Stress is part of modern work and life
It’s not an exaggeration to say that 2020 was one of the most stressful years most of us have ever lived through. The last year taught us how important it is to deal with stress in healthy, proactive ways, before it becomes overwhelming.
Stress can have many factors, from workplace challenges to interpersonal conflicts. While stress can place a strain on your mental and physical health, it can also energize and focus you. Stress is our body’s way of pinpointing points of friction in our lives that must be dealt with. Think of stress as an early-warning system, helping you prioritize what’s most important at any given moment.
Four Facts About Stress
Everyone gets stressed.
It may seem as though your coworkers or manager are always calm and collected at work. The truth is, everyone experiences some degree of stress. Feeling stressed isn’t a sign of weakness, it’s merely an alert that you’re under pressure.
Stress can be good.
Not all stress is bad. When you’re in danger, stress readies you for action (the so-called “fight or flight” response). Stress can also motivate you, giving you the impetus to change something that’s not working in your life.
Stress is more than mental.
Stress may feel all in your head, but it affects you physically as well. Long-term stress can cause health issues such as insomnia, headaches, and fatigue. Untreated chronic stress can even damage your cardiovascular system.
You can learn to manage stress.
While removing the source of stress is ideal, there are other methods for lowering your overall stress levels. Exercise and meditation are two popular ways to manage your stress and feel healthier, both mentally and physically.
The Importance of Managing Stress
From a health perspective, it’s important to learn how to manage stress. Chronic stress can damage your body over time, leading to issues with respiration, heart health, and digestion. Stress can also cause irritating physical effects such as tension headaches, high blood pressure, and ulcers.
Managing stress can be beneficial for your career as well. Leaders who can remain calm under pressure are seen as more competent and effective in the workplace. Keeping a cool head can allow you to respond to stressful situations with tact and positivity, which can help boost your reputation among both peers and leadership.
Methods for Reducing Stress
Learning how to reduce your stress isn’t something you can do in a week, but a consistent stress-reduction strategy can provide relief in the long run. Consider these tips for creating a calmer, more focused life.
Much has been written about mindfulness, a combined technique of breathing, meditation, and focusing on the moment. You can learn about mindfulness through books, online videos, or virtual instruction, and may find that the practice has benefits outside the workplace as well..
Create a Healthy Routine
It’s easier to manage stress when everything else in your life is going well. Make time for exercise in your daily routine, even something as simple as a walk around the block. Prepare healthy meals and commit to good sleep habits. These changes can make stress seem less daunting during the day.
Design A Serene Workspace
Working in a comfortable, well-designed workspace or home office can contribute to good mental health and reduce stress. An ergonomic chair that supports good posture and a desk sized to fit your workspace can help you feel more focused and productive. Consider adding a splash of green for additional benefits.
Ask For Help
If you frequently feel overwhelmed, stressed out, or on the edge, seek help. Many companies have employee health services that can help you learn to manage stress. Your family doctor or mental health provider can also recommend services or programs to help you get back on track.
A well-designed workspace is only one step in managing stress at work, but it can set the foundation for productivity and focus. Find inspiration on office design by browsing our collections gallery. For more information on our products, or for personalized assistance in furnishing your office, request a consultation with our space planning professionals.