|stressed and worried (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
Television shows and movies about office life are often a big hit. They are filled with humor and the situations are often ones that we can relate to. Office stress is something that all cultures can find humor in and the characters are familiar to us. We can often even see ourselves in those scenes.
While a certain degree of stress is normal and even conducive to performing out job by driving us to achieve it can also cause problems. The key is to turn problematic stress into healthy stress by finding balance in life. We can use certain techniques to relieve office stress as well.
Here are some of the ways that you can relieve office stress:
1. Use your imagination
Do some visualization exercises. You could visualize yourself getting the promotion that you want or on the dream vacation that you are saving up for. Feel the wind in your hair or smell the ocean. If you’re thinking about that promotion, visualize yourself in your new office at your new desk.
2. Move around
When you take a break, make sure that you get up and move around. Don’t just go and sit in the coffee room. Go for a walk (even if it is just up and down the halls of the office) or do some light stretching. If you make sure that you get outside for a little bit during the day you will soak up vital Vitamin D from the sun’s rays and this makes you feel better emotionally.
3. Listen to your body
People do not always realize that their body is talking to them and constantly giving them signals. These signals tell them when stress levels are getting too high. Know what signals your body gives you when you are getting stressed. Do you get eye twitches or find your brow furrowing? Perhaps you clench your fists or grind your teeth. Learn to recognize your stress levels and gauge it on a scale of 1-10.
4. Challenge irrational thoughts
Sometimes when we are stressed we think that everything is much worse than it really is. Perhaps you start thinking that you’ll be fired if you don’t finish the task you are working on by the end of the day. You might think that your boss is spying on your or that your co-workers are talking about you. Remember that the worst thoughts are usually just that – thoughts. If you start thinking like this remind yourself that most of it is likely just in your mind, take a few minutes to breath, and return to your task with focus.
5. Do some deep breathing.
One of the things we forget to do when we are stressed out in the office is to breath. Breathing is something that people think should come naturally but when we are stressed our breathing becomes very shallow and we don’t get enough oxygen in our brains. That makes it difficult to concentrate, which only makes our stress levels worse. So, stop what you are doing every once in awhile and focus on your breathing for a minute or two. Feel the oxygen filling your lungs completely and then slowly release it.
6. Cut back on the coffee
Many people think that coffee helps them when they are stressed or tired but the fact is that too much coffee makes us more tightly strung. Because you feel like you are moving faster it seems like you are getting more done but too much caffeine actually does the opposite. It makes it difficult for you to concentrate and increases your stress levels.
7. Blow off some steam
It’s always a good idea to have a trusted friend in the office that you can talk to and that you can trust not to tell others about your conversations. You need to be able to complain about things sometimes but the bathroom or the water cooler is not the place to do it because word does tend to get around! Find a safe place to talk to a trusted friend and you will leave feeling as if a pressure has been removed from your shoulders.
Yes, take some time to play. Some people like to do crossword puzzles on their breaks while others like online games like Snake or Bejeweled. You can even buy games for your iPod that can help relieve some stress.
9. Squeeze something
Sometimes we don’t have time to go for a walk but we need some physical release. Stress balls that you can squeeze in your hands are a great solution. They can be kept in your office desk and you can even use them while you are working. Try giving them a squeeze while you are reading over a report or talking over the phone. The simple physical release can help let go of tension.
10. Smaller tasks are easier to handle
If you have a large project on your desk and you know it is going to take you days or even weeks to complete it, looking at the big picture can cause some pretty big stress. Have you ever tried to open up a big picture on your computer? And then a couple more? And a few more? What happens? Your computer runs slowly and might even freeze up. If you have too many big pictures open in your mind, your brain will do the same thing – run slowly or freeze up. Instead, break down each one into smaller pictures, or smaller tasks, that your brain can handle.