Let’s continue our series around stress in the workplace! In our last installment we discussed better ways to deal with the source of stress in the office.
Let’s explore ways you can change your stress response!
First I would like to become aware of your typical stress response. What happens when you get a call to appear in his/her office immediately? Or any other stress inducing situation happen? Do you begin sweating? Reach for a piece of chocolate? Feel your heartbeat getting quicker and quicker? Feeling dizzy and weak?
Our stress response is as varied as we are. I encourage you to get awareness for your own response to stress. Try to take just a few seconds and notice what is happening. If you forget to do this when stress is flooding your system, no problem. Try to take a minute after the immediate stress is gone to reflect on what has happened.
Explore new ways to react to stress:
Take a deep breath – immediately as stress hits you. One the typical stress response is taking fast and shallow breaths. Stop the craziness and breathe. Just one deep breath has the power of putting you in a better state of mind.
“It shall pass” – remind youself that whatever causing your stress now will eventually pass.
Ask for time. If you are expected to report to your boss or answer a complex question immediately, try to ask for a few minutes to prepare yourself. Most managers and colleagues will understand the need to gather your thoughts and even appreciate your initiative to come prepared. This way you don’t waste anybody’s time.
Have a buddy. Hopefully there is at least one co-worker in your workplace whom you can totally trust. Buddy up with him/her to support each other. Have a short chat during the workday, take your lunch hour together and vent if you need to. It is better to vent than bottle up all your frustration inside. The important thing is not to stop at venting. After you had those negative emotions out of your system, make a commitment to look for a solution. How can I handle this situation best? What good could come out of what I experience now? How would Bill Gates, Mother Teresa, Gandhi, Madonna (or any of your inspirational heroes) handle this situation?
Bathroom break – there is one place you can escape to if stress is getting unbearable: the bathroom. Take a minute and visit this sanctuary if all else fails. Use this as the last measure, though as you cannot use this escape every time somebody stresses you out. Still, it is perfect if you need a few minutes of undisturbed time to get calm yourself down and gather yourself.
We hope these tips will help you next time you feel stressed out. Please share below in the comment section how you deal with stress on an everyday basis!