Managing stress at work
Five Tips for Managing Stress:
1 Find the Challenge in a situation
If a situation is viewed as difficult, it is perceived as a threat, and our bodies respond in a way that increases our stress. If we view the same situation as a challenge, it increases our sense of control in the situation, which in turn decreases our stress.
2 Brainstorm a stressful issue for 3 minutes. If possible do this with a colleague
Write down any and every possibility as a way to solve the issue. Include any ideas – don’t edit what you write down. You may end up with the original solution or outcome. By practising this we increase our ability to move out of habitual thinking patterns. This assists in reducing stress.
3 Focus on your breath for 2 minutes
Stop what you are doing. Sit or stand still. Focus on your breath at the point it enters your nostrils. Take a slow, deep breath and release the breath slowly. Do this 5 times. Return to the task you were doing.
4 Move away from using negative language
When we are stressed, we often see the world from a more negative point of view. Changing our language to use less harsh words can help any situation seem less daunting. Replace 'I can't do this’ with ‘How can I do this?’ Replace ‘I hate doing this’ with ‘I don’t enjoy doing this.’ Talk to someone about the situation and discuss small steps to approach what may seem daunting.
5 A Manager’s Open Door needs to be a Revolving Door
Managers need to take a proactive approach and talk to staff regularly. This will help them to identify and deal with stress amongst employees early, and identify if unreasonable demands are being made on staff unintentionally. Encourage team members to take a break at lunchtime and move out of the workspace. By being proactive, managers make it easier for staff to come to them if they need to discuss any issues they are stressed about.
For more information about mental health at work and building a mentally healthy workplace, contact the Mindful Employer program, visit: www.mindfulemployer.org
SANE Australia – helping all Australians affected by mental illness lead a better life.