Stress in the workplace is a modern phenomenon. Already high stress levels have been pushed even higher by uncertainty in the job market and employees being given more work to do in less time.
When delivering my stress workshops in London, I hear that staff are working at all hours, because of the pressure to fit in all of their workload, while they face the threat of cost-cutting redundancies or restructuring.
Some staff are too scared to take time off because they fear that if they don't go over and above in terms of their commitment, they may face losing their job when lay-offs occur.
Recent workplace surveys showed that the vast majority of staff say that stress is a major problem in their workplace. So, if workplace stress seems to be an inevitably, what can you do about keeping your cool when the pressure is on?
If pressure at work is going to happen anyway, then workers should equip themselves with the right tools and mindset to ensure that stress does not affect them. One of the things I teach in my stress workshops are that we can each take responsibility for how we respond to situations that we have no control over.
Here are five quick mindset tips to help you combat stress at work:
1. Look at the bigger picture: In the terms of the whole of your life, does one high pressure job interview, one bad review, or one difficult presentation really matter? Probably not.
2. Focus on the good: So you hate your boss? Don't focus so much on him/her. Focus on your wonderful colleagues, your sense of achievement, or the way you help people or enhance their lives by doing your job.
3. Focus on the present: Worrying about the past or future doesn't serve you. Be as effective as you can in the present moment. This will improve your productivity, energy levels and mood.
4. Have your story straight: We sometimes make ourselves feel worse by telling ourselves 'stories', such as “no-one appreciates me”, “my boss hates me” or “everyone is happier than me”. These stories are most likely untrue and unfair, and don't serve us in any way. They just make us feel even more stressed. Challenge any negative thoughts that come into your head.
5. Take time-outs: Even a short relaxation break can bring your stress levels down. At my workshops I teach instant relaxation NLP techniques. At the very least, take a moment or two every hour to release tension from your face and shoulders.
These are just some very simple things that can be helpful in alleviating stress. For advanced teaching and cutting-edge tools and techniques, enquire about an anti-stress workshop for your organisation or team.