Stress at Work – How to Reduce?

On average, a business worker has anywhere from thirty to a hundred projects on their to-do list that they simply cannot get through because the average worker also gets interrupted seven times per hour. Add in the fact that studies suggest 2.1 hours of every day are spent being distracted and you can see why people get stressed at work. Toss in the fact that 40% of all people are worried about corporate restructuring that is taking place at their large company and you have a lot of uncertainty about their job positions to further stress them out. All of these factors are likely good reasons why the one out of every four adults reports that they suffer from insomnia at night.


Author of Success Under Stress and profesisional business psychologist Sharon Melnick PH.D, commented that people come to her look for answers because everyone feels like they are crumbling under the stress. She explained that people feel like they are too busy and are overwhelmed with everything they have on their plate. Keep in mind that all of this work stress does not include any stress that a person might be feeling at home or from other events in their life.

The million dollar question it seems is whether there is a way to maintain focus while at work so that everything can get done and you still have energy left to focus on other things when you leave work. The question is really how people can keep cool even when they have mounds of stress over work building up on them. Melnick has a few strategies that she has formed after spending ten years on Harvard research and testing the strategies on over six thousand trainees and clients.

Her number one suggestion is to get stress at work under control before it becomes your life. One way to do this is by acting instead of reacting. According to Melnick stress occurs when situations seem like they are not in our control. This reaction turns on the stress hormone which over time can destroy well-being, concentration, and confidence.  Thus, it is best to step back and look at situation to ascertain what you can control and what things you cannot. For instance, you can control your response nad actions but you cannot control the tone of someone else or macro forces. The goal then becomes to do what you can control at 100% and to let go of any worry associated with what you cannot.

Second, she advises that it is important to stop and take a deep breath. Whenever you feel overwhelmed or that your head is getting too heavy stop and practice deep breathing for a few minutes. Inhale for five seconds, hold your breath for another five seconds, and then exhale slowly. This calm focus will help relieve some stress.

Finally, she advises that you need to eliminate all of the interruptions that are in your control. Some interruptions you cannot control, but make sure to control the way you respond. Choose to accept it, cut it off, or discern that it is important and create a plan to deal with it.