You’ve worked 50 hours this week and its only Thursday. You have a handful of looming deadlines, and your boss is being (let’s just say) “less than supportive.”
The stress is mounting, and you can’t help but drift off during a meeting and imagine unleashing your pent up energy through a series of chair-hurling, expletive-laden ranting.
We’ve all been there—or at least almost there.
Obviously these times are never our proudest moments, and they can occur more often than not when you work in a stressful industry.
While frustrating situations might be unavoidable, there are a variety of professional (and safe) ways of venting your bottled-up emotions.
Below, we’ve highlighted some of our most effective strategies for relieving pent-up annoyances at work.
Top 4 Ways to Relieve Stress at Work
1. Take a deep breath
This is one of the easiest, and most effective ways of relieving stress at work. Practice a series of breathing techniques, and find the one that works best for you. Sometimes all it takes is a second to restore your balance, so you can move on with your day.
2. Organize your projects and to-do lists
Experts suggest that clutter actually makes us feel stressed and overwhelmed. In addition to keeping your desk tidy, keep your projects and to-do lists organized and up-to-date.
Consider utilizing software that is designed to keep you (and the rest of your team) organized and on track. A workflow management software, such as WorkflowMax, enables you to keep track of conversations, to-do lists, forecasted time, overdue projects, invoicing status, and more—so you can breathe easier and smile more often.
3. Eliminate distractions
Throughout the day, professionals are bombarded with a series of emails, phone calls, text messages, instant messages and even a series of in-person meetings. Add in the potential last-minute emergency project that has a deadline of “ASAP,” and you have the perfect recipe for a meltdown.
While you can’t completely cut off all communication during work hours, you can set windows of time that you are available for any prospective interruptions during the day. Notify your team when you will be “blocking down” during the day (meaning you will not be responding to phone calls, instant messages, emails, etc.), and which times you will be available. This enables you to complete your work during your most productive hours, while still managing your stress levels.
4. Go for a walk
When all else fails, take a timeout and go for a walk. Studies have shown that walking (or any form of exercise) creates endorphins and helps reduce stress levels.
Going on a walk will clear your mind and help prevent you from overreacting—and potentially saying something you might later regret.
If that doesn’t work, consider joining an exercise class that will help relieve your pent-up anger, such as boxing, Zumba or yoga.
Chances are, whatever is causing you to be upset is not a life or death scenario, however practicing healthy venting techniques will ultimately help you perform better at work. Take note of the stress relieving methods that work best for you, and keep them in your back pocket for the next time you feel yourself reaching a breaking point.
What other techniques do you use to relieve stress at work? Share your tips in our comments section below.
Image Credit: Jake Davis via Flickr