Nine to five, Monday to Friday is no longer the norm. More and more employees are working excessive hours and workplace stress is on the rise. Learn how to be more relaxed at work and avoid causing long-term damage to your health.
Approximately 13% of workers in the UK spend more time on the job than the legal limit of 48 hours a week. As a result, 40% of work-related illness is a result of workplace stress. If untreated, chronic stress can cause irreversible damage to the body and mind.
Stress is to be expected in the workplace, particularly in high pressure jobs. It is a natural response to anxiety or threat. This helped us to react to danger throughout our evolutionary history. However, we now live in a world where we are unlikely to come face-to-face with a deadly snake or hungry lion. Although, the stress response remains.
It is impossible to remove stress completely. However, it is important that you learn how to be more relaxed and find relief following stressful situations.
How to be more relaxed: 5 stress-busting tips to get you through the day
A heavy workload is one of the biggest causes of stress at work. However, with a proper plan of action, you can overcome it by taking control of your schedule. You should start your day by creating a list of tasks that need completing and ordering them by priority. You should do the most important tasks (which are likely the cause of the stress) first. Leave the less important ones for when you have time.
Not only do regular breaks help to increase productivity, but they also help to reduce stress. Sitting in the office for nine hours straight will wear you down. Taking time out will provide you with a moment of relief. You can then re-enter the work place with a clear and calm head. If you have an hour-long lunch break, take it. Never eat in the office and never perform work duties during your time off.
Rethink your diet
We drink 70 million cups of coffee every 24 hours. Many feel that they need it to get through the work day. However, your caffeine fix is probably doing you more harm than good. Studies show that drinking coffee can increase anxiety. If you find yourself feeling nervous, jittering or dizzy at work, cutting out the coffee might be the perfect solution.
Listen to music
Relaxing music can help to reduce cortisol (stress hormone) in your body quickly. If you’re feeling the pressure at work, listening to your favourite song can help to put you at ease. Likewise, if you find yourself swamped by your workload, wearing headphones tells your colleagues that you don’t want to be disturbed.
If all else fails, try the easiest trick in the book – breathing. Meditation has a relaxing effect like no other and will help to clear your mind and banish negative thoughts. Shallow breathing is a common symptom of anxiety and stress. However, simply remembering to take deep breathes can have a transformative effect on your work life.