How to Handle Stress from Your Job

It’s no secret that Americans are stressed out at work. In January 2015, Forbes reported that work-related stresses accounts for up to $190 billion in annual U.S. healthcare costs. Additionally, according to the American Psychological Association’s annual “Stress in America” study, 60% of American were stressed out at work in the past year. That’s a lot of dollars and a lot of time. We already spend so much of our time at our jobs, and we know that life is too short to be feeling this way… So what can we do about this?

While you’re at work:

It sounds cliché, but breathe. Stress makes your whole body tighten up and you may not even realize it. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, look away from your computer, take a few deep breaths, and let yourself relax.

Talk to your boss/work bestie/mentor. Is it a specific project that’s stressing you? Deadline? Coworker? Talk to someone who can help you see how you may be able to improve your situation.

Go for a walk. Sometimes you just need a change of scenery. Get away from your desk for a few minutes and get some fresh air. Amplify your relaxation by listening to a favorite song, doing breathing exercises, or simply soaking up the beauty of nature.

Reevaluate your job. Is this stress temporary? Or will you always feel this way in your role? If the stress isn’t temporary, maybe that job isn’t the right fit for you.

When you’re home:

Vent if you need to. Let yourself talk about it for 10 minutes - but then cut it off. It’s important to get it all out but know when to stop before you start to naturally overanalyze. This helps from projecting your frustrations onto other situations that have nothing to do with the cause of your mood.

Do something that brings you joy. No explanation necessary. Grant yourself some time to do something that brings you happiness.

Exercise. Physical activity increases the production of neurotransmitters in your brain, called endorphins, which give you that feel-good rush. It’s science.

Stop comparing yourself to others. Learning how to deal with stress takes time, but it begins by showing yourself some love for getting up every day and working hard.

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