5 ways to reduce stress at workplace

Stress triggers include long hours, unrealistic expectations and heavy workloads


News Desk April 26, 2017
PHOTO: REUTERS

Not looking forward to going to work everyday? Does going to office make you anxious?

According to a survey by American Psychological Association, 33 per cent working Americans feel stress during a typical work day. Stress triggers include long hours, unrealistic expectations and heavy workloads.

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Millennials are also more likely to experience stress than other generations. This includes both physical and mental symptoms. This includes dizziness, headaches, depression and anxiety.

"Anxiety indicators also show up in your sleep patterns and appetite," Ken Goodman, a licensed clinical social worker, said to Mic. "Anxiety can also stop you from doing things you enjoy." Goodman lists several steps one can take during a workday to reduce anxiety at work.

1. Cutting back on caffeine

We all need caffeine to make it through the day but it's counterproductive to load up on coffee as it effects your sleep at night. Overdosing on coffee can actually make anxiety worse.

"Adding caffeine to anxiety is like pouring lighter fluid on a fire," says Goodman. "If you are already anxious, caffeine amplifies it, plus contributes toward sleeplessness. You end up not getting sleep, drinking more caffeine during the day and the cycle repeats. If you can't go without coffee, have one small cup in the morning but stop there."

Coffee alternatives such as green or black tea can help you wake up without mega-dosing on caffeine.

2. Learning to breathe better

Deep, slow, controlled breathing can help release pent-up stress, according to a research. Breathing exercises should be practised several times a day. "You can practice deep breathing at your desk or in the bathroom, but breathing should be slow and silent, through the nose," Goodman recommended. "Shoot for six slow, silent breaths and practice this often."

3. Get out of the office at least once a day

Researchers have found a 30-minute stroll during the workday can improve your mood and help manage stress. Simple meditation techniques can be integrated during the walk, such as counting steps.

4. Track your anxiety

Identifying your anxiety triggers can help determine if your stress is self induced or you have a legitimate problem, says Goodman. Do you feel more stressed because of an upcoming deadline, or do you feel anxious on a daily basis? Identifying your worries can help you pinpoint specific worries and you can then take action.

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"Now you can identify what is worrying you, if those concerns are legitimate and if those anxious thoughts are based on real stressers, such as meeting quota" or if the stress is more psychological, Goodman said.

5. Including sensory pleasure into your daily routine

Nibbling on dark chocolate or breathing in the scent of calming oils can reduce stress hormones. Calming scents can include lavender, lime, rose and sandalwood. Milk and dark chocolate also show stress-reducing results. About 40 grams of dark chocolate daily should help.

This story originally appeared on Mic

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