For Immediate Release
Beat Workplace Stress with These Five Tips
Work Happiness Expert and Author Jody B. Miller Tells How to Create a Happier, More Successful Work Life
[September 2017, Santa Barbara, CA] According to The American Institute of Stress, various studies have shown that the workplace is far and away the major source of stress for American adults and that it has escalated progressively over the past few decades. Yet there are things each of us can do to reduce our stress levels and increase our happiness on the job, author and work happiness expert Jody Miller says.
“Technology is supposed to be a good thing, yet because we have the capacity to be available 24/7 (regardless of time zone), demands on our time, knowledge and deliverables have magnified,” she says. “We are at a point in our society where we simply can’t keep up. Thus, we get stressed out and almost paralyzed in our ability to perform in the workplace. Something must give — and something always does. Whether it’s family life, work performance, our health, friendships or our overall wellbeing, we sacrifice. Our work/life balance is out of sync and the opportunity for a life of happiness seems beyond reach.”
So how can we combat stress so that we can perform at our peak? Here are some of Jody’s tips:
SPEAK UP: You’ve been playing the company political game and it isn’t working out for you. Use your words, as your parents used to say when you were a child. One way to do this is to have a one-on-one meeting with your supervisor or the head of your division and explain how work is taking up 99.9% of your life. If they are made aware of how you are going above and beyond and doing your best to meet stratospheric expectations, together you can come up with a set of balanced and realistic expectations that will put you on the same page as your boss and team. Note: your boss may not even know that demands are coming at you from all sides, and, by sharing your frustrations, you may create a mentor in the process.
LEARN TO SAY NO: We all fear saying “no” because it may reflect badly on us. We don’t want to be viewed as lazy. But if you don’t say no at times, you will never be able to produce top-notch deliverables. If you spread yourself too thin, you will be the master of nothing.
ASK FOR HELP: It’s OK to ask for help. Maybe you need an assistant or a colleague to help share the load. Ask.
TAKE A BREAK: This may sound silly to you. You may feel as though you’ll fall further behind by taking a break. But you will be amazed at how just getting out of the office for a walk or listening to some music while closing your eyes can help rejuvenate you and increase the creative and problem-solving parts of your brain.
TRY YOGA/STRETCHING/BREATHING/MEDITATION: Not only does your mental health suffer when you are stressed out, your body also responds to the strain. It might show up in a bad back, for example, because you are holding your shoulders up around your ears and probably holding your breath a lot. Your back gets tight as you absorb stress into your larger muscles. “Yoga combines stretching, stillness, body awareness, breathing and meditation as you flow through a series of poses. Studies have shown that yoga can reduce stress, blood pressure and heart rate, Jody says. “When we feel overwhelmed at work due to stress, it would be helpful to take a lunchtime yoga class or just sit with your eyes closed and focus on your breath for 15-20 minutes. Just paying attention to your breath is a form of meditation. It clears your mind and rejuvenates the brain with fresh oxygen so that we can be calm and make better decisions.”
OTHER WAYS TO BEAT STRESS ON THE JOB AND ALLOW HAPPINESS TO ENTER IN:
When we feel that we are acknowledged for our contribution at the office, we relax and tend to feel more confidence. Confidence reduces stress.When we know that we matter, we tend to enjoy our work more and feel energized as opposed to stressed. We feel happier at work.When we are shown a clear path to advancement at work and aren’t left to guess, we settle into a more relaxed and productive mindset. Clarity reduces stress at the office.When company culture invests in employee happiness and provides an environment where employees want to work, employees are more apt to work with enthusiasm and dedication; this leads naturally to happiness in delivering the company message and a feeling of effortlessness when it comes to fulfilling tasks.Positive self-talk helps us shift our attitude so that stress is not the dominant emotion. Sometimes we must start small: This is a good day; I appreciate that my co-worker brought me coffee; I noticed that my colleague was in an especially good mood today; I am looking forward to going for a walk during lunch. Make the self-talk as easy and natural as possible. Soon enough you will be going with the flow of your day, regardless of what is thrown in your path. You will shift your way around potential stress issues to a place of relief, contentment and eventually happiness. The more you direct positive thoughts to your wellbeing as opposed to letting stress paralyze you, the easier it will be to allow happiness in at work and in your life.When work is injected with a bit of fun and team spirit (from the top down), the happiness meter rises.
About the Author: Career and Life Coach Jody B. Miller is author of the new book “From DRIFT to SHIFT: How Change Can Bring True Meaning and Happiness to Your Work and Life.” As CEO of C2C Executive Search & Strategic Management, Jody has helped thousands of people find true meaning in their work and in their lives.