5 Science-Based Tips for Reducing Work-Related Stress
These quick strategies can help you focus and reduce stress.
Everyone has those days where everything is stressful — even the little things. While stress is a normal reaction the body has when changes occur, it can really affect your mood and your performance if you don’t learn how to alleviate the symptoms of it.
Luckily, there are a number of quick remedies to reduce stress and get back to work. Here are five science-based tips for reducing work-related stress.
1. Work out.
Exercise has long been touted as one of the best ways to reduce stress. The Mayo Clinic has said that exercise in almost any form can act as a stress reliever. Exercise helps pump up the production of your brain's feel-good neurotransmitters, called endorphins, and can lower the symptoms associated with mild depression and anxiety. Exercising can also help improve your self-esteem.
Not everyone loves hitting the gym though. So, find a physical activity you can enjoy, whether it’s biking, tennis or even power walking. Exercising regularly and sticking to it can help you improve your physical and mental health overall.
2. Write it down.
Have you ever written in a journal before? Writing down your feelings on paper is another easy way to reduce stress in the workplace. In a study by Dr. James W. Pennebaker, 46 college students were asked to write about either traumatic life events or trivial topics for 15 minutes on four consecutive days. For six months following the experiment, students who wrote about traumatic events visited the campus health center less often and used a pain reliever less frequently than those who wrote about trivial matters.
Journaling can be a therapeutic way to work through the frustrations you may be facing in the workplace. So, instead of bottling your work frustrations inside, let them out on paper.
3. Check your email less.
Are you constantly checking your email throughout the day? Checking your email frequently might seem like a mundane, inconsequential task. But it actually could be stressing you out. A study from the University of British Columbia found that limiting the frequency of checking email throughout the day reduced daily stress. In the study, participants that checked their email only three times per day experienced significantly lower daily stress than during a week of unlimited email use.
Frequently checking your email can not only affect your stress level but also make you less productive at work. If possible for your profession, try checking your email only three times a day — once in the morning, once in the afternoon and once at night — to reduce stress at work and boost productivity.
4. Drink black tea.
Stop reaching for a cup of coffee when you’re stressed out. Instead, reach for a soothing cup of black tea to reduce workplace stress. According to a study in the journal Psychopharmacology, six weeks of tea consumption leads to lower post-stress cortisol and greater subjective relaxation.
If you make it a habit to drink a cup of tea at work daily, you could see benefits similar to that in the study. You could even create a tea station in the office so all of the members of your team can reduce their workplace stress too.
5. Chew gum — yes, really.
Did you know that simply chewing gum can reduce stress? Apparently, it’s true. In a study from Swinburne University in Melbourne, levels of salivary cortisol (a physiological stress marker) in gum chewers were lower by 16 percent than non-gum chewers during mild stress and nearly 12 percent lower in moderate stress.
Aside from a reduction in stress, the study also found that chewing gum increased alertness and improved performance on multi-tasking activities. Keep a pack of gum handy at work — it’s worth a shot, right?
With these science-based tips for reducing work-related stress, you can finally breathe a sigh of relief. Try out some of these simple methods in order to reduce workplace stress and get back to being your calm, productive self.