What is the first thing you do when you get home after work? Do you jump straight back into bed… or… do things around the house?
If you just want to lie down and go to sleep, it might be the first signal, a warning light that something is off-balance.
Do you have a clue what THAT might be? I’ll give you a hint regarding the answer — work stress.
We (probably you, too) rise at five each morning and spend most of the day working. Whoever does what, at the end of the day, we all share many of the same concerns; ‘’not enough time for me to do what I want, too tired to do anything, work very hard and earn very little’’, etc., I could go on with the list, but you get where I’m going with this.
Over time, all of this piles up on your shoulders… until it becomes too much to bear. That’s no way to live your life!
So, we need to have a deep discussion about why that happens and how to change it.
What Causes Stress at Work?
First, it’s worth being clear that some tension and stress are actually good for you. In fact, when you’re under pressure at work, stress can really help you work faster and complete tasks on unbelievably tight deadlines.
Don’t take my word for it, Google it, you’ll see.
In the meantime, we want to get to the root cause of stress. Why do we feel stressed in the first place?
Well, the answer lies in who you work with and what you do every hour of the day. If you work for yourself (or own a small business), you’re under more pressure to do well, you have to work harder and longer than most people who carry 9-5 jobs.
This comes with sobering consequences — health problems, depression, or even worse — nervous breakdown.
Stress goes hand in hand with the work environment as well. God forbid you’ve ended up in a high-pressure, toxic work environment and you have to endure it day in and day out. It will break you and grind you into a dog meat sooner than you think.
Another cause of stress is the feeling that things are slipping out of your control. We as the workforce simply want to be in control over our work (when, how, and what) and make sure it’s not overdue.
Failure to do so carries a fear of letting down your team. All this can send us spiraling down into guilt and self-judgment.
But there is hope in all this.
How to Overcome Stress, Overload, and Burnout!
What would need to happen for stress, overload, and burnout to be wiped out from your life?
If you don’t have an answer to that just yet, don’t you worry. Let’s dig in and see if we can find it together.
In the previous paragraph, we came to learn that stress piles up as a result of overwork and a high-pressure work environment. It can originate from other places as well, but for the sake of this article, we’ll look at it through the lens of what we do for a living.
So, how can you lead your professional life stress-free?
There are two things that can get you through just about anything. Either something new (and positive) comes into your life or something new comes from within you.
Let me try and explain this real simple to you, starting with ‘’something new coming into your life.’’
Create Space for New and Positive Things to Come Into Your Life
If you’re sick and tired of the same ol’ things, no one coming to rescue and save the day. So, it just leaves you to do something about it.
Of course, this sounds easier said than done… BUT… you have to start somewhere — and sometimes, that ‘’somewhere’’ is right under your nose.
Take, for example, work. If you no longer enjoy the work you do, quit and find a new one! I get that you got bills to pay and want to set aside some money for fun things, emergencies, investments, and whatnot.
But, do you have any better options?
Being stuck in a job you hate won’t bring you much joy either. So, you’re left with a choice, stay where you are and almost certainly drain your life’s energy or move on to a better job.
Don’t expect different results when you do the same thing over, and over, and over again. So, to fix this, you have to consciously create space for new and positive things to come into your life.
Peace of Mind Comes from Within
Oftentimes when we’re stressed out about something, we look around for someone to blame. We point to this and that and a thousand other things. But rarely — almost never — do we take the responsibility for it.
What I mean is, we’re in control of how we react at certain moments in our lives. Even If someone did something to upset you, deliberately or not, you can change your reaction to it more easily than you can change the mess.
It requires a shift in thinking. Rather than focusing on the problem, you focus on a solution that helps solve the problem.
When you practice this type of awareness, you’ll realize that peace comes from within and not without.
Tools, Strategies & Advice on How to Deal With Work Stress
Let’s take a look at some practical things you can do today to de-stress:
Walking – walking is a great healer. A daily walk will help you relax and keep your mind calm throughout the day. If you don’t have the time for a long walk, you can divide it up into several short walks a day.
Music – Throughout the work, you can listen to tunes you enjoy! Music has proven to soothe stress levels, tension and improve and keep up your mood.
Meditation – Take a little time each day to sit quietly with yourself, and rest in the experience of just being and living in the now.
Reading – Another great way to wind down from a day’s work is to pick up a book and read for a couple of pages. It can be anything you like, science fiction, fantasy, or practical self-help book.
Travel – Go to places you’ve never seen before. Explore new cultures, and cuisines and get to know how people live elsewhere.
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