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Techniques to Combat Stress & Anxiety at Work

TECHNIQUES TO COMBAT STRESS+ ANXIETY, AT WORK Between 2013-14, there were 487,000 reported cases of illness related to work stress, depression and anxiety. PRACTICE MINDFULNESS Many of the techniques mentioned involve mindfulness, which is a popular method of combating anxiety. Mindfulness can stop you worrying by bringing your attention back to the present through acknowledging your worries and letting them go. Mindfulness allows you to get in touch with your emotions and recognise how you feel. TAKE A 2 STEP BACK Viewing thoughts and worries as if they are a show or film you're observing can be a good way to disconnect yourself from them and to finally put them out of your mind. ACCEPT STRANGE THOUGHTS We all have strange thoughts from time to time, such as "what if I scream during a presentation?". These thoughts are natural and will jump out from time to time. When this happens instead of focusing on it, describe it to yourself as the curiosity it is and move on. Remember, our minds are creative with lots of little thoughts floating about. 4 RECOGNISE FALSE ALARMS Everyone has the sudden worry they didn't lock the front door or left the iron on. However, rarely do these things actually materialise. When you find yourself thinking along these lines and notice your body responding with a rapid heartbeat, recognise the situation for what it is. Acknowledge the thoughts and sensations but let them pass. COGNITIVE BEHAVIOURAL THERAPY For those suffering with anxiety disorders, practicing CBT either at home or under the guidance of a therapist can help equip them with the tools they need to manage the condition. CBT uses a mixture of cognitive and behavioural therapies, and explores how the way we think about certain things can impact our behaviour. POSITIVE 6. SELF TALK Often we're far harder on ourselves than we would be on others. Try to talk positively to yourself rather than putting yourself down, like you would if you were talking to a child or friend who is nervous. Telling yourself phrases such as "this feeling will pass" and "I will be ok" could help to reassure you and reduce stress or worry. WORD ASSOCIATION Trick your mind into associating a happy memory with a certain word. When thinking of the memory allow it to fill you up and remember even the smallest detail. Then, when you are feeling АВС anxious, press your thumb and forefinger together, take a deep breath and recall the memory, then as you exhale say the associated word clearly in your head. This should help you relax and recall the happy memories you were thinking of. ENGAGE WITH 8. THE ENVIRONMENT Shifting your focus to your immediate environment can help you gain some perspective when you're feeling particularly anxious. Standing up when you've been sitting, or shifting your field of vision are both good ways to remind yourself that you're in control and that there's a whole world beyond what's going on inside your head. FACE YOUR FEARS Avoiding fears can make them scarier. If one day you feel panicked by a task or situation, try to go back to the same place the following day. Feel the fear and wait for it to pass. Facing your fears until they fade away is a good way to combat them and move towards feeling better about a situation. SET ASIDE 10 WORRY TIME Sometimes worries can niggle at us and prevent us from doing things we should be doing. When this happens, jot down the reason you're feeling anxious and resolve to think it through later. By the time you ge doing that it's likely many of the worries you've noted won't be an issue anymore. QUESTION 11 YOUR THOUGHTS Anxiety can make our thoughts spiral out of control and become increasingly outlandish. When you find this happening try to question your thoughts by asking yourself questions such as "is this worry realistic?" and "what is the worst possible outcome and would it really be that bad?". LEARN TO 12 SAY NO Don't take on too much. If you're overloaded with work and extremely busy but given more work, try to pushback. Talking to your boss about the situation will give them a better understanding of your workload and could allow you to push back deadlines or receive some help with a task. 13 KEEP TRACK Keep a diary for a week or two to track which situations make you feel most stressed and how you respond to them. Record your thoughts and feelings and what you did as a result; this can help you get a greater understanding of triggers and your responses. REPEAT 14 YOUR WORRY Facing your fear doesn't have to be literal. If you find yourself feeling worried or anxious about something, repeat the worry over and over in your head for about 20 minutes until you become bored of it. This can help you finally put the worry out of your mind. START 15 MAKING PLANS If your stress or anxiety stems from a new project or promotion, for example, set some time aside to think of practical ways to deal with it. Get creative and brainstorm ideas, such as what you will get out of taking on a new project or position at work. WRISTBAND 16 TECHNIQUE The technique sees an individual wear a rubber band or hairband on their wrist and think of something they want to tell themselves, such as "I am not going to let my anxiety control me". When the individual wants to escape what's going on internally, they snap the band three times while repeating their mantra in their head. CATCHING 17 MOODS Emotions can be contagious, meaning sometimes we end up taking on the moods of other people - especially those we are around regularly. Keep a note of why you feel anxious and if this is a result of another person. If possible try to reduce the amount of time you spend with people who make you anxious. 18 TAKE BREAKS Make sure you plan your day to enable you to take short breaks to get away from your desk and go for a quick walk. Stepping away from your desk to have a break and recharge will help reduce stress and make you more productive. 19 TAKE A DEEP BREATH Take a minute or two to concentrate on slowly and deeply inhaling and exhaling. This can help relax your body and release tension and worry. Focus your attention purely on breathing and don't allow your mind to wander. BREAK UP 20 THE DAY Try not to worry about things that are happening at various points during the day; instead focus on the present and the minute you are currently in. Remind yourself that all you have to think about is the here and now. 21 TALK ABOUT IT Voicing your concerns, worries or feelings to an attentive and trusted listener can feel very cathartic. The person you speak to doesn't have to 'fix' things, just listen to you even if it doesn't change the situation. 22 MUSCLE RELAXATION Stress can cause our bodies to tense up, therefore learning how to relax your muscles is important. One technique is to tense a group of muscles as you breath in and relax them as you breath out. With practice, this method can help relieve stress. unům SOURCES AND REFERENCES Because everyone needs a back-up plan

Techniques to Combat Stress & Anxiety at Work

shared by Unum on Nov 24
Wednesday 4th November marks Stress Awareness Day, and with 487,000 reported cases of illness related to work stress, depression and anxiety between 2013-14 it’s definitely a day worth acknowledgin...


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