Saturday, March 12, 2011

How to beat stress at work

Feeling stressed out at work? Feeling exhausted and frustrated trying to explain to your manager why you could not meet that crucial deadline? Follow these simple steps to make your life stress-free and healthy.

1) Exercise regularly: I don't know of a better stress buster than exercising. Even 30 minutes of jogging or walking every day will do a world of good to you. Try to squeeze in just half an hour of any form of exercise(aerobics, gymming, cycling or swimming) everyday and see the improvements instantly. You start feeling good about yourself and you will be more confident in your workplace.

2) Take a break: Whenever you feel depressed and stressed doing your work, just stop and breathe deeply several times. Get a coffee for yourself or even better, take a walk. Do not think about work in your break time. Talk to your friends about other topics and relax yourself. When you come back to your seat you will have a fresh perspective on that nagging problem. Also, it's very important to take couple of vacations every year. Spend quality time with your family and please leave your blackberry and laptops back at home when you are on vacation.

3)Talk about it: Talking about your work problems or your job stress really works to ease the burden off your shoulder. But be careful whom you are talking to! Cribbing about your boss to your co-worker can lead to adverse effects too. Talking about your problems at work with your friends or your spouse is fine. But be wary of people who feed off from your miseries. Stay clear of such people(Chances are you'll find a lot of them in your work place).

4)Laugh away your worries: This is one of my favorites. When feeling depressed and demotivated ask your friends to share a joke with you. Nothing beats tension more faster than a joke. So laugh lots and be happy. If you don't have any funny friends then open a website where you can read jokes and laugh(all though in this case laughing out loud can get you weird stares from people seated next to you).

5) Break your work into bite-sized tasks/Be organised: Whenever you get a gigantic task don't feel weighed down by it. Break your tasks into smaller proportions and set a deadline for each of these tasks. Be organised as much as possible. Recently my friend said me that he feels stressed when sending out status/issue mails in evenings. This is because he has to recollect everything he had done through out the day and then compose an email and send it. I suggested that he keep a notepad open in his system and whenever he comes across an issue note it down, like an online work diary. This is one of the many ways you can be organised and orderly at work. It will help in avoiding confusions and last minute delays.

6) Think pleasant: This is one of the tactics I use often to beat stress. When you feel tensed thinking about that deadline or about that meeting with your manager, stop yourself and think about something/someplace soothing and relaxing. It may be a moment spent with your loved ones or any place that's special to you. Anything that gets a smile to your lips will work to ease off your tension. I usually slip back to my childhood days, thinking about the summer holidays when most of the days were spent reading Archie comics and Tinkle digest, having mango pulpy juices and dozing off in the rice fields. It kind of calms my nerves and makes me think rationally.

There may be other stress buster tactics that people follow, but the above mentioned ones usually work for me.

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