5 Stress Management Tips for the Toxic Workplace
It’s become harder than ever to find a new job in today’s economy, so many workers are stuck dealing with the stress of a toxic workplace. That stress is now known to be far more damaging to the human body than scientists thought in the past, as stress releases hormones that cause organ damage, memory loss, hormonal imbalances, and more. It is more important than ever to learn effective stress management tips to keep that stress at bay and maintain a healthy mind and body.
How to Manage Stress at Work
Stress management can be a complicated issue, because often when you’re faced with a stressful environment, the only solution that can cure that stress is leaving the environment – this is clearly not possible in the workplace, as you’re still forced to attend work every day. However, there are ways to manage that stress so that it doesn’t have the same effect on you as it did in the past. Some of these ways include:
- Relaxation Exercises – Relaxation exercises are one of the keys to stress management. These exercises involve things like deep breathing and visualization, each of which is known to calm the mind and body. Progressive muscle relaxation is a fun one – stand up straight and tense each muscle one by one for 10 seconds each, starting with the left foot and moving up to your facial muscles. This tires the muscles, which makes them less affected by stress. Yoga could be an option.
- Exercise Before/During/After Work – Fitting in more exercise right before, after, or during the work day can also be immensely beneficial for stress management. If you can bike to work or go to the gym right before or after, you’ll burn off some of the stress hormone that damages your body and improve your neurotransmitter reactions to improve your mood. See if you can go jogging on a lunch break as well, and don’t forget to move at work to prevent stress from inactivity.
- Make Work Fun – As long as what you do is appropriate, it’s important to remember that there are plenty of ways to make work fun for yourself. Even in a toxic work environment, you can listen to funny podcasts at work, wear Superman clothes under your work clothes, or find other ways to laugh and make work fun for you. One idea is to play Bingo with things that stress you at work in each square. If you get a Bingo, give yourself a prize.
- Stress as a Tool – There’s another theory that states that your stress increases when you try to fight it and be less stressed. So a stress management strategy is to use it as a tool. Expect to be stressed and wait until the stress comes. Then, when it comes, take all of that energy and pour it into your work. Doing this will make stress your ally, rather than your enemy, and can help you become less prone to damaging stress.
- Stay Busy – Finally, those that work in a toxic environment tend to want to relax after work to relieve the stress. Don’t fall into that trap. Having fun and enjoying life is a valuable stress management strategy, which means that you need to do anything you can to stay active – playing sports, going to movies, spending time with friends, and so on. These activities give you a break from the stress and happier memories so that the stress doesn’t affect your long term mental health.
Stress management is possible, even in a toxic workplace. But it does take changing your mindset about how you see stress and developing strategies to make overcoming stress your priority. Once you do that, your long term outlook will be much better.
About the Author: Ryan Rivera found that stress was one of the key components to his anxiety, and required stress management tools in order to get the anxiety help he needed. Now he writes about anxiety and stress at www.calmclinic.com.
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Workplace Stress – Why Your Job May Be Killing You