Imagine being “snapped at” by a co-worker seemingly out of nowhere. How do you react? It certainly is not a pleasant experience when that happens. What you may not have seen is the 9 people who have already approached this person today complaining or bringing a problem to them that needed solving. You have no way of knowing that they are at work with a splitting headache while receiving angry texts from their teenager because they forgot to sign a permission slip this morning.
Maybe you are the person who “snapped” at a co-worker and are now full of regret. Stress comes in many forms and no one is totally immune. The problem in this scenario is that your co-worker has no idea of your stress level. They may begin to avoid you because they assume you do not like them or that you don’t want to help them.
Obviously, stress can cause problems in relationships, not only at work but in every single relationship. This is only one thing that should motivate us to manage our stress level. Your physical health is affected by stress whether you realize it or not. Some common health problems caused by unmanaged stress include high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, and heart disease. Physical symptoms from stress include headaches, sleeplessness, upset stomach, muscles tension among others.
One thing you can do to help manage your stress level is to incorporate stress relievers into your life. These will be different for each person but intentionally fitting these into your schedule can help you begin to manage your stress. Discover what your personal stress relievers are. Do you like taking a walk, spending time with family or friends, getting a massage, watching a comedy, listening to music, or being outside?? Some of these you can do on your drive or on a lunch-break. Closing your eyes and doing deep breathing at your desk for just a couple of minutes can really relax you.
Try not to use stress relievers that may feel good in the short term but could end up causing more stress overall. Overeating, binge-watching TV, smoking, drinking, etc. are just setting you up for more problems. You may think you cannot handle adding one more thing to your day. I dare you to try it. Taking the time to take a walk, for instance, can actually make you work more efficiently because movement fires up your brain.
The negative consequences of stress going unchecked in your life will end up costing you much more than the investment of time to relieve some stress. Also, start to notice little uplifts throughout your day. Crank the volume up on your radio/phone when your favorite song is playing; enjoy the sunshine on your face or through the window for a moment; acknowledge the small kind gesture someone did for you. Your mindset affects your stress level more than anything else.
Deciding to focus your attention on an uplift instead of a hassle is a huge step in managing your stress. You may not realize it, but you have a choice where this is concerned. You also have a choice in whether to incorporate stress relievers or not. Adding the stress relievers into your weekly schedule and intentionally practicing them is worth every minute!