The statistics surrounding stress on the job are frightening. No, really. They’re frightening. The following statistics are currently presented on the website for The American Institute of Stress:
- 80% of workers feel stress on the job
- 42% of workers say their coworkers need help managing this stress
- 14% of workers have felt like striking a coworker in the last year
- 10% of workers are fearful things will become violent
- 29% of workers have yelled at someone while on the job
If you can believe it, this is only the tip of the iceberg. In fact, the frightening statistics of on-the-job stress go on to include things such as damaged machinery, call outs, trouble sleeping, physical altercations, and much more. It’s bonkers out there, people.
Unfortunately, though, we all can’t quit our jobs, buy a boat, and live off the good graces of the ocean for the rest of our lives. In other words, it’s incredibly important that we all find reasonable ways to manage workplace stress before we all lose our minds.
However, when you’re ready to leave work at the end of the day, all that built-up stress doesn’t just wait patiently at your desk for you to return the next morning. It follows you home, binge watches Netflix with you, and cuddles with you at night. It’s always there – which means managing this special brand of stress is essential both on and off the job. Here’s what we suggest.
Avoid recounting negative situations.
For some reason, people really like to talk about negative situations over and over and over again – to coworkers, friends, family members, random passerby, anyone with an ear (and yes, one ear will do just fine). But this is such a terrible idea. Every time you recount a negative situation, you basically relive the event; you’re focusing on the bad, and refusing to move on to more positive activities. Don’t do this. Instead, focus on the ‘why’ of the situation rather than the ‘what.’ The ‘why’ will show you what you need to do in order to avoid similar circumstances in the future.
Find the outside world.
It’s not good for people to stay indoors all day; it can lead to things like anxiety, insomnia, and depression. This being said, it’d be in your best interest to go outside at least an hour of every day. No, this doesn’t mean you have to run around the block a few times or start an after-work soccer league. Just walk around. Feel the sun. Look at something green. This last tip, in particular, can boost your mental and physical energy by as much as 40%.
Use this next tip with caution. Yes, it actually has been proven that cussing or yelling out profanities when you’re under duress can decrease stress levels and even increase pain tolerance. You’ll just want to make sure you’re not yelling these profanities at other employees and increasing their stress levels in the process.
Focus on an activity.
If you can find a way to forget about those things that are causing you stress, then that likely means you won’t feel stressed. Pick up a hobby or an after-work activity that you actually enjoy. This way, you can fully focus on what you’re currently doing rather than what’s keeping you down at work.
Take a deep breath.
Breathing is a big deal to a lot of people. Weird, right? But what’s even weirder is that taking deeper, longer breaths can actually help you relieve stress. According to The American Institute of Stress, controlled breathing activates “the body’s natural relaxation response” by increasing “the supply of oxygen to your brain” and stimulating “the parasympathetic nervous system.” You can try one of the thousands of breathing exercises, or you can just take a few deep breaths. It’s easier, not as embarrassing, and works just as well.