Work can often be one of the most stressful situations in our lives.We have to work with people that we don’t necessarily have anything in common with. In the United States and other parts of theworld, you are supposed to look busy at all times. This can add to the stress since you feel like you are being watched constantly.
It’s difficult to be stressed while you’re having fun. And being calm will increaseyour performance and productivity as well.
Act calm – When you pretend you are calm, and adopt the characteristicsof a calm person, you’ll convince yourself you’re calm in notime.
Go bonsai – Sometimes, even the smallest glimpse of nature is allyou need to escape the pressures of life. Add plants to your officeand try to take your breaks in nature as often as possible.
Carry a notebook – Write down your worries and watch them diminish.Have a half-hour worry session where you deal with all of theconcerns in a concentrated and focused way.
Worry when the time comes – Worry always relates to the future. Soif you devote your full attention to what is going on now, not onlywill you feel calmer, but also the future will take care of itself.Separate major from minor – You can add harmony to your day simplyby dividing your day into ‘big picture’ times and ‘small picture’(detail) times. The less they overlap, the calmer you will remain.Space your engagements – Allow a fifteen-minute buffer zonebetween each appointment. Call ahead to make sure that the otherperson is running on time.
Do the Type A sidestep – If you have too many Type A (driven, competitive,tense) personality traits, avoid other Type A’s as much asyou practicality can.Do it over and over again – You can make a calming and meditativeexercise out of any repetitive task or action (such as filing papers),if you concentrate on it, to the exclusion of all else, for an extendedperiod of time.
Be clear with ambition – When ambition is coupled with uncleargoals, you have a stressful combination. Make it your ambition tostay calm with clear goals and objectives.
Back up religiously – To always feel calm about using your computer,make a routine of backing up your work. To be really safe, store abackup copy away from the computer in case of fire or theft.
Turn down success – It is not essential that you succeed in everythingyou do. Some people stay calm by walking away from ‘success’.Nap if possible- when you take brief cat naps throughout the day,you’ll be surprised at how much peace you can derive form just acouple of minutes – even while sitting at your desk.
Soothing scents- certain scents stimulate the production of the relaxingchemical, serotonin, in the brain. Among the more effective ofthese scents are lavender and chamomile.
Look for a sign – You can easily overcome rising tension as long asyou are aware of its approach. Look for the signs – such as whenyour speech speeds up, or your breathing becomes shallow – as asignal that it’s time to concentrate on becoming calm.
Call it a day – At the end of every workday, give yourself permissionto have the rest of the day off.
Decline politely – Knowing when to decline additional work orsocial activities is often the difference between performing well andbeing over-extended.
Seek the upside – It is not always easy to see the positive and optimisticside of the events in your life. But if you take the trouble tosearch, your creativity will reveal them over and over again.
Dine lightly – Light foods, raw foods and easily digested foods arethose that have become known as ‘calm foods’.
Steal a calm hideaway – Find yourself a special place – a chair, aroom, a corner – that you can associate with feelings of being calmand relaxed. Go there, and sit quietly, whenever the need arises.Fresh air is one of the most powerful counterbalances to stress andanxiety. Either opening a window, using an air cleaner or providingfresh oxygen with plants can help.
Look ahead a year ago – If you want to put today’s problems andworries into perspective, imagine how important they will seem ifyou look back in a year ’s time.
Ask and you shall receive – It’s remarkable how much you canachieve in the workplace by simply asking for what you want ratherthan waiting for it to be offered.
Avoid waiting lines – Phone, fax, or write – anything to avoid queuing.And if you can’t avoid it, allow twice as much time as youthink you need to get to the head.
Deal with that problem – Action overcomes the stressful nature ofprocrastination. Deal with each problem as it arises, and you willhave cleared the way to peace of mind.
Vary the pattern – When you find yourself under pressure, do somethingdifferent. Work in a way you wouldn’t normally work, think away you wouldn’t normally think, sit in someone else’s chair.
Go easy on yourself – Many people find the greatest pressures in theworkplace are self-imposed. Be reasonable with the ambitions,schedules, and deadlines you crate for yourself, and you’ll leaveyourself room to become calm.The human cycle of rest and efficiency requires a few minutes ofright brain activity (creativity, imagination, visualization, daydreaming)every ninety minutes. Make this switch regularly and you’llknow how to remain clam.
Laugh at the boss – Once you have seen the chairman as DonaldDuck, he will never loom so threatening again.
Make a choice – Look for the choices in all aspects of your work, andtry to be aware of them constantly. Then you’ll always feel you havesome measure of control over what happens.
Divide and conquer – The stress of procrastination is easily removedby dividing all big tasks into a series of smaller ones, then takingon the least pleasant ones first.
If you strive to improve only the things you have the power toimprove, you won’t lose sleep over the impossible.Imagine how relaxed you’d feel if you could add that easygoing, holidayfeeling to every day of the week. All it takes is one little trigger– a photo, a memento, a Hawaiian shirt in your briefcase – andyou’re away!
Priorities- deciding what is the most important in your life will helpyou remain calm under pressure. Imagine you are 65 years old andlooking back over your life so far. Success at work might be lessimportant than things like your relationship with spouse and kids.
