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Make Chronic Stress at Work a Thing of the Past

Stress is corrosive. It erodes both your mental and physical health in unexpected ways. Headaches, insomnia, high blood pressure, respiratory problems, ulcer flare ups, and compromised immunity can all stem from chronic stress.

That’s why chronic stress at work can be so toxic: you spend a third of your work week stewing in it. Imagine the damage that’s being done. The good news is that it doesn’t need to be your norm. Though there’s no cure-all, a combination of these practices can help to level out your stressors to a more comfortable stasis.

Gaining the Happiness Advantage

Your mentality shapes your susceptibility to stress. There’s no shortage of self-help gurus who advocate a happy disposition as the secret to a satisfied life. But it always sounds too cheesy, right? Nonetheless, a simple change in mentality can often dwindle the effects of stress.

Author Shawn Achor is outspoken about what happiness can do. He’s written two books and has studied the effect that choosing happiness has on groups as diverse as college students, Wall Street bankers, displaced Tanzanian farmers, and Kenyan mothers.

Across social groups, the potency of stress and personal/professional setbacks depended upon a person’s frame of mind: was the world a good place or a bad place? Those who believed the former had an easier time beating chronic stress and making the most of opportunities.

To change to a positive mentality, Achor suggests 21 days of happiness building activities. Here are just a few:

Focus on Solutions, Not on the Problems

When feeling stressed at work, what is typically on your mind? Is it one imposing project that appears impossible? Is it a mountain of challenges that appear immovable? If you answered yes to either, you’re focusing on the wrong half of the work equation.

Every project at work is made up of the challenge and the solution. Those who fixate on the challenge can be easily overwhelmed. It’s no different from staring at a fence and getting caught up in the intricacies of the chains or the pointed tip of its spikes. They fail to see the chain link as footholds and the spikes as handle bars (if evenly spaced).

Solution focused thinking goes in with the assumption that a clear resolution exists. It just needs to be found. Often, that requires thinking of a problem in smaller, more manageable pieces. Though your chronic stress at work won’t fully vanish, solution-thinking puts you in control and that’s half the battle.

Give Your Body What It Needs

The indivisible connection between mind and body is often ignored in our society. Good dietary choices, healthy sleep habits, and regular exercise routines are treated like electives, as if there were no mental consequences to putting your body through the ringer. Yet your brain is still an organ and needs a fair amount of TLC to beat stress.

Though the following rules don’t eliminate the source of chronic stress, they do equip your brain (and body by extension) with the stamina to properly handle it.

What if your work environment is just toxic? You may be better off taking your talent and going elsewhere. Look no further than IDR. We look out for our employees to guarantee that they have all the resources they need to reach their accomplishments with the lowest number of problems. Contact us today and we can get you started on the right path.

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