How to destress at work and improve performance
Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash
You may be surprised to learn that one million Americans miss work daily due to stress. Even more surprising is the fact that the loss of productivity caused by work stress costs the world economy $1 trillion annually. Workplace stress is a burgeoning issue yet often downplayed. But if we can measure its effect on our productivity, you may be surprised at how much more you can achieve if you learn how to destress at work.
Knowing how to destress at work and manage stress can stimulate motivation, enhance productivity, and help you achieve more in less time. This post will show you how to destress from work and increase your efficiency. But first, let’s talk about how stress affects the body and why you need to be intentional about stress management.
How stress affects the body
Stress is a normal physiological response to challenging situations that can help the body prepare for action. However, chronic stress can have negative effects on the body. Research published in the National Library of Medicine has revealed that chronic stress can cause mild to severe structural changes in the brain. These changes can affect a person’s cognitive and memory function and, worse, affect the person’s nervous system.
Your body's "fight or flight" response is activated when stressed. This response causes a number of physiological changes, including:
Increased heart rate and blood pressure: The body pumps more blood to the muscles, preparing them for action; however, this also raises blood pressure.
Increased breathing rate: one of the ways the body responds to stress is by trying to circulate oxygen around the body faster than usual, thereby increasing the breathing rate. This can cause breathing difficulty for people with respiratory diseases like asthma.
Increased muscle tension: The body becomes more tense and ready to respond to the perceived threat or stressor.
Increased blood sugar: Stress hormones, such as adrenaline, increase blood sugar levels to provide energy to the body.
Decreased immune function: Chronic stress can weaken the immune system, making the body more susceptible to illness.
Decreased digestion: Stress can disrupt normal digestion and may lead to symptoms such as stomach pain, diarrhea, or constipation.
Sleep disturbances: Stress can cause difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep.
If left unchecked, chronic stress can lead to several health problems, including anxiety and depression, heart disease, and problems with memory and concentration. We must remain wary of stressors and find ways to destress at work.
Signs of stress
There are many different signs of stress that people may experience. Here are a few common ones:
Physical symptoms: People may experience physical symptoms of stress such as headaches, muscle tension or pain, fatigue, sore eyes, and indigestion.
Emotional symptoms: Stress can manifest itself emotionally, such as feeling anxious, overwhelmed, irritable, or depressed.
Behavioral symptoms: Stress can also affect behavior, leading to changes such as difficulty sleeping, difficulty concentrating, loss of appetite or overeating, and withdrawal from social activities.
Cognitive symptoms: Stress can also affect cognitive function, leading to problems with memory and concentration, negative thinking, and negative self-talk.
It's important to note that everyone experiences stress differently, and the symptoms of stress can vary from person to person. If you are experiencing stress affecting your daily life, it may be helpful to speak with a mental health professional or a healthcare provider.
Why destressing at work is important
There are many reasons why it is important to destress at work. Stress can affect both physical and mental health, leading to decreased productivity, difficulty concentrating, and a decreased ability to make good decisions. It can also lead to negative feelings and behaviors, such as irritability, anger, and difficulty communicating with others. By taking steps to destress,r you can improve your overall well-being and productivity at work.
Here are a few ways in which destressing at work can be beneficial:
Increased productivity: When you feel stressed and overwhelmed, it can be difficult to focus on your work and get things done. You can improve your concentration and productivity by taking breaks and finding ways to relax.
Improved decision-making: Stress can cloud your judgment and make it difficult to think clearly. You can make better decisions and solve problems more effectively by reducing stress.
Enhanced relationships: Stress can lead to negative behaviors and emotions, such as irritability and anger, damaging relationships with coworkers and clients. You can communicate more effectively and build stronger, more positive relationships by managing stress.
Better physical health: Chronic stress can negatively impact your physical health, such as causing headaches, digestive issues, and difficulty sleeping. By reducing stress, you can improve your overall physical well-being.
How to reduce stress and be more productive
It is important to find healthy ways to manage stress, such as exercising regularly, getting enough sleep, and practicing relaxation techniques like deep breathing or meditation. Let’s consider some of these in more detail.
