Seven Tips for Reducing Work-Related Stress | Inspire to Freedom

Seven Tips for Reducing Work-Related Stress

May 15, 2015 Jonny Lilley



Photo by Benjamin Watson

More of us are suffering from stress than ever before. Unfortunately, a lot of this is related to the workplace. Modern organisations expect a lot from their staff and this can be hard to live up to. In fact, in 2011/12 428,000 people in the UK reported work-related stress so extreme that it made them ill.

Symptoms of work-related stress include:

  • Trouble concentrating
  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • Lacking confidence
  • Losing motivation
  • Being indecisive
  • Feeling disappointed in yourself

Does this sound horribly familiar? If so, don’t ignore it. Work-related stress can become worse the longer it’s left to linger, and you may find yourself becoming ill in other ways.

So what can you do?

There are some simple changes you can make to reduce work-related stress and improve your happiness at work. Here are seven tips from us to get you started.

1. Switch off outside work hours

Portable devices such as smartphones and tablets can be really helpful… but they can also mean that your work emails can find you wherever you are! In practice, this often means that it’s difficult to switch off completely from work. If this is a problem for you, consider turning off work messages outside of work hours. This can be particularly valuable during time you are spending with your family as a reminder to you, and them, that they come first.

2. Learn to say no

It’s easy to get stressed when you have too much work to get through. A lot of us fall into the trap of saying yes to everything, meaning that we constantly feel as if we’re struggling to catch up. The only way to avoid this is to learn how to (politely!) say no. In order to do this you may need to find a way to show your colleagues and superiors how much more effective you’d be if you were able to maintain a more manageable workload. If you still find this difficult, keep in mind the phrase “I’m not saying no to you, I’m saying yes to myself.”

3. Take a proper lunch break 

54% of us regularly work through our lunch break. Breaks are there for a reason: because downtime is vital. If you’re spending your lunch break at your desk, you’re not giving your brain any time to relax and shift focus. Instead, try getting out for a walk or meeting a friend for a coffee.

4. Prioritise your to do list

Here’s a question: how many of the tasks on your to do list really need to be done today? You may be putting too much pressure on yourself to get tasks finished immediately that could reasonably wait for another day. If you order your to do list by priority and do the most important tasks first, you won’t need to panic by the end of the day. A great book to help you learn this skill is ‘The One Thing’ by Gary Keller.

5. Try meditation

Meditation isn’t just for yoga lovers! It can be a great way to enjoy a bit of quiet time during a busy day. All you need is a couple of minutes and somewhere comfortable to sit. It could be worth your while: research shows that meditation can help reduce stress, promote creative thinking and improve focus.

6. Eat well and stay hydrated

It may sound simplistic, but paying attention to what you eat and drink could make a big difference to how prepared you are to deal with stress. You might find it helpful to make sure you have water and healthy snacks ready in your desk. That way you’ll be able to reach for them instead of stimulants like coffee or junk food, which often make us feel worse.

7. Pay a visit to your doctor

If you’re struggling with chronic stress you might not be able to cope with it on your own. Luckily, there is support available. Your doctor could be a good first port of call and will provide a safe place for you to voice how you are feeling and take necessary steps.

Are you tired of dealing with work-related stress? Perhaps it’s time for you to consider a new kind of work. Why not read more about us and how we could help you start a new career?

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