Ways To Reduce Stress At Work
Making the office a place you want go to every day is a team effort, says UAlberta expert.
Like it or not, we spend most of our waking hours in the office, so creating a positive workplace matters-and it’s up to everyone on the floor to make it happen, says a University of Alberta expert.
“Canadians spend 60 per cent of their time at work, so why not make that a healthy place to be?” said Thomas Barker, a communications professor in the Faculty of Extension who researches workplace wellness. “If you’re spending 60 per cent of your time in a place where you are being bullied, or not being rewarded, or where you don’t feel you are achieving anything, then you are not going to have a happy life.”
But making the office a place you want to be day in and day out is a team effort, suggested Barker, who heads the Healthy Workplaces for Helping Professions project exploring wellness for workers in the social services sector.
Recommendations from the project indicate that it’s not only up to managers, human resource officers or the office’s wellness committee to create a good working environment.
“Being a leader means that employees have to speak up and express their awareness of the dangers that different workplace hazards pose,” he said. “They have to adopt ways of coping not just for themselves, but also talk to others and to their employer.
There are five ways everyone can build a more harmonious workplace, said Barker:
Technique #: Deep Breathing
Find a comfortable seated position with the spine erect. Inhale the breath through the nose into the bottom of the lungs so the belly expands. Continue breathing in to fill the midsection of your lungs so your rib cage expands. Breathe in until you feel the top of your lungs fill up and naturally expand your upper chest.
Then slowly release the breath out the mouth, feeling the upper chest lower first, then your rib cage, and finally draw your abdomen up and towards your spine to empty out the remaining breath out of your lower lungs. Repeat this pattern for a few minutes.
Find your own comfortable rhythm to it, making sure the exhale is a bit longer than the inhale.
Best Ways To Reduce Stress For Senior Citizens
We all know that eliminating stressors in our lives results in better well-being and better overall health. But did you know that stressors, and how stress affects us, changes over the course of our lives?
Stress affects people of all ages. Younger individuals tend to manage stress quickly. But studies show that seniors manage stress differently, and it manifests differently mentally, physically, and emotionally. Lets take a look at the key stressors seniors face, what to look out for, and what to do when stress affects the quality of life.
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Always Communicate Your Position
The reason why we have supervisors at work is to report our challenges and stress is one of them. Before responsibilities are assigned to you, routine models should purpose how long it would take to complete the project, by chance you run behind schedule, its best to communicate your position to your supervisor for intervention perhaps better ideas on how to complete the project easily or provision for a support. As a supervisor, do not allow functions to overwhelm your capacity. Assign those that can be handled by fellow colleagues to reduce stress on you.
My Top 5 Ways To Reduce Stress
As most of you know I am a full time mommy and I also work full time. How in the world is that even possible you might ask. well I work in the Pre-K room where my 3 year old goes to school. So you see, I am with her all the time and I receive a paycheck also. Pretty nice huh??
Now that you have really thought about it you might start to realize that dealing with my own child in a Pre-K classroom along with 17 other Pre-schoolers may tend to get a little stressful at the young age of 43 yes you heard me right. I am 43 and I have a 3 year old and a freshman in high school. Let me tell you that it really keeps me on my toes sometimes.
What I have learned about stress in my life is that you cannot control the stress that you are under but you can control how your body and mind reacts to it. Here are my top 5 ways to reduce stress
Use Your Mind Your mind is a very tricky place but once you learn how to use your mind to control stress and you practice keeping it under control it will soon come natural to you. When stress comes your way put it in its place. Dont let your mind think about the negatives but instead think about the positives. Stress can overwhelm you at times but if you think about stress as little challenges in life that need to be overcome. or at least lived through then it will be easier to keep the stress at bay.
Me and my bestie staying stress free in the Pre-K room!
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What Happens To My Body When I Experience Stress
People react differently to stress. Some common symptoms of stress include sleeping problems, sweating or a change in appetite.6,7
Symptoms like these are triggered by a rush of stress hormones in your body which, when released, allow you to deal with pressures or threats. This is known as the ‘fight or flight’ response.
