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Last Updated on January 12, 2021

7 Simple Ways to Cope with Stress at Work and Stop Worrying

7 Simple Ways to Cope with Stress at Work and Stop Worrying

The internet today is booming with posts promoting work-for-self, work-from-home, and living your passion and purpose. Quite frankly, the spike in this content has good merits! We are fed up with the stress and demands that are placed on us by other people and the companies that we work for.

According to the American Institute of Stress, numerous studies show that job stress is far and away the major source of stress for American adults and that it has escalated progressively over the past few decades.[1]

Blueprints, step-by-step guides, and road maps are taking over Pinterest and every social media platform regarding this new way of living. However, what about everyone who is still living and dealing with the current stress and worries at work?

How can we healthfully deal with our 9-5 jobs and leave the office feeling refreshed and energized after we put in our 8 hours? I am here to tell you that it is possible and relatively easy to not only cope with stress at work but make a difference and fulfill your passions anywhere you work!

Here are a few really simple ways for coping with stress at work and STOP worrying.

1. Identify and Take Back Control of Your Stress

Sometimes, we bulk our stress and worry into a broad category of “I HATE MY JOB” when in all reality, there are only a handful of things that are causing us grief.

Get specific – What are your top 3 worries & stressors at work?

Get clear and investigate why these are causing so much angst.

For instance, it is probably not all administration and/or your boss’s fault that you are stressed out, worried, and dreading work (don’t give them too much credit). When we put all of our blame on someone or something out of our control, then we have no power to change it (no power = STRESS)!

The best way to gain power over a stressful situation is to reverse the complaint, worry, or problem to something that YOU can change.

Does that mean that you blame yourself when it’s not your fault? Absolutely not!

But you MUST put yourself in the driver’s seat so that you can change the stressful situation.

Once you are clear on what is causing your heart palpitation’s and night sweats (I have had them), then you control the situation by taking any complaint or blame and turn it into a SOLUTION.

Your boss is unfair and never gives you the day off when you request it? (Total jerk move, by the way!)

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How are you currently requesting off? If you are requesting off electronically, could you make the request personal and far in advance so that end result is what you desire?

Complaining that your boss is a jerk will make you feel better in the moment but, it isn’t going to give you the solution that you really want. And by complaining, you are giving up ALL control.

When we feel in control of what we want, the majority of our stress is released. It is when we feel out of control that we worry!

2. An Attitude of Gratitude

Gratitude is the freeway to happiness and contentment. There is no room for worry, stress, or negativity when we are in a thankful mindset.

When you begin to feel stressed at work, when the workload keeps piling up and it seems like nothing will ever get done… Take a minute to breathe deeply, close your eyes, and whisper thank you to the first thing that pops into your mind.

Thank you for today, thank you for the security this job provides, thank you for the breakroom coffee, thank you for anything you can think of!

The combination of a quiet moment and an attitude of gratitude can turn your whole day around and it is the perfect cocktail for comfort and relaxation!

3. Identify Your Weaknesses

We all have them and most of us avoid them. But it is so important to come to terms on what we can change and improve.

When we are able to improve our downfalls, then we can only progress forward.

Never accept your weaknesses as a part of your DNA and/or character. Weaknesses are only temporary if we work to improve them.

When we accept them, then they become ingrained in us and will forever hold us down. Don’t let that happen!

Get comfortable with failures and embrace your weaknesses. Never be afraid of asking powerful questions because the more that you know the more places you’ll go! (Love you, Dr. Seuss!)

Identify the areas at work that could use some improvement and then brush up in this area. Find ways to grow and learn!

New research from LinkedIn finds that people who genuinely enjoy their jobs have one thing in common:[2]

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“They make time to learn on the job. The LinkedIn research surveyed about 2,000 professionals. They found that employees who spend time learning at work are 47% less likely to be stressed”

Take a professional development course to become an expert in your area of weakness. Ask questions to someone in the office with more expertise in this particular area (they will most likely be happy to help). This will help to build your confidence and confidence kicks stress’s butt every time!

As a takeaway, never shy away or hide from your weaknesses. Instead, embrace them to gain confidence and leave worry in the dust!

