whether it was as bad as you expected, and what you did to cope with the situation.
This will help you understand your worries better, distinguish between worries that are useful and those that are useless, and help you realize that you can cope no matter what happens.
- Set aside some time during the day to worry your worry time. Select a time every day that is convenient for you and pick a suitable amount of time to worry . Use this time to think about your worries and about possible resolutions. It can be helpful to write things down. It will take time to train yourself not to dwell on worries at other times of the day or night.
- Practice is key here. What you can do if you worry outside of the set aside time is to write the worry down and put it in a worry box . Then, when its your official worry time, you can look at your worries and deal with them appropriately.
I hope you find these 6 tips useful. If you would like to read more about ways to overcome anxiety and worrying please take a look at my free booklet.
When clients first come in to see me, the main concerns that come up again and again are:
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Take Care Of Yourself
Setting aside time for self-care is a must if you regularly find yourself feeling overwhelmed by work. This means prioritizing sleep, setting aside time for fun, and making sure youre eating throughout the day.
Feel like you dont have the time? Keep in mind that youll likely be able to tackle work issues more effectively when your core needs are being met.
Task Management Tips To Reduce Stress At Work
- Prioritize tasks. Make a list of the tasks you need to complete and tackle them in order of importance. Tackle high priority items and unpleasant tasks first. This will make the rest of your day more enjoyable and less stressful.
- Break big projects down into small, manageable steps. Focus on one manageable step at a time, rather than taking it all in at once.
- Delegate responsibility. You don’t have to do everything yourself. If other people can do the job, why not let them? Let go of the desire to control or supervise every little step. In so doing, you let go of unnecessary stress.
- Be willing to compromise. If you ask someone to engage in a task differently, revise a deadline, or change their behavior at work, you should be willing to do the same. Sometimes, if you can both bend a little, you will be able to find a happy middle ground that reduces stress levels for all involved.
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Ways To Leave Work Stress Behind
When your workday is done, do you still carry much of the stress of your work with you into your off-work hours?
Whether you work at home or go to an office, its important for there to be a separation between your work and personal life. Without a clear gap, you will not be able to de-stress, and being able to leave that stress behind is crucially important to your quality of life.
Keeping your stress with you can also result in chronic stress, which contributes to many serious health issues.
If youre finding that you continue to think about work events after working hours or youre having difficulty with letting go of your stress, consider these tips to de-stress, so you can enjoy your time away from work.
Try these activities to melt away your workday stress:
- Pause your work email and social media notifications. Turn your tech notifications off for a couple hours while you have dinner and enjoy the company of your family and friends.
- Youll feel less stressed and your relationships and social life will benefit. Eating your dinner in peace also helps digestion.
When Is Workplace Stress Too Much
Stress isnt always bad. A little bit of stress can help you stay focused, energetic, and able to meet new challenges in the workplace. Its what keeps you on your toes during a presentation or alert to prevent accidents or costly mistakes. But in todays hectic world, the workplace too often seems like an emotional roller coaster. Long hours, tight deadlines, and ever-increasing demands can leave you feeling worried, drained, and overwhelmed. And when stress exceeds your ability to cope, it stops being helpful and starts causing damage to your mind and bodyas well as to your job satisfaction.
You cant control everything in your work environment, but that doesnt mean youre powerless, even when youre stuck in a difficult situation. If stress on the job is interfering with your work performance, health, or personal life, its time to take action. No matter what you do for a living, what your ambitions are, or how stressful your job is, there are plenty of things you can do to reduce your overall stress levels and regain a sense of control at work.
Common causes of workplace stress include:
- Fear of being laid off
- More overtime due to staff cutbacks
- Pressure to perform to meet rising expectations but with no increase in job satisfaction
- Pressure to work at optimum levelsall the time!
- Lack of control over how you do your work
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Listen To Music On The Drive Home
Listening to music offers many benefits and can be an effective way to relieve stress before, during, and after work. Playing an uplifting song while you make breakfast can help you start the day off feeling better prepared to interact with the people in your life. Likewise, combating the stress of a long day with your favorite music on the drive home can help you wind down and feel less stressed when you get there.