Hormones called adrenaline and noradrenaline raise your blood pressure, increase your heart rate and increase the rate at which you perspire. This prepares your body for an emergency response.8 These hormones can also reduce blood flow to your skin and reduce your stomach activity. Cortisol, another stress hormone, releases fat and sugar into your system to boost your energy.9
As a result, you may experience headaches, muscle tension, pain, nausea, indigestion and dizziness. You may also breathe more quickly, have palpitations or suffer from various aches and pains. In the long-term, you may be putting yourself at risk from heart attacks and stroke.10
Limit Your Social Media Intake
On the one hand, social media is a great way to connect with others. On the other hand, it can amplify anxiety and stress with a constant flow of worrisome information. Therefore, be careful about your social media use: consider turning off push notifications, unfollowing or muting accounts which are triggering for you, muting WhatsApp groups and hiding Facebook posts and feeds that might overwhelm you. A lot of devices nowadays even offer a function to notify you once youve reached your daily time limit of social media use.
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What Causes Mental Stress
Its origin is triggered by a signal from outside stimuli a piece of information of an objective or subjective nature, or both at once. The mental stress develops very slowly at the beginning. We cannot observe its development because of our lack of understanding of mental energy.
The information we receive from the outside , creates a feeling that evolves into a negative emotion . For example, the inability to understand or accept other peoples point of view can cause mental stress.
My Personal Experience with Mental Stress
In my late twenties, I struggled consistently with mental stress. I was happy to work in a global corporation and also excited to be responsible for many projects at once. Despite the work load I had, I was a victim of mobbing because of my keen engagement towards my tasks. I was physically and mentally exhausted because of the many complex purchase orders I had to place for the projects assigned to me. On top of that, there were certain people in the organization giving me hard time because of my desire to strive to improve.
There was an immediate disharmony between me and these people that generated a feeling of intolerance and non-acceptance. This grew into feelings of disappointment and frustration, which ended up creating emotion of anger and anxiety over not performing well or losing my job.
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Remind Employees To Take Regular Breaks
Workplace stress can drain your employees morale and make them less efficient and productive. Encourage employees to take regular breaks. This will help recharge and stimulate their minds, allowing them to work efficiently for the rest of the day. During their breaks, they can:
- Do some desk stretches.
- Take a short walk outside .
- Write about stressors.
Helping Children And Youth Cope With Stress
Children and youth often struggle with how to cope with stress. Youth can be particularly overwhelmed when their stress is connected to a traumatic eventlike a natural disaster, family loss, school shootings, or community violence. Parents, caregivers, and educators can take steps to provide stability and support that help young people feel better.
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How To Manage And Reduce Stress
Here, we would like to start, by giving you an introduction to what stress is, what the signs of stress are, what simple steps you can take when feeling stressed and provide practical advice for preventing it, to show why we are passionate about moving towards a less stressed nation.
Helpful Organisations For Money Worries
It is important if you are worried about your finances and debts that you do not try to deal with them alone. There is a lot of help and support available to you through organisations such as Step Change and Citizens Advice.
You should also talk to your GP or a trusted health professional if you are worried about how debt is affecting your mental and physical health.
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Highly Effective Tips For Relieving Stress
There isn’t a one-size-fits-all option when it comes to stress relief, however. What works for one person might not work for another.
And what works for you at home might not be an option when you’re at work or in the community .
So it’s important to have a variety of stress relief tools at your disposal. Then, you’ll be able to pick a strategy that works best for your current circumstances.
Be An Empathetic And Compassionate Team Worker
In your work, particularly if you are a manager, be clear about your expectations. Promote and model flexibility and recognise staffs extra needs, such as caring responsibilities when working from home.
Experts suggest that supportive communication within the team is crucial in distressing circumstances. It is important to:
- Discuss and agree beforehand on performance measures and targets
- Be clear about work schedules and inform colleagues of what works for you and how to fit around the schedule
- Recognise the value and supportive nature of teams, particularly in taking decisions, to build resilience and support people in coping with times of uncertainty.
Maintaining regular, open and two-way communication with the team, making mental health a normal part of these conversations and reminding on the importance of self-care is vital to protect the mental health and wellbeing of employees during the pandemic.
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Eat Nutritionally Dense Foods And Avoid Sugar
A less commonly known stressor comes in the form of foods lacking nutritional density.
In todays society its all too easy to consume foods that are nearly devoid of nutrition. Fast food restaurants are at every major intersection and if not youll often find instead a drug store stocked to the ceiling with potato chips, sugary snacks and refined foodstuffs.
