Stress at work is often down to how we perceive things. As one of the leading recruitment agencies in London, we know that stress at work is a common reason why valuable employees leave and candidates look for a new job. What if you could banish stress in some simple and easy ways?
1. Tasks over strategies
Action makes us feel better. It burns off the hormones that are, effectively, stress—especially if movement is involved. So when you’re stressed about a task, it can actually be helpful to spend less time ruminating over strategies to alleviate it and more time doing.
That’s not to say strategic planning doesn’t have its place, but in a stressful moment, simply do. That way, you’re moving forward and gaining ground. Anxiety begins to ease and ticking things off the to-do list feels great. Progress is a wonderful antidote to stress.
2. Reframe your thinking
“It is our attitude at the beginning of a difficult task which, more than anything else, will affect its successful outcome.” — William James
When you view a difficult task as a threat, it can be all-consuming and stressful. Conversely, if you reframe it as a challenge, then you are naturally able to extend yourself to achieve what you want. You begin to believe that you will succeed, and that gets you halfway there.
If you are struggling with a task, reframing the way you think about it can have a remarkable effect on your ability. This puts you in control as you shift from worrying about to scaling obstacles.
If you’re really hindered by motivation, some reframing can work there, too. Break down the task into smaller chunks. Ask yourself “what can I get done in one hour?” You’ll soon discover that this makes you focused and energised, and even if the task ends up taking longer, you’re now on the road and know you can do it.
3. Practise gratitude
When we’re caught in a stress-oriented mindset, we naturally see the negatives all around us. You can flip that on its head by identifying aspects of the task to be grateful for. By recognising the positive in what you’re trying to do, you will feel more inspired and motivated to succeed.
The things you are grateful for will vary from task to task. For example, it might be:
- I’m grateful I get to work on this task alone, as it gives me peace and quiet I don’t often get.
- I’m grateful to work on this with my colleague who has a great sense of humour.
- I’m grateful for the opportunity to extend my skills by doing this task.
- I’m grateful I’m so skilled at this task that I can find it boring.
Again, you will see that some reframing comes into play; identifying the gratitude helps you focus on the good, not the bad. Even if it is simply “I am grateful to have work and be able to afford the things I want”, it can be enough to make you view a task more positively and with less stress.
Managing stress can be a work in progress
If you typically find yourself responding to situations with stress, don’t expect to unlearn it overnight. It takes effort and practise to make progress with lowering your stress response. However, the more you do it, the easier it will get and soon you’ll be sailing through your tasks with focus and energy instead
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