4. Identify Your Strengths

Up next, ask yourself: What are my top 10 strengths?

Don’t be modest and name them all. I actually encourage you to name your top 50 strengths because I know that we all have them.

Circle the strengths that are unique to you and use this edge at work to amaze people.

Don’t just fit in at work – stand out! Better yet, pick a strength that is unique and that you are passionate about and you will leave work feeling refreshed!

By expanding your skill set, in both your strong and weak areas, creates intelligence and confidence. Both are great for combating stress and worry!

5. Prioritize and Revitalize

What is a necessity this week? Deadlines, meetings, paperwork?

Prioritize by when it needs to be done and, next to the task write down an estimated time of how long it will take to complete.

Calculate the total of time it will take you to accomplish these necessities and, then carve out 10% of your day to REVITALIZE. No one can work all day and give it their all without a reset.

What is it that gets you into the zone, what energizes you? Add restoration breaks in your day.

For me, lunch with my coworkers doesn’t restore me in the least bit. Often times, the conversations that go on at work bring me down in the dumps and drain my energy.

On my restoration breaks, I listen to a motivational video, turn out the lights, journal, walk, go outside and plan my future, make lists of how I am going to accomplish my next goal.

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I can’t stress enough how important these are to the soul. Add SOUL RESTORATION into your schedule!!

Your boss/employer will appreciate all of the extra energy you have when you come back from this break.

6. To Do ListSSS (Yes, 3 S’s for 3 Lists!)

This is nice because it piggybacks off of your priority list. What absolutely needs to get done today and how long will the task take?

When you arrive at work and you are comfortable in your chair, grab 3 pieces of paper, a pen, and a sharpie. Take a deep breath, this is your time to organize all of your thoughts and to-dos.

Write down what needs done today, in the order you plan to accomplish it. Most of the time, I even give myself a window of time to complete.

After you have finished a task, cross it out. I love to take a big black sharpie and put a big slash through my completed task (this makes me so happy!)

However, by lunch, my paper looks messy and then that makes my mind messy so it causes me stress. Therefore, I do this thing that really helps me to reduce my stress and it organizes my mind.

I make a new list.

After lunch, write another list. Brand new and fresh. Write down everything else that needs accomplished for the rest of your afternoon.

This is your chance to set your afternoon up for organization and success as opposed to a stressful, scattered mess!

If you didn’t accomplish something in the morning – no big deal. You can put that task on your afternoon list or your list for tomorrow.

A list for tomorrow? Yes, your THIRD list!

At the end of the day, create your final list that consists of what needs to be done for the following day. This strategy will help get you focused and organized for the next day and reduce your worry because it’s on paper and out of your mind. This will also help you the following morning to give you an idea of how to structure your day.

Anyway that we can organize our minds and structure our day for efficiency is a sure way of reducing stress and worry in the workplace!

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7. Stay Away from the Negative Nancy Squad

Have you ever worked somewhere with negativity?

Have you experienced something similar to this: You begin a new job and the Negative Nancy Zombies come with their Frankenstein arms to greet you.They make sure to tell you who to stay away from, that the cafeteria food is awful, all of the affairs in the office, and how you’ll probably end up working late for the next 100 years of your life. They reassure you, however, if you stick with them that you’ll be just fine…

I am here to tell you that it is BULL-OGNA!

Don’t fall into this trap! Don’t be a part of this soul sucking practice.

The Negative Nancy squad is burned out and they need to take a day off to rejuvenate (maybe even take the month off). The squad would probably benefit from this article about the burn out point at work.

Most of the time, the person they tell you to stay away from is awesome, the food is halfway decent, the affair is actually just two people being friendly, and the squad only has to stay late because they are too busy gossiping.

To make a long story short, if you have a good outlook and positive perception, everything in your work environment will look and feel brighter!

Don’t align yourself with or hang out with those type of people. Don’t gossip or assume anything about anyone until you have experienced it first-hand.

We often make things seem worse (more stressful and worrisome) in our minds. The Negative Nancy squad will only enhance these negative emotions. So, find a few positive friends, go out of your way for a few people at work, and maybe even get to know someone new and your social game at work will be great!

