WORK & YOUR SANITY

How to Reduce Job Stress

You wonder how can you reduce job stress because it has gotten to that point where you can’t sleep. Your body aches. You snap at your spouse, your children, and your dog. These symptoms are common. So is the cause – job stress.

How can you get relief without quitting? Regular exercise, sound nutrition (fruits, berries, melons, and green leafy vegetables) and some form of daily meditation are useful stressbusters. But there are some lesser-known antidotes to try.

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Take a sick day Do so before you feel you can’t stand the stress any longer or even become disrespectful to your co-workers or boss. Temporarily removing yourself from the work environment gives you the time and the distance you need to reflect on the precise causes of your stress, and how to eliminate them.

If you don’t call in sick now, your body may soon force you to. Remember the brain is a person itself and would do whatever it takes to keep itself at peace or homeostasis (balanced). Epidemiologists say that more than 80% of all visits to primary care physicians are for stress-related illnesses.

“If you don’t call in sick now, your body may soon force you to.”

Keep a journal Use your time off to experiment with keeping a journal. The idea behind “journaling” is to create a stress diary, in which you detail the sources of your work stress, and list what you like about your job.

When it comes to psychological stress, the way you perceive your circumstances play a big part in determining your response to them. Often, we exaggerate work problems in our minds. Writing them down helps us recognize this distortion.

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Photograph by anonymous

Schedule your work time Sometimes talking to yourself (don’t worry you are not crazy if you do) about a problem isn’t “enough” to solve it. In such cases, you must take action.

Now, when you find yourself spending too much time worrying about what action to take; schedule regular “worry focus” sessions. Allot 30 minutes a day to focus on what’s stressing you out.

Brainstorm possible solutions on your own, or with the help of a co-worker, close friend or distant family member. When your 30 minutes has ended, dismiss any worries by telling yourself, “No, those thoughts are for the next worry focus.”

Think twice about caffeine The coffee, soda, energy drink, etc. that you depend on to get through a stressful morning may cause additional stress later in the day. Two cups of coffee a day contribute to anxiety.

More than two cups create anxiety. Some may try to outsmart their body by consuming one cup, unaware of the toxic chemicals inside of coffee that produces stress and addiction, due to the processes to make coffee. Find out how much caffeine is contained in the beverage you drink.

To encourage yourself to have noncaffeinated alternatives, tape a note on your mug reminding you to have “herbal” tea instead. Better still, keep a half-gallon bottle of water on your desk. Attempt to finish it by the end of the workday.

It will keep hunger at bay, discouraging stress-related snacking. When your body is adequately hydrated, it works better and produces more energy, the energy you need to do your job well and most importantly fight stress.

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