Simple Ways To Deal With Stress At Work

As today is ‘Stress Awareness Day,’ I thought I’d share with you a few top tips for calming the f**k down, that doesn’t involve going to a yoga retreat in Bali.

Stress is a completely natural, human emotion. However, experiencing it at extreme levels is not, for the following reasons:

  • It can make you more emotional than normal. E.g. You’re more likely to snap at a co-worker, or the barista in Pret who asks too many questions… and then feel bad about it ALL DAY.
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  • The increased cortisol (stress hormone) batters your immune system and makes you more susceptible to illness. Read my post on the Stomach Brain Connection for more info.
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  • It clouds your ability to think rationally. Thereby, making you obsess about the smallest things… or convincing yourself that YES it is ok to spend £80 on a dress at JOY that you absolutely don’t need!
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  • It makes you crave junk food, which is ok in moderation, but not if you’re having a McDonalds for lunch every day. Thus, leading to weight gain and insecurities.
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  • Most importantly, once the stress buzz clears, you’ll most likely feel very low and unhappy.

I used to think that being stressed at work was a sort of ‘badge of honour,’ – then in 2012 I had a nervous breakdown…… and therefore decided to review that thesis.

So, here are my top tips for dealing with stress in the workplace.

  • Nothing groundbreaking here – but AVOID CAFFEINE! You might think that a coffee will give you extra energy and keep you focused. However, in most cases, it just increases the amount of cortisol in the body… that’s it. The energy that you feel will be difficult to harness. Thereby, making you less productive and more jittery. I’m not saying that you should stick to water, but pleeeeeeease stay away from expressos!
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  • Don’t try and ignore it. Like a headache or a serious case of the sh**s, stress will not be ignored. This will only strengthen it. So instead, take a moment to mentally acknowledge the feeling.
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  • Leave your desk. In many cases, removing yourself from the immediate area that is making you feel stressed can reduce the symptoms. Go to the kitchen and make a drink, or have a chat with a colleague from another part of the office.
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  • Belly breathing. A really simple trick that I guarantee will help calm you down. Take yourself away to the toilets, and in the privacy of a cubicle try belly breathing for a few moments. Once you’ve got the hang of it, you can do it at your desk too. Click HERE for my tutorial on YouTube.
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  • Go for a walk. This can either be at lunch or on a break. The gentle exercise will help to expel some of the cortisol, and will level you out mentally. Ten minutes will suffice. Maybe listen to some relaxing music, a podcast that makes you laugh, or an audiobook.
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  • Tell someone. It’s doesn’t have to include the full backstory as to why you’re feeling stressed. Just a quick message such as, “I’m feeling really overwhelmed today, can you send me some love?”
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  • Plan something nice for the evening. E.g. One of your favourite meals, or a TV series that you enjoy. Imagine being at home with your comfy clothes on and feeling all cozy on the couch. You’d be surprised at how effective this can be.

Failing that you could always try my “go scream in the garden shed” technique……

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1 Comment

  1. November 9, 2018 / 10:46 pm

    I just started taking my own advice again and started Wim Hof Breathing…like belly breathing to chill the fuck out. This is a useful list you made and it’s nice to see other active blogs creating mental health dialogue. Please keep it up. Best website name ever also! cheers.

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