Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Let's Banish Stress in the Workplace

Ok, I know we can’t do that, but we can take steps to minimize and overcome it. The workplace is a major detriment to our happiness, but most of us can’t just quit our jobs. Those pesky bills, you know….So, what are some steps that we can take to minimize workplace stress? Well, here are a few of my ideas – hopefully you will pitch in with some of your own…

Monitor the way that you react to a stressful situation. Do you become angry and loud? Do you want to leave the room? Do tears well up? If you don’t have a coping technique that will allow you to weather stress without harming your body, then you should work on this first.

If you feel the need to raise your voice level when another person raises his in a disagreement, try this: As the person raises his voice level, lower your’s. Now, this takes some concentration on your part, but that’s what is good about it – you are concentrating on your voice rather than on more stressful reactions. The more he yells, the softer you make your voice. It’s difficult to hear someone speaking softly, so the aggressor will (1) look silly for screaming and (2) have to lower his voice in order to hear what you are saying.

Another coping technique is to stop and breathe or count to 20 when you feel the stress coming on. Positive self-talk helps. “This, too, shall pass” is a great phrase. Also, consider the importance of the stress-maker when compared to what really matters in your life.

If you can take a break and walk around the block, by all means do it! This exercise, combined with a stress cool-down period, will work wonders.

When you sense that stress is approaching, prepare for it and have a game-plan for dealing with it. Work is difficult enough – don’t make it more important than it is by allowing it to raise your stress levels to unreasonable heights.

Do you have your own secrets to coping with workplace stress? Please add a comment and let us know.

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