Workplace stress - How to take your power back
You’ve got a big day at work so you wake up early and grab your morning coffee on the way.
You’re feeling pretty good about things as you know what’s ahead and you’re ready to get in and do the work.
You walk into the office but before you can even take a seat, you notice several people at your desk needing your help, you’ve been called into an urgent meeting and your phone is ringing off the hook.
Your heart starts to beat faster and your breath quickens.
You realise you’re going to need to manage competing priorities, and the work you had planned for the day may need to take a back seat.
You start to feel overwhelmed and wonder how you’re going to make this work.
Stress has kicked in and you’re struggling to think straight. What are you going to do?
What is stress?
Stress is the body's way of responding to demands or challenges.
Whether it’s caused by deadlines, workload, dealing with challenging situations or constantly rushing, stress can take its toll when we don’t know how to manage it.
In small doses, it can actually help you perform under pressure.
Prolonged stress, however, can negatively impact your mental state, emotions and physical body.
Knowing how to handle stress simply and effectively helps you take your power back and brings more calm to your day.
If you find yourself feeling stressed at work, here’s three simple strategies to help you.
1. Mindfulness between meetings
When you’re rushing between meetings, it can be challenging to leave the discussions from the last meeting behind and be ready and present for the next one.
Using a simple mindfulness technique, like the one we’re about to share, can help you reduce stress, relax and be focused for the meeting ahead.
Here’s one of our favourite techniques…
As you take a seat at the table, start to feel the comfort of your chair, feel your feet on the floor, feel your hands on the table and take a few deep breaths.
This technique provides some great benefits:
- Your attention is brought back to the here and now. This helps strengthen your focus.
- Your mind becomes calmer
- It’s simple and quick to do – it really doesn’t need to take a lot of your time!
2. A short breathing break
At work it can be difficult to block out time for meditation, but you can reduce stress by taking a short breathing break.
Sit comfortably on a chair, and start taking slow deep breaths, breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth.
Focus on your breath as it moves in and out of your body and keep your breathing comfortable so you’re not straining.
Doing this exercise even for just a minute can help calm your body and your mind.
3. Have compassion for yourself
When you’re feeling stressed, the last thing you tend to think about is how you’re treating yourself.
However, being kind and having compassion for yourself, like you would for a friend who was going through the same situation, also helps to reduce stress.
Take a deep breath, remind yourself you’re doing a good job, and start to look at what’s truly important. Ask yourself what must be done right now and what can wait until a later time.
Being kind to yourself brings you a clearer perspective of the situation you’re dealing with, and allows you to focus on what’s really important.
Practicing compassion for yourself helps you take your power back from stress and puts you back in the driver’s seat.
By trying different techniques and understanding what works for you, you can set yourself up with a couple of go-to strategies for when the going gets tough.
Keeping these strategies in your back pocket will help you get through those days when you notice your signs of stress kicking in.
If you’re finding yourself dealing with prolonged or chronic stress, please make sure you seek help from a healthcare professional.
Prolonged stress can contribute to health issues so it’s important to seek assistance.