Having positive relationships at work will make you feel happier and more secure in your work environment. Positive relationships are great for your health and mind so embrace developing constructive relationships with your coworkers.

Final Thoughts

Make the decision that you are going to enjoy yourself at work. Anything can be made exciting with the right attitude and a little creativity.

Find one or two things to look forward to each day and treat yourself every once in awhile. You deserve to enjoy your work, your life, and the people in it.

Remember that if you are above ground, then it’s a good day and something exciting is always just a mindset shift away!

More About Stress

Featured photo credit: Christian Erfurt via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] The American Institute of Stress: Workplace Stress
[2] Linkedin: Stress at Work Report: Who is Feeling It the Most and How to Combat It

More by this author

Jacqueline Battaglia

Growth Coach, Blogger, and Creator of Life is Duck Soup. My approach will help you get to your next potential level, follow your HAPPY path and enjoy each moment fully.

Nothing Makes You Happy: Here’s Why and What to Do 7 Simple Ways to Cope with Stress at Work and Stop Worrying 3 Steps to Truly Know Your Value and Realize It in Life 13 Ways Happy People Think and Feel Differently

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Last Updated on April 19, 2021

How to Clear Your Mind and Be More Present Instantly

How to Clear Your Mind and Be More Present Instantly

You may be wondering how to clear your mind. Maybe you are facing a tough presentation at work and really need to focus, or perhaps you’ve got a lot going on at home and just need to relax for a few minutes. Whatever the reason, having a clear mind can help you find your center.

The only problem is that you can’t completely erase the thousands of thoughts you have each day. The goal is to be able to observe those thoughts without engaging with each one of them.

The good news is that clearing your mind and returning to the present moment comes from a simple act of acknowledging that you’re overwhelmed in the first place. A path to better mental health and overall quality of life starts here.

What Happens When You’re Not Present?

We’ve evolved to keep looking and working towards a future goal. The very nature of our careers is to make sure that we’re setting ourselves up for the future. Our thoughts and, therefore, our habits and actions consistently point in the forward-moving direction, whether it’s in your relationship, career, or goals.

The point at which this becomes harmful is when we become too stuck in this forward motion and can’t reduce stress in the short or long-term. The result of this is burnout.[1] It’s a term that is most often used in the workplace, but burnout can happen in any area of our life where you feel like you’re pushing too hard and too fast.

The idea here is that you’re so engrossed in the forward movement that you take on too much and rest too little. There is no pause in the present because you have this sense that you must keep working.

On a physical plane, the body takes a real hit with burnout. You feel more muscle fatigue, poor concentration, insomnia, anxiety, poor metabolism, and so much more.

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These symptoms are the body’s way of throwing you red flags and warning you that you must slow down. But because your mind is so preoccupied with this forward momentum, it disconnects you from listening to your body’s signals. The only time you really hear them is when the signals are too loud to ignore, such as during serious illness or pain.

As we can see, not being present is something that snowballs over time. Eventually, it can cause serious mental, emotional, and physical ailments. 

To help you deal with this, you can check out Lifehack’s Free Life Assessment to see where you may be off balance. Then, you can check out the points below to keep moving in the right direction.

How Do We Come Back to the Present?

Answering this question will answer the question of how to clear your mind because they go hand in hand. There are many tools you can use to begin a mindfulness practice.

To reiterate, mindfulness is simply defined as the act or practice of being fully present.[2] Tools that allow you to step into this practice include meditation, journaling, a body-centered movement practice such as Qigong, or simple breathing exercises.

Underneath it all, however, is one technique that acts as a universal connector, and that is acknowledgment. This term may not sound like a technique, but its power truly flourishes when put into practice.

For us to come back to the present moment, we have to acknowledge that we have trailed off into the past or the future. Likewise, for us to clear our mind, we have to acknowledge that our mind is overwhelmed, distracted, or scattered.

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This simple act of pausing and catching ourselves in the moment is how we can build our acknowledgment practice. So, the next time you find yourself overwhelmed at work with mental to-do lists, pause. Acknowledge your state of mind and say to yourself that you’re overwhelmed. This sends a signal to your whole being that you’re aware of what’s going on.

It cuts the cords of illusion, denial, and ignorance. You are now building your awareness of yourself, which is an incredibly potent gift.

