Work and the “stress sweet spot”

Workplace stress is a normal everyday occurrence. Most of the time, it’s actually a good thing. How could workplace stress ever be a good thing you might ask?!

The answer is simple, it puts an ideal amount of pressure on us, which then motivates us to be productive and get things done. When we feel like we are achieving something, we then feel good about ourselves. On the other hand, when stress builds up it can become too much. When this happens, it can be really damaging and unhealthy for us and the people around us. It can affect the quality of our work, our relationships and even our sense of self-worth.  

 It’s important to understand that the ‘just right’ level of stress is different for everyone. Whilst some people seem to thrive when they’re under pressure, others can get really stressed over the fact they feel stress. It’s important to monitor our stress levels and make sure we are functioning at that ‘just right’ level for us. The person who knows you best is you, so make sure you listen to yourself and what amount of stress is ideal for you. 

 To stay on top of workplace stress and make sure it doesn’t escalate to a point where it’s difficult to manage, it may be worth trying some of these simple strategies. They are easy to incorporate into your daily routine and won’t take up too much of your time. 

  • Fresh air, fresh mindset 

We all know that feeling where if we take a break then we’ll get even further behind so we better just push on through. What we don’t always realise is that this mindset can actually be a roadblock for our productivity. It’s best to take five, go outside and get some fresh air, take some deep breaths and clear our minds. That way, we can return to our work with a refreshed attitude and mindset, better enabling us to power through our work! 

  • Taking a proper lunch break 

Have you ever been guilty of having your lunch at your work desk or while you’ve been on the road and on the go? How about skipping lunch all together when you’ve been too busy? If this sounds like you, you may have inadvertently been adding to your stress levels. For us to be the best versions of ourselves, we need to look after ourselves and this starts with giving our body the nourishment it needs and giving our minds a break from time to time.  

  • Spend five minutes each morning on your schedule 

A common contributor to workplace stress is not having a clear and achievable goal. When we say ‘goal’, we’re not talking about having a solid career plan, retirement strategy and life purpose (although if you have these, great)! When we say ‘goal’, we’re talking about the series of small things you achieve each day like responding to an email or completing a piece of work you’ve been working on. By spending five minutes at the start of everyday scheduling your day and prioritising your tasks, you’re much more likely to set yourself up for success.  

  • Communicate your issues! 

When it comes to workplace stress, there are a variety of contributing factors. Stress can be caused by uncertainty, changes, having a high workload, relationships with colleagues or management… the list goes on. Although we may think the stress we’re under is obvious, sometimes it’s not so clear to other people and we need to actively communicate what’s going on for us.  Our colleagues and managers can only help if they are aware of the situation.   

Of course, at certain times in our lives, stress does creep up on us and before we know it, it’s starting to negatively impact us. At times like these, we may need to seek additional support and this is where Mindstar might be able to help.