In an age where its well-documented that we as Americans are, year by year, gaining more weight, experiencing more chronic pain, and dying more and more from conditions associated with severe cognitive impairments, we cannot ignore the fact that our poor diets play a role.
And nutritions impact on the brain cannot be overstated. Its critical to our mental health and stress levels that the food we eat be chock-full of vitamins and minerals our bodies need to optimally function. This generally means a diet low in carbohydrates and high in healthy, saturated fats. Recommended diets include an abundance of vegetables, fish, meat, poultry, nuts, eggs and salads.
And if you do nothing else nutritionally to reduce your stress, perhaps the #1 recommendation we can make is this: AVOID SUGAR.
To summarize, some important ways to reduce stress on your body are:
- Increase mindfulness
- Engage in subtler forms of body manipulation like Tai Chi and massage
- Become active within your community and cultivate warm relationships
- Eat nutritionally dense foods and avoid sugar
Simple Tools For Creating A Technique To Reduce Mental Stress
Apply one of the greatest mental energies as tools to any of the above stress relieving activities to create your own individual technique:
When you evoke the emotion of gratitude to any of your activities, you switch your mental state from stressful to peaceful . When you consciously acknowledge gratitude toward the present, you send information to your brain that immediately soothes your central nervous system, producing positive hormones like serotonin and dopamine. These hormones reduce your mental stress and create a good feeling, a feeling of reward for having reached a goal.
Also, try to be grateful for the stressors that challenge your efficiency and signal an opportunity to improve.
Support this activity though rhythmic, conscious breathing and intensify your gratefulness and the feeling of that reward. Use your conscious breathing to create a breathing pattern that will identify the moment as one in which youve created safety, peace, and self-respect within yourself.
Use these two tools to approach the seven activities listed above or any other activities you find as stress relieving, and practice integrating them in ways that work for you.
Once you merge the tools with the activities, youll be able to create your personal technique to reduce your mental stress quickly and naturally and apply it in literally any activity.
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Have Fun 5 Best Ways To Reduce Stress
If youre wondering how to handle stress, read on for these fun tips to reduce stress. Follow these steps to deal with stress and feel yourself breathe a sigh of relief!
1. Get outside. The simple act of walking outdoors may do more for your stress levels than anything else! A 2019 study showed that spending just 20 to 30 minutes outside at least three times per week can decrease your cortisol at a rate of over 21 percent per hour.
Amazingly, the researchers saw no marked differences based on what people were doing outside. So, whether you enjoy a leisurely stroll, riding your bicycle, doing yoga, or even just sitting outside, the simple act of getting outdoors can be one of the best ways you can reduce your stress naturally.
2. Belt out a tune. You dont have to be a contestant on The Voice to reap the benefits of this all-natural stress reliever. New research is showing that singing should be considered physical exercise.
While it isnt likely to burn as many calories as going for a run, the breathwork involved in singing your favorite tunes actually works out the major muscle groups in your upper body, which has been shown to benefit both your lungs and heart. In fact, this breathwork is so similar to that of yoga, the benefits of singing a song are almost identical to those of a yoga routine!
Accept The Things You Can’t Change
Changing a difficult situation isn’t always possible. Try to concentrate on the things you do have control over.
“If your company is going under and is making redundancies, for example, there’s nothing you can do about it,” says Professor Cooper.
“In a situation like that, you need to focus on the things that you can control, such as looking for a new job.”
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What Are The Behavioural And Emotional Effects Of Stress
When you are stressed you may experience many different feelings, including anxiety, irritability or low self-esteem, which can lead to becoming withdrawn, indecisive and tearful.13
You may experience periods of constant worry, racing thoughts, or repeatedly go over the same things in your head. You may experience changes in your behaviour. You may lose your temper more easily, act irrationally or become more verbally or physically aggressive.14 These feelings can feed on each other and produce physical symptoms, which can make you feel even worse. For example, extreme anxiety can make you feel so unwell, that you then worry you have a serious physical condition.
Common Sources Of Stress In Seniors
While we all face stress from time to time, the causes change over time. Things that didnt impact us negatively before, begin to as we age. New stressors occur such as:
- Changes of lifestyle and financial status after retirement
- Caring for grandchildren
- Caring for a sick spouse
- Death of relatives, beloved or close friends
- Deterioration of physical abilities and chronic illness
- Worries for not being able to live independently
- Worries for institutionalization
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