Research proves that stress is having a major impact on the workplace. A survey by Integra shows that 65% of workers said workplace stress causes difficulties. And 10% of them said they were major difficulties.
And, we can all relate to the fact that the survey also says that 62% of workers end the day with stress-related neck pain. That explains why it’s so hard to get in to see the chiropractor, right?
Yes, one in five respondents have quit a position, and one in four have been driven to tears. It’s a scary situation and when you factor in the fact that stress causes disease…it’s worse.
We’ve all been in the situation before. We feel like we can’t keep up, we can’t take another day. And it’s not just work stress that brings us down. Kids, dogs, bills, aging parents, they all add to anxiety and stress.
We can’t keep doing this.
Anxiety crushes productivity. You’re working on a project, planning for a meeting and the whole time you’re also worrying.
The incessant voice inside your head reminding you of all the things you haven’t done. That voice is making up stories to convince you that the most horrible thing possible is about to happen. It’s telling you that you’re a horrible parent a bad employee and you’ll probably be fired soon. You’ll most likely end up on the street….you know how it goes. It’s this horrible vortex of fear.
It’s a vicious cycle.
The ironic part is that when we worry our performance suffers. And that actually perpetuates something bad. You create the circumstances where you can lose the job you’re worried about losing. Not because you are a poor performer, but because you’re not focused.
The lack of focus causes missed deadlines, skipped details, and emotional outburst. None of which are career enhancing.
It’s a fact that we can’t stop thoughts from jumping into our mind. But, we can stop them from hijacking our emotions. And the cool part is…it’s not as hard as you might think. Baby steps my friend, you just need baby steps.
Here are three baby steps to help reduce stress at work:
1. Maintain a morning routine. Morning-Routine.com states: “starting the day with a morning routine means not a day goes by without you thinking about your goals.” Starting the day focused on goals takes your mind away from your worries. And, if you go a step further and make a gratitude journal a part of that morning routine, it’s a double win. Gratitude sets the tone for the subconscious mind to find even more to be grateful for.
2. Practice mindfulness during you day. Mindfulness is a conscious choice. I often suggest that my clients breath before transitioning between tasks. Actually step out of one task, take a few breaths and change your mental focus to your next task. This helps you begin the next task with your full attention. Notice your attention during a phone call or a meeting. When your mind begins to wander, take a breath and draw yourself back into the conversation. The mental task of focusing your thoughts helps reduce stress. You can’t be worrying about something in the future if you’re focused on the here and now.
Mindfulness also helps you stay calm and stay in the moment. At work it prevents you making mistakes or missing details. At home, it allows you to enjoy your time with your family. Time you’ll never get back. Mindfulness means that when you’re at home your mind is there too.
3. Play music. Current research proves that music can help reduce stress. I have Alexa playing spa music during my day..every day. It helps keep me relaxed and feeling all zen like while I work. And a calm mind helps stop emotional outbursts.
I also like Whole Tones which is an entire theory of healing tones. If stress is part of your day, check it out. The science backs it up.
Stress is causing problems in our world. It’s causing illness, it’s causing outbursts and suicides. Every step we can take to reduce it helps. Even baby steps.
You’re not too busy to ease your stress. In fact, you owe it to yourself to do it.
Cynthia Corsetti is an Executive Coach and Speaker. If you’d like to learn more on how her C.A.R.E. to Engage system can help you create an engaged workforce in your organization, you can email her at: [email protected]