Stress is a new silent killer, the great, lethal stealth plague of the modern age. Its devastating effect has been proven repeatedly, and the list of serious health problems it selfishly contributes just keeps getting longer and longer: coronary diseases, obesity, Alzheimer`s disease, diabetes, depression… It has its nervous, dirty little fingers sunk deeply into almost all contemporary health problems. However, the amazing thing is that many people still fail to take it with seriousness it commands, silently waving their hand in a gesture that says: “I don`t have time for contemplating techniques for reducing stress. Even thinking about it stresses me out.”
The workplace is where most stress is accumulated. In addition to deadlines, concerns regarding the outcome of some project and similar stressors, as sources of stress are popularly called, there are seemingly harmless aspects of a work environment that just as effectively increase our stress levels, such as noise pollution, interruptions and minor frustrations that every job contains.
However, reducing stress doesn`t have to an elaborate, expensive endeavor that implies massages, sports activities, going to saunas and similar modern stress-reducing techniques that take up a lot of time and require planning. In fact, it is only important to recognize the necessity of addressing stress with due attention, finding out what techniques work for you and implementing them regularly until they become a habit. In that regard, here are some simple, but effective ways to reduce workplace stress.
Kill the Noise
Noise pollution is a major problem we inevitably have to live with. However, many of us tend to ignore it, not realizing how much energy filtering out ever-present background noise requires and how much it burdens our nervous system. If you work in a place where you can`t avoid noise, try to use earplugs. It may sound insignificant, but you will be surprised how much two little pieces of rubber can affect your day, though it may take some time for you to get used to them. If you are an employer or a manager, reducing noise pollution will have a profound effect on the productivity of your employees, so you should consider soundproofing the noisiest areas of your firm.
Humor is a fantastic device for reducing stress, in addition to its many others, well-known benefits. Of course, you can`t bring yourself to laugh on command, but you can take the time for a brief chat with someone who makes you laugh or just cheers you up. You can also read or watch something that will invite a smile on your face. The catch is that laughter seems a thousand miles away when you are under pressure and the trick is to make yourself to think in that direction.
At least 60 percent of every single human being is water. We also need around 2.5 liters of water a day. Just so there is no misunderstanding, we are talking about ordinary water. Not coffee, juices, energy drinks, lemonade or those fancy flavored waters so many people like these days, but just plain, old water. “Impossible”, you say. “How can water reduce stress”? Well, every single system in our bodies needs water to function properly. We lose it even through breathing, so it needs to be replenished regularly.
Don`t just drink a liter twice a day, as that won`t solve anything. Your body cannot process that much fluid and it will just go right through you. Also, don`t wait until you feel thirsty, as that is the sign that you are very low on fluids. Try to get used to always carrying a bottle of water, drink it regularly and you will be truly amazed how much it will affect your energy and mood.
Take a Nap
Don`t laugh, it is a perfectly sound advice. Of course, you can`t snooze for three hours on the desk in the office, but you can take a power nap of 10 to 30 minutes. You will feel thoroughly refreshed and your body will tune all the internal mechanisms that got disrupted in the first part of the day, so you may go about your business with much more energy and concentration.