Dealing with work stress

Deadlines due yesterday, spilled coffee on important documents, emails sent to the wrong person, presentation with glitches – realities of the corporate life we can’t escape. We’ve all had days when we’ve had meltdowns, sometimes at the desk, other times in the bathroom. What do you do in situations like these? We made a list! Read on..

Act Rather Than React

We experience stress when we feel that situations are out of our control. It activates the stress hormone and, if chronic, wears down confidence, concentration and well-being. Identify the aspects of the situation you can control and aspects you can't. Typically, you're in control of your actions and responses, but not in control of macro forces or someone else's tone, for example. Do your bit and try to let go of the rest.

Take a Deep Breath

If you're feeling overwhelmed or are coming out of a tense meeting and need to clear your head, a few minutes of deep breathing will restore balance. Simply inhale for five seconds, hold and exhale in equal counts through the nose.

Eliminate Interruptions

Most of us are bombarded during the day; emails, phone calls, pop ins, instant messages and sudden, urgent deadlines conspire to make today's workers more distracted than ever. While you may not have control over the interrupters, you can control your response. There are three possible ways to tackle them: Accept the interruption, cut it off, or diagnosis its importance and make a plan.

Schedule Your Day for Energy And Focus

Most of us go through the day using a "push, push, push" approach, thinking if we work the full eight to 10 hours, we'll get more done. Instead, productivity goes down, stress levels go up and you have very little energy left over for your family. It is advised to schedule breaks throughout the day to walk, stretch at your desk or do a breathing exercise.

Eat Right and Sleep Well

Eating badly will stress your system, eating a low-sugar, high-protein diet helps. When you're not sleeping well, you're not getting the rejuvenating effects. If racing thoughts keep you from falling asleep or you wake up in the night and can't get back to sleep, then a simple breathing trick that will knock you out fast: Cover your right nostril and breathe through your left for three to five minutes.

Change Your Story

Your perspective of stressful office events is typically a subjective interpretation of the facts, often seen through the filter of your own self-doubt. However, if you can step back and take a more objective view, you'll be more effective and less likely to take things personally.

Cool Down Quickly

When you feel frustrated or angry, it's a heated feeling in your body that can cause you to react. Instead of immediately reacting – and likely overreacting – she suggests trying a "cooling breath" technique: Breathe in through your mouth as if you are sipping through a straw, and then breathe out normally through your nose. Done right, you'll feel a cooling, drying sensation over the top of your tongue. It's like hitting the "pause" button, giving you time to think about your response. It's so powerful it will even calm the other person down.

Identify Self-Imposed Stress

Learn to stop self imposing stress by building your own self-confidence rather than seeking other's approval. If you're too caught up in others' perceptions of you, which you can't control, you become stressed out by the minutia or participate in avoidance behaviors like procrastination. Ironically, once you shift your focus from others' perception of your work to the work itself, you're more likely to impress them.

Prioritise Your Priorities

With competing deadlines and fast-changing priorities, it's critical to define what's truly important and why. That requires clarity. It's important to understand your role in the organization, the company's strategic priorities, and your personal goals and strengths. Cull your to-do list by focusing on those projects that will have the most impact and are best aligned with your goals.

Reset the Panic Button

For those who become panic-y and short of breath before a presentation, you can quickly reduce your anxiety with the right acupressure point. Positioning your thumb on the side of your middle finger and applying pressure instantly helps regulate your blood pressure.

Influence Others

Even if you're responsible for your behavior and outlook, you're still left dealing with other people's stressful behavior. She advises confronting a problem coworker or employee by stating the bad behavior in a respectful tone, describing the impact on the team and the individual, and requesting a change. For example, constant negativity might be addressed in this way: When you speak in a critical tone, it makes others uncomfortable and less likely to see you as a leader. I understand your frustration but request that you bring concerns directly to me, so we can talk them through. By transferring the ownership of the problem, you're more likely to resolve it.

Be Your Own Best Critic

Some 60,000 thoughts stream through your mind each day, and internal negativity is just as likely to stress you out as an external event. The fix? Instead of being harsh and critical of yourself, try pumping yourself up. Encouraging thoughts will help motivate you to achieve and ultimately train you to inspire others.