Stress Less: Tips for Managing Stress

By Kevin Lake

Stress

We all have fallen victim to it at one time or another. That awful six letter word - Stress. Even the best of the best cannot seem to avoid it, especially in the workplace. It may be that over-demanding boss, the annoying co-workers or even the customers who constantly complain and seem to intentionally try to make your life difficult. But no matter the source, it is important to your job, your sanity and even your health to know how to control your own personal level of stress at work. 

Here are a few tips that I’ve learned in time:

1. Build Relationships

A lot of times stress can be caused by certain difficult people in the workplace. Whether it is someone who seems to always give you a hard time, or someone who just plain doesn’t like you, any type of person can cause stress in your work life. Although it may not seem like the most appealing thing in the world, you should always try to build relationships with the ones around you. Take five minutes out of your day to say hello, or ask how someone’s weekend went. You may find you have more in common than you think. As you build relationships, tensions seem to ease and sometimes people don’t seem so bad after all.

2. Take a Breather

Have you ever been in a situation where you almost bite your tongue off just so you can keep your mouth shut? Don’t feel bad…you are not alone. BUT take comfort in knowing you did the right thing. It’s never a good thing to respond to something or someone while you are hung up in your emotions. Instead, take a moment to really think things through. Count to ten, or, if you can, get up and go for a walk around the block. Once you have a chance to cool off and think about things, you will find a much better approach to any dilemma.

3. Be Proactive

Sometimes, the stress at our work can be our own fault. Maybe you took on more than you should have, or you were disorganized in your planning and missed a detail. Don’t beat yourself up over it – we all make mistakes. Instead, be proactive and better prepare yourself for future work. Mark dates on your calendar, save those e-mails (even if they don’t seem important) and keep any notes that you may feel are important. 

There is no way to completely eliminate stress in your every day life, but learning how to manage the stress you do have can make a world of difference. There are hundreds of ways to cope with the pressures and anxieties of work. Follow my advice or do some research on your own and learn what works best for you. You won't regret it.

Be sure to follow Bama at Work on Facebook and Twitter for insights on professional development and training.

About the Author

Kevin Lake is the Communications Specialist for The University of Alabama, College of Continuing Studies. 

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