By Dan Fries, Collective Evolution
Everybody gets stressed now and then, but if it’s a persistent problem, you need to find some new strategies to deal with it.
A negative attitude in the workplace would be bad enough if it was the one problem, but attitudes are a lot like yawns: contagious.
That’s why so many organizations take workplace stress seriously–including prestigious medical centers like the Mayo Clinic.
Here are some tips to make sure that you’re spreading the right kind of attitude around your office, by dealing with work-related stress in healthy ways in and out of the workplace.
1. Treat Yourself Better
Even if you have a difficult boss, chances are you’re still your own toughest critic.
If you’re engaging in negative self talk (such as “I always screw up my presentations” or complaining about similar workplace shortcomings), you’re putting negative energy into your work and your coworkers can feel that.
Start by congratulating yourself when you do something well, and try to be more patient and understanding when you experience difficulties.
A quick word about health, if you don’t mind: it’s hard to get the nutrients your brain and body need to perform at their optimal levels from diet alone.
This is where supplements that can help to reduce cortisol levels may work wonders. Results obviously vary from person to person, but many people are seeing great results at effectively managing their cortisol through supplementation.
2. Treat Other People Better
When you are more patient regarding your shortcomings, you’ll be a little nicer to others throughout your day.
The phrase “everybody is fighting a battle that you know nothing about” has become a cliche in recent years, but that doesn’t invalidate its sentiment; you see your coworkers for a fraction of the day, and likely don’t have a “big picture” view of what their life is like.
When work is stressful, turn your best face toward your coworkers–positive energy and attitude is rewarded tenfold.
3. Let Go of Grudges
If you work somewhere long enough, you’ll develop a lot of resentments.
Some are small (somebody ate your lunch when it was clearly marked, etc.); some are much bigger (a seemingly unqualified coworker getting a promotion or raise ahead of you).
The thing is: grudges only hurt you. That’s why letting go of grudges is one of the tips recommended by the American Psychological Association.
You might think that holding onto the emotions of an old dispute shows a coworker that you “mean business”, but it’s mostly affecting your own attitude, productivity, and not to mention all of the negative thought processes involved in holding it long-term.
I advise you to take the advice of my daughter’s favorite Disney song and “LET IT GO!”
4. Why Are You Still Sweating the Small Stuff?
There’s a reason you’ve been advised not to “sweat the small stuff”: it doesn’t matter. It didn’t matter yesterday, and it’s not going to matter tomorrow.
This is a symptom of workers who seek out trouble in the workplace; even when nothing is really wrong, they get heated up about the broken copier or the way Kelly taps her pencil on her desk.
Our prescription for 99% of “small stuff” is to take a deep breath.
5. Exercise After Work
Exercising regularly lowers your levels of stress, aggression, and anger. If you’re having a tough day, consider skipping lunch to go for a quick jog.
Exercise is far from a “one size fits all” activity, find what works for you (and allows you to get out a little pent-up aggression that’s been burning in your belly).
6. Go Above and Beyond
Sometimes, the best way to deal with workplace stress is to dig right into it.
Difficult long-term tasks require a lot of effort every day–start thinking of things you can do today to make your tomorrow significantly better.
Working through a break or a lunch every once in a while can help you accomplish things a little faster (consequently, allowing you to breathe a little easier too).
7. Talk to a Supervisor or Your Human Resources Department
Chances are, at some point working your current job, you’ll find you need to talk with your boss or somebody in the Human Resources Department.
You shouldn’t worry or stress about expressing your feelings, although you should probably put a good deal of thought into the points you want to express.
Remember to avoid using definitive “you” statements (“You aren’t listening to me), focusing instead on expressing your own sentiments using “I” statements (“I feel a little overwhelmed by my share of responsibilities for this account,” etc.).
If you’re nervous about reaching out, why not check out a few of the tips offered by the aptly named Stress.org, compiled by the American Institute of Stress; their site contains a lot of “outside of the box” strategies to deal with stress in your workplace.
8. Evaluate Whether the Stress is Worth It
There’s a reason we saved this option for last: you don’t want to run around quitting jobs every time a difficult or stressful situation arises.
That said, there are some conflicts that are just untenable. These workplaces are commonly referred to as “toxic”.
Check out a few online resources to see if your job fits the “toxic” criteria–we particularly like the one published by Forbes.
For more helpful strategies to deal with stress in and out of the workplace, check the resources on this one from the stress management experts at Collective Evolution.
Remember–only you can figure out the best stress-relief techniques for your individual situation. We wish you the best of luck incorporating them into a happier, healthier life!
We always enjoy interacting with readers; let us know if you have any comments, questions, or stress-relief suggestions of your own below.
Thanks for reading–have a peaceful day.