40% of American adults can’t sleep at night because of stress at work. The average professional has between 30 and 100 projects on their plate, leading to burn out, fatigue, and overall worker dissatisfaction. Business psychologist, Sharon Melnick, says, “People often ask me for answers. Everyone can get overwhelmed.” But there are still simple ways for American professionals to reduce stress at work, and still fulfill your professional obligations.
Here are 12 simple strategies to lower stress at work without lowering your productivity.
1Design Your Calendar for Focus and Energy. There is a belief that the longer we work, the more productive we will be. The exact opposite is true. The longer we work, the more energy we lose and the less productive we become. Place breaks in your work day to re-energize. Energy experts advise 90 minutes of intense concentration followed by a period of rest.
2Be Active. Recognize the situations that you can control and do so. Although you can’t control every situation, you are always in control of your reactions and responses.
3Remember to Breathe. Practicing deep breathing is a quick way to reduce stress at work and regain balance throughout a hectic work day. A common technique is to inhale for 5 seconds, hold, then exhale in equal counts through the nose.
4Recognize Internal Stress. Often we are our worse stressor, especially if we focus on the perceptions of others. Concentrate on the actual work, and not if it is going to impress someone. More often than not, the work is a higher quality and has a better chance to impress than otherwise.
5Cool Down Quickly. Instead of instantly reacting to an infuriating incident or comment, take time to practice a “cooling breath.” Breathe in through the mouth as if sipping through a straw, and breathe out through the mouth.
6Prioritize Priorities. Some priorities are less timely than others. Managing this tip on a daily basis can lower stress at work as you get what must be done first out of the way. You will literally feel better as the day progresses, knowing that the most time sensitive projects are complete.