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7 Effective Ways to Cope with Work Stress

October 27, 2023

Stress has become an everyday companion for many employees. Work stress can take a toll on your physical and mental health, whether looming deadlines, demanding bosses, or the pressure to meet performance targets. This blog post will explore seven effective ways to cope with work stress, supported by research and expert advice.

This blog post will explore seven effective ways to cope with work stress, supported by research and expert advice.

Practice Time Management

Effective time management is crucial in reducing work-related stress. According to a study published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, better time management is associated with reduced employee stress levels. Utilize tools like to-do lists, calendars, and time-tracking apps to prioritize tasks, allocate time efficiently, and avoid last-minute rushes.

Take Short Breaks

Regular short breaks during the workday can significantly reduce stress. A study in the Journal of Applied Psychology found that micro-breaks, as short as 5 minutes, help refresh the mind and reduce stress. Try deep breathing exercises, quick walks, or a short meditation to recharge your mental batteries. Did you know that you can mix meditation with a short walk?

Exercise Regularly

Physical activity is a proven stress-buster. Engaging in regular exercise releases endorphins, which are natural mood lifters. The American Psychological Association highlights the benefits of exercise in managing stress and recommends incorporating at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week. You can also incorporate movement while sitting at your desk.

Incorporate Mindfulness

Mindfulness techniques, such as meditation and deep breathing, can promote relaxation and reduce stress. Research in the Journal of Occupational Health Psychology shows mindfulness-based interventions can improve psychological well-being and decrease stress levels. Consider incorporating mindfulness practices into your daily routine. If you are unsure of how to do a meditation, here’s a guided meditation to improve the moment.

Set Realistic Goals

Unrealistic work goals and expectations can lead to chronic stress. Research in the Journal of Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes highlights the impact of goal-setting on stress. Ensure your goals are challenging yet attainable, and regularly reassess them to align with your capabilities.

Seek Professional Help

Don’t hesitate to seek professional assistance if work stress overwhelms and interferes with your daily life. A licensed therapist or counselor can provide coping strategies tailored to your situation. The American Psychological Association emphasizes the effectiveness of therapy in managing workplace stress.

Conclusion

Work stress is a common challenge in today’s professional world, but it’s crucial to take steps to manage it effectively. You can better cope with work-related stress by implementing evidence-based strategies like time management, regular exercise, mindfulness, and social support. Remember, it’s essential to prioritize your well-being and seek professional help if needed. Reducing stress benefits your mental and emotional health and enhances your overall job performance and quality of life.

References:

  1. Wendsche, J., Lohmann-Haislah, A., & Wegge, J. (2016). The impact of personal resources and job crafting on work engagement and exhaustion. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 21(2), 216-225.
  2. Trougakos, J. P., Hideg, I., Cheng, B. H., & Beal, D. J. (2014). Lunch breaks unpacked: The role of autonomy as a moderator of recovery during lunch. Journal of Applied Psychology, 99(3), 548-563.
  3. Mayo Clinic. (2022). Exercise and stress: Get moving to manage stress.
    Virgili, M. (2015). Mindfulness-based interventions reduce psychological distress in working adults: a meta-analysis of intervention studies. Mindfulness, 6(2), 326-337.
  4. American Psychological Association. (2021). Manage stress: Strengthen your support network.
  5. O’Boyle, E. H., Jr., & Aguinis, H. (2012). The best and the rest: Revisiting the norm of normality of individual performance. Journal of Applied Psychology, 97(6), 1148-1164.
  6. American Psychological Association. (2021). How psychotherapy helps people recover from depression.
  7. Sluiter, J. K., van der Beek, A. J., & Frings-Dresen, M. H. (1999). The influence of work characteristics on the need for recovery and experienced health: a study on coach drivers. Ergonomics, 42(4), 573-583.

Emotional Wellness Resources at Duke Health & Well-Being

Mental and emotional wellness strongly emphasizes identifying your strengths and cultivating the skills for successfully adapting to life’s challenges. We are passionate about working with you to navigate your inner compass and live a more meaningful, values-based, and fulfilling life. We use a variety of evidence-based approaches to help you embody a healthy lifestyle by setting realistic goals to help you reach your full potential.

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