If it’s hot outside, the AC temperature rises inside. When it starts pouring, the AC at times ceases to function. A fundamental law of temperatures would you say? Similar is the case with stress. It makes you look absolutely calm from outside when you are, bubbling with anxiety from within. Whereas when it’s tranquil outside, you inadvertently foresee a storm brewing up. This isn’t a law, it’s a self-destructive mechanism.
Moments of truth when you get so freaked out that you eventually begin to live in the bubble of denial.
“Is the deadline too short?” Nope, manageable.
“Is the work pressure too much?” Nope, bearable.
“Do you need any help?” Nope, I’m good.
“Are you okay?” Yes, I’m fine.
According to a study cited in the Economic Times (2016), 46% of the workforce in organizations in India suffers from some or the other form of stress. Optum, a top provider of employee assistance programmes to corporates deduced the same with a sample size of over 200,000 employees who took an online Health Risk Assessment during the first quarter of 2016.
What can we do to ensure that we too do not fall prey to work stress? Here are five simple ways:
#1 – Make your own snack
Cooking can be therapeutic, especially if it challenges you; it can act as a great stimulant for happiness. If you are tired of carrying fruits and veggies, try carrying non-perishable items and playing master chef at work in your spare time. Right from sukha bhel in a canape, to peanut butter spread on cracker biscuits, fragrant teas to mini oatmeal packets with half boiled veggies – Take your pick.
#2 – Move around, like literally
Step away from your chair, step into the meeting room and stretch a bit. Figure out a daily ten-minute physical exercise. Take the stairs, twice. Play imaginary cricket and bowl, pretend that your one-litre water bottle is a dumbbell, brisk walk from one department to another. Heard of mindful desk yoga yet? Physical activities help release the tension in your muscles opening your mind to new positive thoughts.
#3 – Multitask with mini-meetups
Were you one of the enthusiastic students back in college, always willing to participate in extra-curricular activities? Well, what stops you now? Form an informal club and spend ten minutes laughing before you begin the day. Stay back five minutes post-lunch to discuss a new place you recently discovered. Catch hold of the movie buffs and watch a late-night movie on a weekday. Doing something that you like, acts like a fuel to everyday functioning; while strengthening team bonding.
#4 – Talk and let go of grievances
If the work atmosphere becomes tense, we to drag the baggage home. But have we ever thought of discussing our work irritations at home? Folks may not understand your work pressure, your profession or even why you need to work overnight and meet certain deadlines. But clearing the air will ensure that when you go back home, you are greeted with understanding and concern over nagging and complaints. Having our loved ones on our side makes a tremendous impact on how we perform at meeting our work targets.
#5 – Need help? Ask.
It is really that simple. If you are already tied up with the deadlines of two projects, delegate work. If you need somebody to objectively listen to you vent, somebody who you have never met before and would hence feel comfortable speaking with, look for the closest helpline number of a professional counselor. Sometimes, half of the stress goes away when you share it. Sometimes, all you really need to calm down is being able to vent to a stranger who can help stress from escalating into depression.
To know more about Stress Management, click here.