Stress in the workplace is a growing problem that affects not only the well-being of the employees, but also the productivity of the company. Occupational stress manifests when an employee's work starts demanding things that surpass his capacity. An example would be unexpected responsibilities that don't align with the skills and knowledge of an employee. The World Health Organization claims that work-related stress can even be caused by other reasons like poor work organization, poor management, unsatisfactory working conditions or even a lack of support from colleagues and supervisors. Because of the way it affects a person's general well-being, finding ways to prevent and handle work-related stress should be a priority. Fortunately, there are natural stress-relievers that can do the job for you.
Lifestyle choices that can help you beat stress
According to the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Healthy, surveys have shown that at least 29 to 40 percent of American workers consider themselves "extremely stressed at work." Because pressure in the workplace, and the stress that follows it, can be quite unavoidable due to the demands of the work environment, it may be better to adopt certain lifestyle choices and strategies that can help alleviate the effects of stress on one's health. Here are a few ways you can reduce occupational stress:
Take a deep breath. Breathing exercises is one of the easiest ways to relieve stress, plus it doesn't cost anything at all. Mental stress can send signals throughout your body to activate a fight-or-flight response. Practicing deep breathing exercises can activate the parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for relaxation. Breathing exercises allow you to focus on your breath, making it much slower and deeper. This slows down your heart rate and allows you to feel more peaceful.
Exercise. While it may seem contradictory, putting physical stress on your body can help relieve mental stress. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America says that exercise releases chemicals called endorphins which act as natural painkillers, therefore reducing both anxiety and stress. You don't even have to exercise at work. Even a few minutes of exercising at home can dramatically reduce the mental stress of your day job.
Eat a good meal. Having a hearty meal can boost anyone's mood. However, you should still watch your nutrition. Poor dietary habits can hinder or even cancel out all the other efforts you're making toward alleviating stress. Stay away from all the bad stuff like alcohol and sugar while eating much healthier foods like fruits and veggies.
Listen to music. Having a good time listening to music can bring relaxing effects to the body. In fact, a study published in the journal The Arts in Psychotherapy supports this claim, saying that listening to music you like can significantly reduce stress.
Spend some time with your animal companion. If you happen to have a pet, they can be an excellent source of stress relief. Not only can it be fun to play and spend time with your pet, but studies have also shown that interacting with them can help release a chemical called oxytocin, which promotes a positive mood. Your pet can also give you a purpose, as well as keep you active and moving while providing you with companionship and attention – all of which contribute to reducing stress and anxiety.
While pressure and stress are unavoidable in both your workplace and personal life, you can make simple changes in your lifestyle to reduce the amount of stress and live a healthier life.