How to release stress in the workplace
One of the most effective interventions that I use with clients is called Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). Here are five ways in which CBT can be used effectively to reduce stress in the workplace:
Instead of thinking the worst, reframing involves reminding ourselves that there are always other ways to look at stressful situations. When we feel overworked and underpaid, it is easy to to feel resentful and allow stress to get the better of us. When we watch out thinking, we can always find something to tell ourselves that reduces stress. As an example – instead of telling ourselves that we have a dead end job and that life is terrible (catastrophising) we can reframe by telling ourselves that all jobs have bad days and that tomorrow is another day when things will be better.
2) Mental Shelving
Figuring out the difference between what we can and what we can’t control is the first step to efficient mental shelving. Once we have done whatever we can towards our goal, it is important to mentally ‘shelve’ the project/task until we can once again take positive action. When we worry about things that we have no control over, we waste energy that could be channelled toward more productive pursuits.
Use an app such as “Headspace” to tune out the world. It’s important to stop and take stock every now and then. Have a calm place that you can go to in your mind, even for 5 minutes at a time to reset your stress levels. It could be a bench in a tranquil park or a hammock on a beach – whatever helps you to relax.
4) Stop trying to do too much
No one is perfect – give it up already. There is nothing wrong with wanting to do a good job but you are buying into corporate exploitation when you work till midnight. Stop it. Take time out for pleasurable pursuits. You won’t get any awards for working yourself to death. Make sure you aren’t using work as a convenient escape to not have to deal with other important issues in your life. It’s all about balance.
Photo by Alan Cleaver