Stress on the job is natural and sometimes unavoidable, especially given looming deadlines and conflicting demands. Chronic stress, however, can impact you outside of work and lead to a number of problems such as headaches, anxiety, depression or other unhealthy habits like overeating. Stress can leave you feeling powerless, overwhelmed and can even put your health at risk.
Luckily, there are ways anyone can better manage stress for improved health and well-being. The American Psychological Association recommends using the following tactics.
Develop a healthy response
Note the specific triggers for the stress you feel. Note how you respond to the trigger. Ask yourself: Is this a healthy response?
For example, your typical response to a long, tense day might be to order takeout and stream Netflix. Instead, you might consider going to the gym to workout. Exercise will release endorphins that can help you combat the negative stress of your day and make you feel stronger and healthier overall.
Calm the mind
Schedule a few minutes at the start or end of each day to be still and breathe. When you feel the surge of adrenaline building, pause. Take a few slow deep breaths, and you will feel a sense of calm being restored within your nervous system.
At the end of the workday, check out mentally. Any tasks that are incomplete can wait for tomorrow. Rest your mind so that you can return to work feeling refreshed and renewed.
Be encouraging with your inner thoughts. Take control of negative thoughts to shift your mindset and mood. Focus on what you’re good at doing and plant positive thoughts in place of negative ones.
Be open to new assignments and attack them with enthusiasm. “Your perspective of stressful office events is typically a subjective interpretation of the facts, often seen through the filter of your own self-doubt,” says Dr. Sharon Melnick, a business psychologist. Change your perspective. Choose to view the stress as a challenge that you will confidently handle.
Stress is an inevitable part of life, but you can choose how you respond. By finding positive ways to deal with the stresses in your life, you’ll be better able to manage the challenges you face and feel refreshed and empowered once again.