Simple Ways to Reduce Stress in the Workplace
Stressed out at work: If you make one resolution this year, choose to be more mindful in your everyday life. Sometimes that can seem easier said than done. Especially if you are stressed out and are worried that mindfulness is yet another task that has to be done. However, the great thing about mindfulness is that it can be seamlessly integrated into your day. Here are some handy mindfulness tips you can use no matter how crazy your day is.
3-minute breathing exercise
The three-minute breathing exercise is a more deliberate and structured way of taking a break. There are three main steps, or breaths, which are as follows:
- The first step is to turn on your awareness, paying particular attention to the present moment. Be aware of your breathing; do a quick body scan; accept any sensations whether good or bad as some part of your body is carrying your stress or anxiety. Become aware of your thoughts; try to free yourself from them; be aware of your emotions, and accept them whether good or bad.
- The next step is to focus your awareness on your breathing and take note of it without trying to adjust it or change it. Now take note of your abdomen, feel your breath as it goes in and out of your body.
- The third and final step is to let your awareness pan out from your abdomen. Your breathing will be your guide. Allow your breath to fill your body and be aware of the warm, calming sensation this breath gives you.
Pay attention to transitions
Bring your awareness to the changing aspects of your day. This includes the little things — the moment you walk out your front door or enter your workplace. Breathe in and take a moment to bring your awareness to this transition.
Stay in the present
Try and stay engaged with what you are doing. Although work presents distractions, try and carve up blocks of time when you focus on your task instead of checking emails or social media. This will help you be more productive and finish your work quicker.
Dealing with interruptions
If the phone rings then take a moment and a deep breath before answering it. This will allow you to mentally let go of the work you were doing and be fully present when you pick up the phone.
Take a few minutes after completing a task before beginning the next one. We are much more effective and creative when we allow ourselves short breaks.
Dealing with difficult colleagues
If you need to deal with a difficult person or situation, take a moment to mindfully respond. Some people can push our buttons, causing us to react emotionally instead of rationally. You’ll be much calmer if you teach yourself to take a moment before lashing out.
Breathe yourself calm
If you feel stressed out and overwhelmed take a moment to do this breathing exercise. Breath in for six counts, then hold for three. Next breath out for six counts, and hold for three. Repeat until you find your equilibrium.
Cross off lists
Always write down your tasks for the day. When you are done at work, make sure you have crossed off everything you have completed no matter how small. Make a list for the following day and write it down. Lists that you can cross off show you how much you really have accomplished. Use this time to transition out of work mode.