How to destress at work
Take breaks between working: Make sure to take short breaks throughout your work period and a longer break of up to 1 hour to rest and recharge. This can help prevent burnout and reduce stress.
Practice relaxation techniques: There are many relaxation techniques that you can use to keep stress at bay, especially while working. This includes deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, or meditation.
Keep your workspace tidy: A disorganized and untidy environment can facilitate stress and make you feel stressed faster than usual. Keep your work area clean and organized, and stay on top of tasks and deadlines. This can help reduce feelings of overwhelm.
Establish boundaries: It's crucial to establish boundaries at work and to allow yourself to focus on work-related tasks during work hours. Refrain from trying to multitask or do other things during work time.
Seek help: Do not hesitate to seek professional help or support from colleagues, family, or friends when stressed.
Adopt automated working processes: Thanks to technology, there are various automated tools and software you can employ to cut-off manual processes with work, thereby saving you time, energy and resources.
A good example is Workee.
Workee is an easy-to-use tool that enables independent contractors, professionals, and freelancers to manage their engagements, work schedules, and clients. The application incorporates various crucial tools that every professional would need to run their business more effectively and with automation.
Here are important features of Workee that can help you automate some of your work responsibilities.
Booking and scheduling: Workee provides a smart booking function that lets your clients book your services and schedule engagement. This system allows you to indicate your preferred working hours, and you get an automated email notification every time you get booked or have a scheduled appointment.
Video conferencing: The Workee program also offers a video conferencing function to facilitate interactions and collaborations.
Clients management: Managing your clients and reaching out to them can be a stressful endeavor, especially if there are so many people. But with the Workee smart CRM, you eliminate the stress and have a system that integrates all your contacts, including Google contacts, in one place.
Payments and invoicing: tracking your finances, creating and issuing invoices, and other financial management activities are major stressors for many business owners. This aspect o the business is very sensitive, as any errors can be disastrous to the business. But with Workee, you can automate all of this process and run your business more smoothly.
Personal website: Workee offers a professional no-code website to enable you to promote your brand and business. The good thing Is that the website takes away the responsibility of building or maintenance from you. You can get your Workee website running in 1 minute, and you never have to worry about maintaining it.
No doubt running a business can attract some level of stress, but Workee helps reduce the occurrence of stress by providing smart, automated solutions to many business management processes. You should sign-up on Workee for free right away!
How to destress after work
We’ve talked about how you can manage your stress level while working; that is only one side of the coin. Now let’s talk about how you can destress from work or after work.
Exercise or do some form of physical activity: Always create time to exercise before or after work. This can help release endorphins, which are chemicals that promote feelings of well-being and relaxation.
Practice mindfulness or meditation. These techniques can help you become more present at the moment and let go of any stress or worries you may be carrying from the workday.
Spend time with friends and family. Don’t be all about work; always create time to spend with your loved ones. Spending time with friends, family, or a support group can help you feel less isolated and more supported.
Have enough sleep and rest daily: Medical experts suggest that adults should have at least 7 hours of sleep daily. Long, restful sleep relaxes your body, gives you the energy you need to function, and keeps you healthy.
Take breaks and practice self-care: Most corporate settings grant annual leave to help employees rest well. As an independent professional, you may be tempted not to take breaks and work around the year. Doing this is unhealthy and wrong. Always give yourself sufficient period to go off work at least once a year.
Establish healthy work-life boundaries: Having time for yourself and your personal life outside of work is important. Make sure to set limits on how much time you spend working and try to disconnect from work when you're not there.
Seek professional help if needed: If you're struggling to manage your stress, consider seeking help from a mental health professional. They can provide you with additional strategies and support to help you manage your stress more effectively.
The effects of stress can be really damaging to our business and personal life, so we must become more intentional about removing stressors or managing them as best as possible. As working adults, it may be difficult to eliminate stress; however, we can reduce its severity and level of occurrence with the right knowledge and by living a healthy lifestyle.
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