Developing Stress Management Skills
Life is stressful.
And life is becoming increasingly stressful. Given the current
economic situation, jobs are scarce and becoming scarcer, and job
security has quickly become a thing of the past. If you're
fortunate to still have a job, the stress levels from your job are
climbing too. If the pressures of your job and the economy are
getting to you, here are a few things that you can do to try
and lower your stress levels, and the negative physical consequences
of being in a stressful situation.
1. Relaxing your neck by doing head turning exercises
Many headaches are caused by the muscles in your neck and shoulders
being tight. The best way of getting rid of this kind of stress
headache is to relax the muscles in your neck. You can do this by
stretching your muscles. Turn your head from side-to-side.
Stretch out your arms and move them around to loosen up the muscles
in your shoulders. If you can take a moment to get out of your
chair, try slowly stretching your back. Don't do the stretches etc.
too quickly -- you want to slowly stretch the muscles out. Aside
from the back stretches, you can do the stretching movements and
the head turns while sitting at your desk.
Ergonomics is more than just a buzz word. Body positioning when
doing repetitive movements is important to prevent muscle
stress and possible injury. Check out a book or website on ergonomics,
and learn the things you need to change in order to make your
workstation more ergonomic. Sometimes, simply adjusting the height
of your chair, or keeping your feet on a low footrest can relieve
the muscle stress in your back and shoulders. If you use a computer
for your job, make sure that the screen is at eyelevel, and that the
keyboard and mouse pad are at the right height and position. Often,
just dropping the level of the keyboard can be enough to relax the
muscles in your shoulders, and will allow you to avoid many stress headaches.
3. Manage your time
A common stressor is the pressure caused by impending deadlines. To
avoid deadline problems, learn how to
manage your time better, so that you can accomplish your tasks
and projects more efficiently. Avoiding time pressures will not only
prevent the development of stress issues, it will also enable you to
work better and to do better work. It certainly will enable you to
think clearly, and perhaps be more creative. Even small time pressures
can often cascade into major time pressures. Managing your time well
will make things better for you.
4. Take a breather
Mentally get away from your job. By that, I mean, close your eyes
and relax. Breathe slowly and deeply through your nose for a
moment or two. Stop thinking about what you're doing, and let your
mind relax and wander. Closing your eyes and breathing deeply will
give your mind a moment to "catch its breath", and will re-energize
you. In those brief seconds, your muscles should relax, your breathing
should adopt a slow deep relaxed rhythm, and you'll find that you
can focus mentally on the task at hand.
5. Laughter is the best medicine
It may be an axiom, but medical science has proved it to be true --
laughter will make you better. Laughing will force your body
and your mind to relax. It forces you to breathe in deeply, which
re-oxygenates your blood and re-energizes your body. Take time
to laugh with co-workers. If you're allowed to wear headphones,
don't just listen to music -- listen to standup comedians and their
routines. You may get strange looks from those around you as you
laugh hysterically, but you'll feel much better physically and
mentally, and you should find that you can get your tasks done
more quickly than normal.
These are five simple ways of helping you deal with stress in the workplace.
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