We are going to give you a top 10 countdown today for how to handle stress at work. And spoiler alert, firing your boss doesn't come in till number 5. We spend a lot of our life at work. So how to handle stress at work is going to be really important as we take on the top 10.
Number 10 "Stop working"
Then you wouldn't have any stress at work, right?
But you can't just quit the job. Right? That’s not what we are saying. Here’s the psychological piece to this It's an option to stop working. Now, why would that be important? Because you're choosing to be there. Think about it. When we say, "Well, stop working." You're like, "I can't stop working need the income. I got to have a pay check." Right. Yeah, but it's an option. And if you stopped you'd lose all of those great benefits that you have from working. See it as a choice and the stress level changes. So, we are not saying that you should quit your job. we are saying consider that this is actually a choice. Number 10, stop working, or at least consider it.
Number 9 "Self Care"
Take care of yourself. What you do outside of work matters, a whole lot. So if you're going home from work or if you're taking your entire work home with you, then what kind of a break are you getting at home? Self-care means that you're going to have some appropriate recreational activities planned for after work or for on the weekend. You're going to spend some time exercising, you're going to hang out with people you love, you're going to interact with your family and with your friends, you're going to do a little work in the yard. Take care of yourself, that's huge and it will change the way you experience stress at work.
Number 8 "Focus on the big picture"
What is it that you're doing at work? Why is all this effort necessary? What are you making?
What is it that we're making that's worth all of that smoke?" This is a great way to get that perspective. Get the big picture. What is it that I'm making that's worth all of this smoke, all of this stress, all of this effort that I put in every day? Think about what the end result is of your work and as you focus in on that big picture it's likely to help you handle the stress that you're handling right now. I'm thinking of a cartoon that I saw once with two Stonecutters hanging on their scaffolds, chipping away at this rock wall to cut the stone out of this wall. And the one guy says, "man, this is terrible that I have to cut this stone every day and it's hard and he's walking away at his chisel" And the other one is just kind of whistling while he works as he says, "man, I'm building a cathedral." See? Big picture makes a difference in how you experience stress at work.
Number 7 "Take Breaks"
If you get stuck in a trap of just working, working, working, working, working. No breaks. You're going to get stressed out. This is not a brain-friendly kind of thing to do. So, taking breaks, now what we mean is brain-friendly breaks. For example, sometimes people take a break at work they got ten minutes, right? They grab their coffee and they go to their social media feed. We are not saying that either coffee or social media is a bad thing. What we are saying is you want a brain-friendly break. Social media tends to engage some of the same parts of our brain that we're already using in our job. You want to get up walk around. Do something physical, go outside, and take a nap. These are the kinds of things that are going to support your brain functioning and actually help you to recharge it so that you can reduce the amount of stress that you're having on the job.
Number 6 "Take a nap"
This might be something to choose during your break. But here's the thing. We include it as its own item here on the top ten lists because of the social taboos that are out there around taking a nap. It makes it seem like, "oh, you're being lazy." No, you're not. You're doing a brain-friendly activity that is going to reduce your amount of stress and actually make you more efficient on the job. Here is my office, I have a couch. Its right over there. It’s got pillows on it. It's soft and yeah, my clients will sit there and visit with me. But guess what happens? if I've got a few extra minutes or a missed appointment, oh yeah, I am kicking back. I take off my shoes, I laid out on my couch and I'll take maybe 10 minutes, maybe 15 minutes for a little power nap and when I come back from that nap, I am so refreshed. It helps me to manage the stress of a job that I love but that demands a lot from me, emotionally and intellectually. So, those naps are one way that you can do this.
Number 5 "Fire your boss"
Now you might choose to literally do this or to just consider it as an option. It's kind of like that first one number 10 when we talked about stop working. Fire your boss is something that you could do and it doesn't necessarily mean that you're going to quit. Now, where this gets really tricky, is if you are your own boss. That's the situation with me. I don't have a boss that I answer to. I am him. What would it mean if I fired me as my boss? You know what, I have done this a few times just in the last year and of course, I'm still here and I'm still running my practice. But I fired myself as the boss over certain things. The production of these videos for example. Nate Woodbury of Be the Hero studios is sitting right over, there. He's running the camera. I fired myself from video production because I suck at it. But he rocks at it. So do you see what I mean? You can fire your boss even if you're your own boss, I took myself out of that position, put him into that position, and my stress level, went way down. I also fired myself from answering my phone and running my calendar and sorting through my inbox. There's a lot of ways you can get out of your own way and reduce the stress level and that actually helps to give other people a nice way to make a living too.
Number 4 "Do the hard stuff first"
I think it was Steven Covey that used to talk about eating a live frog first thing every morning and then nothing else that happens to you all day long is going to seem quite so bad. Well, you've got a whole list of things that you need to do right for your job? There are things that are expected or things that are on your task list. Pick the hardest stuff and do that first. Because then it gets easier not harder. And psychologically, what a gift. Do the hard stuff first.
Number 3 "Connect socially"
This is where you acknowledge the other people in your environment because you're not alone, are you? What if you have a job where you do work alone. I'm betting that even if you work alone, you got to interact with some people at some point, in some way. Get to know the people that you interact with. Even if it's the delivery guy. Get to know them. These are real people and they have some kind of a vested mutual interest in your success. That's why they're around you. Get to know them as people. Where do they live? What does their life look like? Do they have a family? What are their interests? Social connection in the workplace has been shown to reduce stress.
Number 2 "Managing stress at work is to"breathe"
I know you breathe all day, every day. In and out. I get it. I'm talking about taking an intentional approach to calming your body and your brain through focused breathing. There are other forms of meditation and mindfulness that could be useful here. The quickest way I know to get there is simply to breathe, pay attention to your breathing. You know what, a lot of the fitness wristbands, the Fitbit, Apple watch, things like that. Have an app installed on them that allow you to do this? To focus on your breathing. Just pay attention to it. Stop for a minute or two and simply watch your breathing. Now, there are other things you can do as well with breathing like I like this particular exercise. In through the nose, nice deep breath and hold it for maybe 5-10 seconds and then out through the mouth. Nice and slow. Restrict the flow. Take about twice as long to exhale as you did the inhale. Do a few of those and see how you're feeling. This has a natural calming effect on the brain and helps you to manage stress better. Breathe.
Number 1 "Positivity"
Positivity. How you look at your life matters. Your perception has a huge impact on what kind of stress you experience. In your work. Also in your relationships, in your finances, everything is affected by your attitude and it's a choice. Keep watching the videos on this channel to develop that positivity. It's the number one thing you can do to manage stress. So works going to go a lot better now that you're handling the stress.