Breathing effectively- Nervous people breathe in short shallowbreaths reducing oxygen to the brain. Breathing in slow, deep measuredbreaths brings on calm. In order to breathe deeply you need tobreathe from the bottom of your lungs so that you move yourabdomen in and out. Your shoulders should be still not moving upand down.
Calm from many directions – By employing a number of little waysto calm throughout the day – rather than depending on one big calmhit – you’ll find the path is made much smoother.Use the subconscious to help relieve stress-
- Visualization- imagine a big movie screen with yourself calm atwork or in another relaxing situation.
- Affirmation- tell yourself positive things such as, ‘I feel completeconfidence in my job’. Repeat several times a day.
- Assumption- imagine all of the characteristics of a calm person.How would they speak, move, act, etc? Now assume or pretend thatperson is you. Act out all those calm gestures.
Causes Of Stress and Possible Solutions
- Time pressure – Deadlines and workload are often major causes of stress. Our perception of time and how we handle it often makes a difference between stress and calm. One suggestion is to get rid of your wristwatch,even for a day. Every time you look at it gives you more stress.
- Depressurizing deadlines. Often people get stressed with deadlines,not because they’re running out of time, but because there is something threatening and final about it. Thinking of having a certain’time allocation’ to complete the task, rather than having a ‘deadline’often helps, as does employing the powers of your subconscious mind.
- Procrastination. The longer you put off doing something the more stressful it becomes (and damaging to your self-esteem).Divide larger jobs into small tasks. Write them down and allocate some time for each. Then start with the task you like the least. Don’tforget to reward yourself for accomplishments.
- Overwork. We are often overworked due to our inability to say no to others requests. Before you take on anything new, make sure you have set clear goals and priorities. Plan your day and set priorities for your tasks. It is easier to say no if you have a work plan and can rationalize your refusal. Remember, 20% of the work will produce 80% of the results. Concentrate on that 20%.
- Loss of controlPeople who feel in control of their life and have some independencein their work will have less stress. They’re also often more focusedin what they’re doing. Even boring or repetitive jobs can be madeenjoyable by becoming totally immersed in what your doing. You dothis by applying 100% effort. Whatever the task, concentrate ondoing the best job you possibly can. You’ll soon feel calm.
- Assume Control. If you assume you have control over your workyou’ll probably end up getting some. Others will recognize you havethe ability to do it and either grant you the authority or simply leaveyou alone. If you see yourself as totally dominated by the boss, youwill probably always be that way.
- Your internal statePossibly the largest cause of stress is what’s going on inside a person.Fear, anxiety, insecurity are all examples of problems we createfor ourselves.Plan to be calm. Most people and organizations are not good at forwardplanning. They usually start with the present and think aboutwhere they’ll be in five years. Perhaps a more effective methodwould be to create a mental road map of where you want to be atvarious stages along the path.Put aside 20 minutes a day for planning and organization and you’llsave a lot more time than you’ve put into the planning and be lessstressed because of it.You can achieve much more when you’re feeling positive
You can usevisualization to create positive images, try to increase the number ofpositive words in your vocabulary, or you can make a game out ofsearching for the positive in a situation.
Humor can also be helpful.Worry is concern about something that might (or might not) happenin the future. The more certain we are about the future (even if it’s unpleasant) the less we worry. That’s why planning is one of the best cures for worry. Having a regular worry break where you only worry during a pre-scheduled time is often a good idea. Writing down your worries also helps as it makes them less formidable.
Your worries won’t seem as big if you imagine looking back on them froman elderly age.People who are highly driven often have a lot of stress due to the pressure they put on themselves. When their goals are vague,unclear or unrealistic they will increase stress, while clear, succinct and achievable goals will serve to energize and motivate.Driven people also increase pressure through their own events and the pressure that they put on themselves. Although some of this is useful, it is important to know when to ease up on aless vital task. Most people can work an average of 90 to 120 minutes before their performance starts to deteriorate A short break will helpyou work more effectively.
- Social pressuresDifficult relationships in the workplace are often a major form of stress. One way of handling difficult or frustrating people is toknow exactly what you want to get out of the situation
- Being assertive is another good way to relieve stress. Assertive people more relaxed and easygoing than aggressive or . In order to be assertive you must first know what you want and what is reasonable to ask for. Then you need to express that in simple, positive words.Change can be very disruptive. Since change is inevitable you need to embrace it and make it work for you. If you become stressed through change think about all of the benefits change has brought in your life, such as simple corrections with word processing instead of re-typing a letter several times.
- Dealing with Criticism. There are three good techniques for dealing with criticism
- If there is a partial truth in the criticism acknowledge the truth but limit the scope of the criticism. For example ‘Yes, it was sloppy yesterday, …but will be much better today. ‘
- Ask for more feedback. ‘What should I do to improve it
- Your lifestyle Our lives outside of work affect what we are feeling inside of work.The suggestion here is to have some fun!
It’s hard to be stressed when you’re having fun. Indulge and pamper yourself from time to time. Two great ways to do this and become calm at the same time is to take a long soak in a hot bath, or have a massage.
- Other factors Fluorescent lighting can cause strain on eyes impair your equilibrium.Use a desk lamp where possible.
Noise can also cause a lot of stress. However, you can find silence in even the noisiest environments by focusing on your breathing. The same can be said for cramped office space. Compact your tools and files as much as you can.
Exercise is well-known for it’s stress relieving qualities. Find an exercise routine that you enjoy and stick with it.