New Idea invited Michelle to contribute her thoughts (in the article below) on how to reduce stress at work. Read Michelle’s suggestion at point #2 below.
Is the pressure building at work? Turn to these ideas. You know the feeling. It’s Saturday night and a creeping sense of dread arrives whenever you think about the working week ahead. But it needn’t be that way. Here’s some ways to relieve that workplace anxiety.
1. Exercise in a group
We all know that it clears the head to go for a walk or even a run at lunch, but if you really want to relieve stress, then organise group fitness. A recent study published in the journal off The American Osteopathic Association found working out in a group lowers stress by 26 per cent, while those who exercise individually put in more effort but experienced no significant changes in their stress level. The communal benefits of coming together with [others], and doing something difficult, pays dividends beyond exercising alone,” said Dayna Yorks, lead researcher on this study.
2. Think long term
Don’t throw in the towel just yet. According to workplace expert, Michelle Gibbings, some of the toughest jobs and hardest people to work for turned out to be pivotal and vital experiences. “Consider the long-term benefits and what you gain from the role,” says Michelle. “Ask yourself: What am I learning? Is this setting me up for a bigger or better role? What other options exist for me at present?”
3. Pet therapy
One of the benefits for the many working from home over the past year has been the opportunity to have your hound by your side. Any stress after that zoom meeting, you could pat your dog and feel it dissipate. And empirical evidence supports the notion that dogs may provide social support, improve performance, and increase social interactions in the workplace. In one study of the effects of dogs in the workplace on employees’ self-reported stress, employees who didn’t bring dogs to work had higher perceived stress than employees who did.
4. Seek support
Accepting help from trusted family members and friends can improve our ability to manage stress. There are also great online tools such as the Black Dog Institute’s MyCompass (mycompass.org.au) personalised self-help tool. Employers often also have stress management resources available, such as those through HeadsUp, which promotes better mental health in the workplace (headsup.org.au). If you continue to feel overwhelmed by work stress, you may want to talk to your GP.
5. Blue light therapy
According to research, blue lighting accelerates the relaxation process after the cute psychosocial stress, in comparison to conventional white lighting. Acute psychosocial stress can happen, for example, when someone pressures you to finish a certain task to a deadline. Next time you’re under the pump, pull out the blue light (there are many on the market, including Philips GoLite Blue Energy Light from amazon.com.au) and let it work its soothing magic. It’s said to have a similar effect on wellbeing as a sunny blue sky.