In the hustle and bustle of our busy modern lives, it’s completely normal to encounter feelings of stress and worry. When it comes to leading a productive and balanced work life, it’s important to keep the anxiety and strain of stress to a minimum.  

Why keep stress to a minimum?

Facing deadlines and fast-paced environments are completely typical across a range of industries. Yet it’s still important for employers to recognise potentially stressful situations and implement ways of keeping it to a minimum. 

This isn’t simply an ethical choice that will keep your employees more satisfied. The effects of stress have a real impact on society today. Over 13 million sick days are taken to relieve stress and it triggers 70% of visits to doctors. The effects are also felt in terms of workplace productivity, with stress inhibiting some of the most important brain functions, including concentration, learning and memory.

Whether your office is looking to improve staff performance, staff retention or reduce number of days off, lowering stress levels could well be the solution. Here are some ways to relieve stress as an employer or employee. 

Quick ways of combating stress

At its core, the most important aspect of reducing stress comes down to reducing or managing your contact with whatever is causing it. Known as the stressor, the cause of stress is often something that we can’t always get away from. Instead, we need to learn to manage our reaction to it. This can be altered through some simple techniques and methods. 

Here’s a look at some of the most effective:

Humour: remember that elated feeling you get after watching a great comedy? That’s because humour and laughter release positive chemicals to the brain. Simulating this humour in the workplace can combat stress. Humour also challenges us to change the way we think about situations and by literally ‘seeing the funny side,’ we can transform the stressful hold our stressor has over us. 

Change your environment: if you can’t remove yourself permanently from the negative effects of the stressor in the work place, then you certainly can temporarily. If stressful feelings start to build up, excuse yourself and take a walk. Get out of the building and breathe some fresh air. Go for a jog around the nearby park, do some push ups and get the blood flowing through your veins. 

Drink some water: in most stressful environments, coffee, tea and energy drinks are usually the go-to beverages. Replace these with a litre of water every day to guarantee you stay hydrated and ensure your brain in functioning completely. Regularly sipping water also gives you the opportunity to excuse yourself and take a walk to the bathrooms if things are getting tense. 

Find a place to vent: this will vary for different personalities but some of excellent venting ideas include going to yoga or going to classes like kickboxing. Exercise is a great way to combat stress as it burns up adrenaline and helps to produce beneficial chemicals and positive thoughts. It is also sometimes helpful to discuss stressful experiences with friends or colleagues. This can allow you to approach your work with a fresh perspective and calm manner.
Consider what you can and can’t change: so much of our stress today comes from worrying about the things we can’t change. Instead of stressing, make a list of the things that worry you. Put the topics into two columns: things you have control over and those which are out of your hands. By logically separating them you’re also excusing yourself from worrying about them.