Photo credit (above): kroszk@ | Flickr
According to Towers Watson Staying@Work Survey Report 2013/2014, Asia Pacific, employee stress is identified by employers as the top risk factor when it comes to health and productivity in the workplace.
Despite concerns about employee stress, only about a quarter of employers in Asia offer stress or resilience management programmes.
Thus, instead of relying on employers for such programmes, perhaps we can initiate proactive steps in overcoming work-related stress.
Here are three practical ways to start with:
1. Declutter, declutter, declutter
The sight of a cluttered workstation only aggravates a cluttered mind. Clutter distracts, weighs you down and invites stress into your life.
It takes one step at a time to start clearing off all the unnecessary at work. Plus, an intentional effort and great discipline to keep clutter at bay.
Reorganise your files in alphabetical order, and set up a labelling system to help you identify the level of urgency of all incoming documents.
This exercise extends to information and digital clutter, i.e. folders, files and email in your computer.
“Three Rules of Work: Out of clutter find simplicity. From discord find harmony. In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.” – Albert Einstein
This might interest you: Stretched To The Breaking Point
2. Laugh out loud
We often hear phrases such as “laughter is the best medicine” and “a cheerful heart is good medicine”. How true are these statements?
Well, a study by Bennett et al found that laughter actually helps reduce stress and improve our immune system.
Humour also boosts our energy and diminishes pain, as laughter triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals.
In fact, a good, hearty laugh not only relieves physical tension, it also leaves your muscles relaxed for up to 45 minutes after.
At the workplace, share a good joke or a funny story with your fellow co-workers to help each other relax and recharge.
“The experience of humour relieves emotional distress and assists in changing negative thinking patterns.” – Dr Steven M. Sultanoff
The 2013 Health and Volunteering Study released by UnitedHealth Group found that 78% of people who have volunteered in the last 12 months say that volunteering lowered their stress levels.
Essentially, volunteering enriches our sense of purpose in life. The thought that we are chipping in to help a community teaches us to learn valuable things about the world at large and about ourselves.
The exposure we get when helping those in need opens up our minds and hearts to the fact that there are more pressing challenges faced by the community than the work challenges we face.
Why not check out DoGood Volunteer to find out where you can start volunteering?
“We know volunteering is good for your soul. But do you know that volunteering drives up productivity in organisations?” – Roshan Thiran
To conclude, take baby steps to manage your stress at work. Start controlling your work-related stress before it begins to cripple your life and well-being!