5 Ways To Stress Less At Work

5 minutes

Whether you're working from home or are back in the office, stress can creep up on you sometimes.

While some low-level stress can be helpful to get motivated, research shows that higher, chronic levels of stress can be detrimental to your mood, body and relationships.

Here are some helpful steps to keep your sanity and stress levels in check.

1. Surround yourself with positive people.

The people you surround yourself with at work can make a huge impact on your level of peace, satisfaction, and positive outlook. Hanging out with negative colleagues can contribute to your stress, especially if the crowd you’re with likes to complain. Choose who you associate with wisely. Find supportive and relaxed individuals who are fun to be around and nurture rather than hinder your mindset.

2. Take care of yourself.

Reducing stress at work is often dependant on what you do outside the workplace. Pay attention to your physical and emotional needs. When these needs are met, you are stronger and more resilient to stressful situations.

Regular exercise provides stress relief and improves mood. Being active can also help you burn off nervous energy and see things more clearly. Healthy food choices and plenty of rest also make you more resilient. Remember to put yourself first and meet your basic needs.

3. Work smarter, not harder.

Regain control over stressful situations at work by prioritising and organising your work by the level of importance. Splitting up bigger tasks makes them less overwhelming and don't forget to give yourself credit for completing them.

Try making a list of to-dos daily then, tackle the tasks by priority level and do the difficult ones first. Be willing to compromise if you are unable to complete everything you wanted to in a day. 

Developing an end-of-day ritual when you finish work like tidying your desk and making a to-do list for the next day can also help you switch off. Find more tips to help you maximise your productivity and overcome procrastination here.

4. Focus on what you can control.

Uncertainty is a source of stress for a lot of us. Try to focus on what you can control instead of getting upset by outcomes you can't.

Spend some time identifying your stressors. What triggers your stress? What isn't working for you? What works well? Knowing this makes it easier to communicate with your manager and colleagues who may be able to make some changes to help you.

Whether it’s scheduling things back-to-back, double-booking appointments, or trying to fit too much into a single day, over-commitment can also leave you stressed out. Many times, we underestimate how long a project might take us. We set personal goals that go unmet simply because we underestimate time. Unachieved goals may result in added stress. Focus your attention on the should and musts and drop tasks that are unnecessary. Avoid multitasking and give each task your full attention. It often takes longer if you're trying to do too much at the same time.

5. Harvest the good.

It’s easy to get wrapped up in complaints and what is wrong with the workplace so take some time to think about the good things in your life and at work. Did something good happen today? Is there something you are grateful for? Consider writing it down. You might be surprised by how long the list is at the end of the day. Reviewing the day's highpoints with your colleagues is also a great way to instil more positivity into your team.  

A healthier focus allows you to reconnect with what you like about your job, rather than what you dislike. Maybe your job highlights a skill you enjoy, such as managing projects or programming. Rather than focusing on the deadline of the project, live in the moment. Focus your attention on the happiness the job brings and what you are contributing by doing it. When you focus on what you love about your job you are happier and more content while doing it.