Strategies for managing stress
Stress is an issue that knows no geographical boundaries. The Regus Group reports that stress levels in the workplace are rising, with six in 10 workers in major global economies experiencing increased workplace stress. Workers forced to take on too much work or those tasked with performing jobs beyond their abilities might not be able to do much to quell those demands. However, they can employ various strategies to manage their stress.
Embrace planning. A 2011 survey from psychologist Robert Epstein asked more than 3,000 participants in 30 countries which stress management technique was most effective at helping them overcome their stress. Epstein discovered that participants felt planning was the most effective way to manage their stress. Planning is essentially a proactive approach to managing stress and fighting it before it even starts. Smartphone apps make it easier than ever to schedule your time. Utilizing such apps or opting for the more traditional route by using a day planner can be a highly effective way to manage stress.
Practice cognitive reframing. Cognitive reframing is another effective stress-management technique that involves changing the way you look at something so your experience of it changes. Psychologists note that cognitive reframing is effective because the body’s stress response is triggered by perceived stress and not actual events. So by reframing the way you perceive a potentially stressful event, you can change your body’s response to it. This technique is most effective when people are mindful of their thoughts, particularly those that might be negative or stress-inducing.
Take breaks. A heavy workload may compel people to sit down at their desk and keep working until quitting time. However, that approach takes both a physical and emotional toll. Sitting for long periods of time without getting up not only increases a person’s risk for various diseases, but it also can contribute to something known as decision fatigue. Decision fatigue occurs when someone must make frequent decisions throughout the day. Without a break, such persons’ abilities to reason becomes compromised, and they may end up making poor decisions or feeling less confident in their decisions, which may increase their stress levels. Frequent breaks, even if they’re just brief walks to get a glass of water, can help avoid both the physical and emotional effects of stress.
Stress affects people across the globe. Learning to manage it can make people happier in both their personal and professional lives.