If you’re stressing out about work, you’re far from alone. Workplace stress is extremely common – 8 out of 10 US workers say that work is their primary source of stress. Common concerns regard their level of work, their relationship with their coworkers, and difficulties balancing their work lives and their personal lives.
Unfortunately, some work stress is unavoidable. But with some simple cognitive-behavioral therapy techniques, you can reduce your negative impacts of stress at work – and live a healthier life.
1. Prioritize – And Let Go
One of the first things you have to do to reduce workplace stress is prioritizing. Often, if your workload gets out of control, you’ll start to feel stressed and panicked – try to avoid this.
Instead, make a list of your tasks for the day. Take a look at them, and rank each one from “most important” to “least important”. You’ll find that there are quite a few things on your list that aren’t important at all – and recognizing this can allow you to focus on important matters.
2. Find Your “Happy Place”
The cumulative stress of work can be a huge mental burden. If you don’t take regular breaks, you may find that your performance suffers. If you feel your mind wandering, or you can’t pay attention to a task, take a break.
Find a “happy place” – a place where you can relax. This can be an empty conference room, the bench outside, or even the break room. Relax for 3-5 minutes – do deep breathing exercises, listen to music, or whatever else makes you happy. After this, you’ll feel much better when you get back to work.
3. Don’t Freak Out About Mistakes
If you’ve made a mistake at work, try not to panic. You’ll naturally start visualizing worst-case scenarios – losing your job, your home, the respect of your peers – but be realistic. Remind yourself that everyone makes mistakes at work.
What are the chances that something truly bad will happen to you? 1 in 10? 1 in 100? Once you realize how unlikely a negative outcome is, you’ll feel much less stressed out – and you won’t be as worried about your situation. And also try to focus on what you can do to fix the issues that your mistake caused.
4. Monitor Your Mood
Reducing stress can be as simple as paying attention to your mood – and taking steps to improve it. At least twice a day, you should write down your thoughts, feelings, and current mood – as well as whatever events may have led to those feelings.
By doing so, you can see common work-stress themes. Maybe presentations make you freak out – or maybe performance reviews have you in a panic. If this is the case, you can take action to reduce the stress that’s related to these events.
5. Control What You Can – Even If That’s Just Your Reactions
One big problem with work stress is control – or the lack thereof. When events are out of our control, we feel helpless. But though our circumstances may be out of our control, our reactions to our circumstances are not.
You can always control how you react to a situation and take actions to make things better for yourself. Recognizing this will help you respond to stressful situations, and lead to a lower level of work stress.
Follow These Simple Steps – Reduce Your Stress At Work
Our modern lives are difficult – and work can be a very big stressor. So follow these CBT-inspired tips for increased mindfulness, decreased stress, and a healthier life!