5 ways to manage stress and boost your productivity and wellbeing
Stress is one of the biggest problems facing the modern workforce.
In the UK, over 12.5 million working days are lost every year due to stress.
We experience stress when we believe that we don’t have the time, resources or knowledge to handle a situation – when we feel ‘out of control’.
Stress can seriously affect our health, relationships and work and therefore our productivity and wellbeing.
However, it is possible to manage stress and be able to work more enjoyably, healthily and productively.
Here are 5 practical things you can do to manage stress and boost your productivity and wellbeing:
1) Identify stressors
Understanding the things that cause stress is the starting point in helping to manage it.
Listing the main stressors in order of their impact will help you understand which stressors affect your health and wellbeing the most and which affect your work and productivity.
A stress diary can help to identify the causes of stress, why the situation made you feel stressed, as well as your thoughts, feelings and emotions at the time.
2)Prioritise your workload
A heavy workload and limited time to complete it in can contribute to the feelings of stress.
Write out all your tasks in a to-do list/task manager app and then re-order them by importance.
Breaking large projects into smaller chunks or sub-tasks can make them more manageable.
Identify what’s really important today and what can wait until tomorrow or next week.
3)Challenge negative thinking
Stress is often caused by how we perceive a situation as stressful and the narrative we use to describe it.
Challenging negative thoughts and replacing them with more positive, objective and rational thoughts can help you deal with difficult or stressful situations and maintain a positive outlook.
Using affirmations such as
can help replace negative with positive thinking.
4)Reach out to your support network
Talking through an issue or problem with a trusted colleague, friend or family member is a great way of expressing your thoughts and feelings as well as receiving advice, help and support.
If you’re really struggling with an issue at work that’s causing you a lot of stress, talk to your line manager or HR department. They may be able to point you in the direction of internal support, such as an Occupational Health Advisor, a mental health first aider, or an Employee Assistance helpline.
5)Look after yourself
Taking some time out for you is an important way of dealing with stress. This could be getting some exercise, taking the dog for a walk, or listening to some music – anything that makes you feel calm.
Make sure to build plenty of breaks into your day to restore energy and focus.
Relaxation techniques such as meditation, mindfulness and deep breathing are great ways to manage symptoms of stress. These can be particularly helpful before going to bed to ensure a good night’s sleep.
Stress takes on many forms and people respond differently to stress however, there are ways to manage stress and therefore live and work more happily and productively.
If you are concerned about the stress you are experiencing, visit your GP.
The Samaritans offer emotional support 24 hours a day in full confidence. Call 116 123.
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