10 Ways to Reduce Stress and Feel Good About Your Future

If you have ever felt over-worked, over-committed, under-paid and unappreciated and burnt out, you probably feel like a lot of people do at their job. But don’t worry, there are simple ways you can overcome work-related stress.
Work place stress is indeed stressful. According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), which is the federal agency that is responsible for research and related to work-related illness and injury, 40 percent of job turn over is due to becoming burned out.

Work-related stress leads to poor mental and physical health which in turn creates on the job injuries. If you suffer from ulcers, back and neck pain and migraines which you believe is created by your stressful job, then it is time to take a look at what you can do to remedy the situation.

1. Allow yourself enough time to get ready for your commute to work. If you wake up early enough, you can make a point of devoting 5 to 10 minutes each morning to either meditate or sit still in a quiet place in your home to release your mental stress and get centered as you tell yourself you can handle the day ahead with ease. If you believe it, you will achieve it. Tell yourself this enough times and you will make it come true.

2. When commuting to work, listen to relaxing and uplifting music, so long as it doesn’t make you sleepy or distracted and you are capable of driving safely. Your chosen music would be far better than hearing negative news or be at the mercy of commercial radio talking which can be stress inducing.

3. Bring yourself a special tea or hot chocolate mix to work, so you can enjoy it during break time. Looking forward to something small and pampering will help alleviate stress.

4. Make an effort to learn something new every day about a co-worker and compliment them on something you truly feel you admire about their personality or work ethic or integrity. You will find you feel good when you make others feel good as well. This works wonders in reducing work stress.

5. When something feels negative or stressful at work, practice a mental exercise to change your perception. The mind is powerful. Instead of judging a situation or person on past concepts and negative experiences, allow yourself to see a given situation in favorable light. For example, if a coworker is going to be absent from work, and you have to deal with a heavier workload, instead of seeing how much harder your job is that day, think about the Golden Rule and how when one day you are out sick or on vacation, your co-worker will be your lifesaver by taking care of such good detail and instructions.

6. Make a point to stay out of office politics. The work place often encourages gossiping and talking behind people’s backs in a negative light. This will only drag you down mentally. If Bob tries to provoke you into agreeing with them, and they are saying something negative about James, you can say something to the effect of “I understand how you could feel that way, but look at it this way, Bob (and fill in the blank) and say something kind about James. If you establish a pattern of not participating in office politics and negative gossip, people will avoid that aspect of conversation with you or even better is you will have a positive effect on the entire office environment because you will be getting others to share your positive thoughts.

7. Be aware of your body language and facial expressions with both co workers, superiors and customers and clients. Smile often, make eye contact and show interest in what people say to you, and communicate articulately and exude confidence. You are often a mirror to the people you deal with. If you act stressed, they will act stressed. If you act compassionate and competent, you will tend to view those qualities in the person you are speaking with to. The power of positive thinking will ALWAYS benefit you and make you feel less stress.

8. Take 10 minutes a day to organize your office. When your papers and emails are sorted and your work space is neat, you will feel good about your work environment and won’t experience stress or chaos over your physical surrounding. It will give you a sense of control about your space and knowledge of where everything you need , is.

9. Even if you don’t leave work for lunch, take a short walk to clear your head and get a little exercise and fresh air. You will feel the stress being released from your body.

10. Instead of procrastinating, take an unpleasant or stressful task and either break it into smaller steps or see if you can delegate some of the work or offer to help a coworker with something they find unpleasant in exchange for help with your task. You might be great at math but hate taking pictures and your coworker would love to help you lay out that newsletter and add snazzy pictures in exchange for a second opinion over their budget analysis. You will learn over time what people like most about their jobs and you will find equitable trade-offs for helping each other. Taking bigger stressful tasks and breaking them into smaller tasks, will give you a sense of control in being able to manage the big picture.

If after taking the above steps and making a sincere effort you still feel your job is overwhelmingly stressful, then don’t allow yourself to become depressed over it. If you want a different job, you know you can find one, or you can take the plunge to become self employed. You do have control over your life and remember the next job may not be perfect either, so spend the time necessary to explore your options, and create a list of what is most important to you in life. getting a less stressful job that pays far less could be worth it, if you are willing to reduce your expenses and make other life changes necessary to accommodate that decision. Don’t make any hurried decisions and speak to other people you know, who have changed jobs and see what they sacrificed and gained in the process. Know yourself and what you can handle and be willing to adapt. A job is only as important as you make it. A job is only as rewarding as you allow it to be. You may have thought you wanted to leave your current stressful job, but if you give it a chance in a whole new light and positive perception, it might turn out to be more comfortable and exciting than you previously imagined. Whatever you decide, following these 10 steps will make your current job more bearable and you will learn that taking action and thinking positively WILL improve your situation. Good luck in all your decisions, and remember, tomorrow is another day!

Other links you can explore on the subject or job stress and additional ideas to conquer it:

http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/stress/

http://www.jobstresshelp.com/

http://www.stress.org/job.htm

http://www.workhealth.org/

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http://www.workhealth.org/strain/jsquest.html

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