- • Does your blood-pressure goes up whenever your boss walks in the room?
- • Do your shoulders and neck feel tight all the time?
- • Do you dread the commute to work and hate the drive home?
If you said yes to any of these questions, then you know you are stressed!
It isn’t a joke – most Americans, 80% according to one study, are stressed at work. Sometimes the worries of their personal lives carryover to the workplace. Sometimes low pay, unreasonable workloads and hostile work environments are the root of the problem. Whatever the reason, managing our own stress is critical to our relationships, our sense of achievement and our personal happiness.
A Harvard Business Review online article offers some techniques to handle those stressful moments. The one I use most often: take a few deep breaths. I never really thought about why this works, but it seems that taking deep breaths “ignites your parasympathetic nervous system, which induces a relaxation response.” Good to know.
Long-term, we all need to know what triggers our own stress and finds ways that work for us to relief the tension. Identify those issues that you can influence and make necessary changes. If driving in bumper-to-bumper commuter traffic sets you off, look for alternative routes or leave home earlier. If unreasonable deadlines at work cause anxiety, talk with someone who can help manage the schedule rather than stress-out over it. While you certainly can’t control everything you can and should eliminate as many stress triggers as possible.