I was invited to Iran in 2014 to present at the International Conference on Memory and Stress Management, I thought I’d share some tips with you on the advice I gave that day how to reduce stress and become a happier worker. Here are 7 quick ones I’ve just come up with.
- Be Aware Most people are oblivious to the fact they are stressed. Their breathing changes, heart rate goes up and even speech is faster than normal. They can sometimes be a nuisance to others without even knowing. Making a conscious effort to take a good hard look at yourself and see if you’re stressed can help you enormously. Once you know you’re stressed you are then able to take action accordingly to reduce that stress.
- Take a Break Often when stuck in front of the computer for hours things can get quite stressful, especially if you’re on a deadline. Taking that quick power nap, or walk away from a stressful situation can alleviate some stress symptoms.
- Be Healthy If all we’re doing is eating crap, then we will feel like crap. Eating and drinking healthy, exercising, avoiding drugs all help to reduce stress. One cool trick I’ve learned from Tony Buzan’s book, ‘Head Strong’, is to keep telling yourself that ‘you are in the process of becoming healthy’. This engages the brain in the present and helps you to take action. Try it!
- Have a laugh A proven stress destroyer, laughter can take your mind off things causing you stress (Stressors). Watch some videos, talk to some funny friends, crack some jokes, do whatever it takes to give yourself a positive experience so that you not only reduce stress, you enjoy life.
- Learn to Say No Here’s a big one. A lot of stresspots I’ve met in office environments have made a habit out of saying yes to everything. Stop it dammit! Now! It creates further work, exceeds mental and physical boundaries and of course, gives you more stress! You will also find that saying ‘No’ is so liberating. Know when to say no and you will be saving yourself.
- Socialize I know when I was stressed the last thing I ever wanted to do was meet up with people. But research shows that socializing is a great form of reducing stress. It takes you away from your bubble of life and into others. Suddenly you find yourself enjoying company and talk about things that are actually exciting and interesting, again taking you away from mental pain.
- Get rid of distractions You wake up and first thing in the morning you check your emails. You end up regretting it and it stuffs you up mentally while you’re trying to get ready, eat breakfast and travel to work. As soon as you get to work you switch your computer on and look at more emails. Aghhh! They keep coming throughout the day and you just keep checking them. What a life.Every time you check email it creates a world in your head full of the content in the email. Some worlds are small, some irrelevant, some are massive. In any case, there are hundreds of worlds out there in your head that you are worrying about. The best scenario is to clear your head of these stories in your head by checking your email less often and doing them in ‘batches’, as Tim Ferriss explains in his book, ‘The 4 Hour Work Week’. This will help restore sanity into your life.