BBM Team

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Live Smart: Bust Stress at Work

Gone seem to be the days when being at work felt like the most rewarding feeling in the world? Does it overwhelm you now? You are under stress. Studies in the past have shown stress has been linked with an increased risk of diabetes in women, as well as shorter telomeres, which could potentially speed up ageing!

It is important to recognize the warning signs of work stress before they lead to bigger problems (yes, a heart attack). You productivity is diminished and you may not be able to relax even when you’re back home.

The causes of workplace stress are not too hard to figure. Fear of being laid off, overtime, pressure to perform to meet rising expectations or pressure to work at optimum level with no increase in job satisfaction can induce stress. Things become increasingly difficult for women who try and juggle the work-life merge. And since it’s unlikely your boss will initiate you into meditation to relieve stress, you may have to bust it yourself.

There’s no quick-fix solution to beat this problem. Creating a stress-free routine is more of a journey rather than the destination and you may have to try different techniques to reduce the chaos.

We suggest a few tools to get a handle on stress:

  1. The science of deep breathing. It helps. Try taking deep breaths throughout the day, inhaling through the nose and exhaling through the mouth. Deep breathing stimulates the pre-frontal cortex of the brain that triggers the release of stress-reducing hormones such as dopamine and serotonin.

  1. Give office gossip a break. Avoid the cafeteria for a while and try to cultivate healthy relationships at work. Trashing a fellow colleague will only breed negativity and waste your time.

  1. Build a healthy habit of exercise. A simple walk on the terrace or outside the building will help. Even seated yoga postures will prove beneficial. Getting the blood flowing is good for the immune system and clear the mind.

  1. Change your environment. Modify your working conditions – you could work from a conference room, step outside for a bit, or work from home for a day. Also, try to put positive thought-generating things on your desk – family picture, a calm Buddha, a green plant or a post-it with an inspirational quote. You could use screen savers and apps that offer visual meditative stimulation. Relaxing music can go a long way in reducing stress.

And borrowing from Epictetus, the Greek philosopher, you can only change the things you control and can’t control external events – only your reactions to them.

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