How to Clear Your Mind

Now that you’ve acknowledged where you are and how you feel, you can take action and learn ways to clear your mind. You can take a few moments away from your desk or to-do list, and practice something to ground yourself back into the present moment.

1. Take a Walk

Grounding yourself can be as simple as taking a walk and admiring the changing of the leaves. This practice is also known as “forest bathing,” and it doesn’t necessarily need to take place in a forest. It can be in your favorite park or even walking around your town or neighborhood.

Bring your attention to the senses as you enjoy your walk. Can you tune in to the sounds of your footsteps on the earth? Can you notice the smells and take in the sights around you while staying present in the moment? Can you touch a leaf or the bark of a tree and allow the texture to teach you something new?

Such a practice does wonders in clearing your mind and bringing you back to the now. It also connects you more deeply to your environment.

2. Box Breathing

As you’re learning how to clear your mind, a mind-clearing practice may look like sitting down and going through a nourishing meditation or breath practice. Breathing is, honestly, the easiest and best way to clear your mind. Even taking a few deep breaths in and out and feeling and noticing the breath will bring you right back to the present moment.[3]

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In yoga, we call this breath Same Vrti, meaning a 1:1 breath ratio. It can also be translated as “box breathing.” The idea is to make the length of your inhales and exhales the same, as this allows you to take in more oxygen and slow down the chatter of the monkey mind. It also kicks on the parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for rest and digestion, offering many health benefits in the long run.

This will allow your heart rate to slow down so that you can reduce any anxiety you may be feeling. It also aids in digestion, as the metabolism is back on track, and helps you physically process food and drink properly.

3. Add Meditation

how to meditate and clear your mind is also helpful when you want to clear negative thoughts and relieve stress. In fact, following your breath is a meditation in itself. Adding a visual, like imagining gentle ripples on a lake or clouds passing along a beautiful blue sky, can give the mind something to attach to without running through the train of your thoughts.

On the other hand, if you are mentally overwhelmed and meditation sounds like more stress, tuning in to a guided meditation session can be alleviating. It often helps to hear the voice of a teacher or guide who can walk you into more peace and contentment with their words and energy. If you can’t find such a guide in a local studio, turn to the many meditation apps on your phone, or YouTube.

4. Write Your Thoughts

Alternatively, another powerful practice for when you’re learning how to clear your mind is sitting down and writing out all of the thoughts in your head. We call this a “brain dump,” and it is an effective method for simply releasing your thoughts so that you can mentally breathe and process things better.

Grab a piece of paper and write out all of the thoughts that are pressing for your attention. The idea is not to analyze the thoughts or fix them, but to give those thoughts an exit so that you can move on with your day without fixating on them aggressively. This can look like a laundry list of thoughts, or a diary entry.

Afterward, feel free to close your journal or rip up the paper as part of your stress management. You don’t need to hold on to what you wrote, but it does help to see the expression of what you’re holding on to mentally. Likewise, this practice is very potent to do at night before bedtime. So many of us struggle to sleep soundly with many thoughts bouncing back and forth, and this exercise before bed can allow us to enter a deeper level of rest.

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Regardless of what you do, understand that practicing mindfulness is a lifelong process. With life’s ups and downs, it’s stressful to attach yourself to the practice of being mindful and in the present moment because it’s never guaranteed that you will be present for 100% of your life.

In this practice, what matters more than anything is intention. Our intention of staying present and sticking to our mindfulness practice is what will encourage us to keep coming back to it, even when we forget.

Final Thoughts

With the thousands of thoughts that we have in our head each day, it can sound overwhelming to even tackle this and try to learn how to clear your mind. The technique, however, is powerful, simple, and effective.

It all comes down to first recognizing and acknowledging that we are overwhelmed, stressed, or far away from the present moment. That acknowledgment acts as a wake-up alarm, inviting us to examine our state of mind and take action.

In this way, not only are we clearing our minds in a manner that works for us, but we’re also building our self-awareness, which is a beautiful and powerful way of being in the world.

More Tips on How to Clear Your Mind

Featured photo credit: Elijah Hiett via unsplash.com

Reference

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