Stress in the Workplace - Meditation & Mindfulness for Business
By Vikas Malkani
World’s #1 Wisdom Coach & Founder of SoulCentre
13th December 2017
The word 'stress' originates from the French word 'estrece' meaning 'narrowness' and depicts a limiting or constriction of your power and abilities. You have the feeling of being stressed when you think you have too much to handle either on a mental, emotional or physical level.
In today’s hectic world, the workplace is often an emotional roller coaster. Daily competition, long hours, tight deadlines, and ever-increasing demands of the modern workplace can leave you feeling worried, drained, and overwhelmed.
Stress isn’t always bad. A little bit of stress can help you stay focused, energetic, and able to meet new challenges in the workplace. But when stress exceeds your ability to cope, it stops being helpful and starts causing damage to your mind and body—as well as to your job satisfaction. It can even mean the difference between success and failure on the job.
Some common causes of workplace stress are the fear of being laid off, working overtime due to project deadlines or staff cutbacks, the pressure to perform to rising expectations, the pressure to work at optimum levels in a constantly competitive environment, and often even the lack of control over how you do your work.
No matter how stressful your job is, there are plenty of things you can do to regain a sense of control at work.
Here are 12 stress management tips for the workplace:
1) Start your day with gratitude - Gratitude helps to cultivate a positive mind-set. If you constantly think about what is wrong or what you lack, you will be more stressed out. Instead, spend 3 minutes before you get active in the morning reminding yourself what is great in your life. All of us have a lot to be grateful for, but most times, we don’t realize it.
2) Learn Mindfulness - Meditation and mindfulness is a non-religious ancient practice of understanding the mind and training it to be our friend, not our enemy. Stress arises out of the way you think, and since meditation is the skill of training your mind, and becoming aware of your thoughts, meditation is also one of the most effective antidotes to stress. Negative thinking produces stress and thinking positively releases it, so think of meditation as getting more mentally fit and in balance; more in control of your emotions and personal peace.
3) Have a realistic view of work - Feeling bored or unsatisfied with your work and tasks can cause high levels of stress and take a serious toll on your physical and mental health.
Many of us live with a fantasy of a job that is easy, fun, pays well, where we are surrounded by happy co-workers, a supportive team and have all the freedom we need. An unreasonable fantasy that creates more stress than we realise and robs us of satisfaction at our work.
Instead, focus on how what you do helps others, or provides a much-needed product or service. Focus on aspects of the job that you do enjoy. Anything viewed negatively has the potential of causing stress in your life, and changing your attitude towards your job can also help you regain a sense of purpose and control.
4) Make time for exercise - Activity and exercise is a very effective way to lift your mood, increase energy, sharpen focus, and relax both the mind and body. Rhythmic movement such as walking, running, dancing etc. is especially soothing for the nervous system.
5) Don't discount sleep - Skimping on sleep interferes with your daytime productivity, creativity, problem-solving skills, and ability to focus. The better rested you are, the better equipped you’ll be to tackle your job responsibilities and workplace stress.
6) Resist perfectionism - When you set unrealistic goals for yourself, you’re setting yourself up to fall short. Aim to do your best, no one can ask for more than that.
7) Flip your negative thinking - If you focus on the downside of every situation and interaction, you'll find yourself drained of energy and motivation. Try to think positively about your work, avoid negative co-workers (every office has them!), and recognise your small accomplishments, even if no one else does.
8) Don’t over control - Many things at work are beyond our control—particularly the behaviour of other people. Rather than stressing out over them, focus on the things you can control such as the way you choose to react to problems.
9) Crush the Rush - Leave 10 to 15 minutes earlier in the morning if needed, it can make the difference between frantically rushing and gently easing into your day. Don’t add to your stress levels by running late.
10) Prioritize - Tackle high-priority tasks first. If you have something particularly unpleasant to do, get it over with early. The rest of your day will be more pleasant as a result.
11) Delegate - You don’t have to do it all yourself. Let go of the desire to control every little step. You’ll be letting go of unnecessary stress in the process.
12) Chunk it down - If a large project seems overwhelming, focus on one manageable step at a time, rather than taking on everything at once.
If you wish to become stress-free, at work and in life, I highly recommend our ‘Meditation Made Simple’ program as the perfect first step.
Vikas Malkani is the World’s #1 Wisdom Coach. He is an authority and best-selling author on meditation and mindfulness.
Attend ‘Meditation Made Simple’ with Vikas and empower yourself to create a life of happiness, peace and fulfilment.
Click here to register on Meditation Made Simple http://www.soulcentre.org/events
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