I am so excited to have Kate Wilson guest writing for Happy Hour Effect this week! I absolutely love her tips on job stress. Enjoy!
5 Ways NOT to Handle Job Stress
By Kate Wilson
If you’re like the majority of working Americans, you experience stress on the job. Dealing with work-related stress has become a constant struggle for many people. As everyday stress can quickly compound into a larger, unhealthy type of stress that comes with negative consequences, women frequently search for ways to cope. Oftentimes, well-intentioned women engage in the wrong type of coping strategies. In order to examine healthier ways to manage stress, let’s look at five things not to do.
Don’t Create Extra Drama
Your reactions to stressful situations can make the situation either better or worse. If you tend to amplify smaller issues into larger ones, you’re adding extra drama to your life. Magnifying situations is actually a form of self-imposed stress. The important thing to remember is that while you don’t have control over other people’s actions, you do have control over your own reaction.
Reacting to stressful situations in a calm manner is not always easy, but here are two tips to help:
- Pause before reacting. In hindsight, many people can see where they went wrong in reacting to a stressful situation. Train yourself to pause before reacting – and you will experience less self-imposed stress.
- Put things into perspective. Ask yourself if the situation is truly a problem. If it is, work calmly toward a positive solution. A good way to put things into perspective, without taking too much time to ponder it, is to ask yourself if the scenario will affect things in a year – or even five weeks. If the answer is no, it’s probably not worth much of a reaction.
Don’t Work Around the Clock
This is a mistake countless people make and it’s one that can come with detrimental consequences. While being a workaholic seems like the best way to manage a stressful situation, it’s not wise if you want to remain an overall healthy and stable individual. Adequate time to decompress is important in any profession, especially if you have a family to care for at home. Train yourself to put up boundaries and learn to schedule time for yourself.
Don’t Rely on Self-Medication
In today’s society, it’s become increasingly acceptable to self-medicate. If you’re feeling stressed about work you may be tempted to have a few extra glasses of wine or to take a friend’s Adderall or Xanax. What may seem like a harmless act of stress relief is actually a behavior that can trigger a slew of negative consequences. Instead of self-medication, consider one of the following healthy ways to deal with work stress:
- Meditate. The act of meditating can have powerful effects on your overall well-being. Start with clearing your mind a minute or two per day, and focusing on nothing at all but the sound of your breathing. Over time, you can increase your depth of meditation and meditate for longer periods of time.
- Exercise. Exercise comes with a plethora of benefits, such as releasing endorphins and reducing stress hormones. Engaging in any kind of exercise, even light exercise such as walking, comes with benefits.
- Journal. Journaling is an effective way to relieve tension and work through stressful situations. Even if you don’t write in it every day, consider keeping a journal.
Don’t Aim for Perfection
Understand that striving for perfection is not healthy – it is actually a disorder. Learn to look at life as a learning experience, one that can often be messy. Growth occurs when you learn through your mistakes. Take criticism well, and learn that a great effort is good enough.
Don’t Be Overly Critical of Others
Your way of doing things is not the only way of doing things, and everyone brings something unique to a workplace. Teamwork is important in many job settings because multiple people working together, all of whom have different life experiences and ideas to share, can bring with it a better result than a single mind working a single project. Be open to other people’s ideas – you might learn something new and valuable.
As you learn to navigate your workday while simultaneously minimizing stress, you will surely enjoy a better physical and emotional state of well-being. By learning what not to do in stressful situations, you’re one step closer to successfully managing your work-related stress.
About the Author:
Kate Wilson is a writer who loves helping people work and live happier.