Stress is common in our working lives with up to 60% of workers reporting experiencing stress. When employees are stressed they won’t feel content with their work. Furthermore, the effects of stress have subsequent significant productivity loss costing Australian business hundreds of millions of dollars annually. Employers need to find productive ways to deal with this common feeling and its consequences.
Understanding the symptoms
Stress is a normal response to physical, mental or emotional pressure, and it’s not just something in your head. It can also cause your blood pressure and heart rate to rise. Constant or regular stress causes long-term symptoms.
- feeling overwhelmed, anxious or fearful
- a lack of concentration
- difficulty sleeping
- muscular pain.
Try breathing exercises
Our breathing patterns are connected to our feelings and moods, which is why mindfulness and meditation techniques are helpful. When you’re stressed you take quick, shallow breaths by taking slow, deep breaths makes you feel more relaxed.
Scrutinise your diet
Eating foods rich in fibre and carbohydrates like sweet potatoes, roasted vegetables and rice, boosts your body’s serotonin production to help you relax. Keep a supply of healthy snacks at work, and plan your meals ahead to avoid turning to easy ‘comfort’ foods. If you’re feeling stressed, it can also help to cut back on coffee, as caffeine increases your heart rate and can prevent you from sleeping.
Control your workload
Stress has been highly linked to heavy workloads and our overly connected lives. Make sure you give yourself substantial breaks in your schedule where you can be away from your laptop and phone, and therefore are able to properly switch off.
Manage your work-life balance
With more flexible and remote working options than ever before try to strike a better balance between working and relaxing. Research indicates that 53% of global workers felt that remote working made them more productive and 56% said it helped them concentrate.
Improve your environment
Your offices or meeting rooms need to be positive working environments with research showing that workers who have control over the design and layout of their workspace are generally happier, healthier and up to 32% more productive.
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