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5 Tips for Coping With Stress at Work Starting First Thing in the Morning You'll be fine with less coffee, gossip and other people's problems.

By Deborah Carlin Edited by Dan Bova

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.


You go to work, either as an employee or an entrepreneur -- it doesn't matter which -- because you are there to perform your best. You want to love what you do. You want to be paid well. You want to be appreciated. You don't want your job to be what crushes you or makes you feel sick.

However, sometimes you can start the day with a great attitude, ready to be challenged. But then suddenly it's all blown apart by the nasty looks from someone you are eager to please, the negative gossip that brings you down or the demanding boss or client who is never happy.

What to do? You need coping techniques and strategies that are actually proven to work.

1. The morning mantra

It is a true statement that what you encounter is not all about you. Put it into your head while brushing your teeth and look at your gorgeous face in the mirror and say out loud:

"I am a good person, eager and ready to do a great job today. Everyone has their problems, but I do not need to own the problems of others. I can be compassionate without having to get down and be over invested in someone else's problems. I am me. I am responsible for my own well-being."

Related: The 4 Mantras of Successful Entrepreneurs

2. Enter smiling

When you enter with happiness, you are releasing endorphins into your bloodstream and healing your own wounds. Whether someone wants to throw demands or insults at you, keep a smile and retain your inner strength. Even if it begins as a forced effort, you will feel the positive impact within moments.

3. Replenish wisely

When tension hits, the last thing to do is get a cup of java. Coffee has become a comfort food, but it escalates the feeling of anxiety and stress. Try a caffeine-free warm beverage that counteracts stress. There are many to select from. Green tea, without caffeine, is one of my favorites.

Related: 18 Unusual Habits That Boost Your Energy More Than Coffee

4. Use your smartphone wisely

Lunchtime is often when people gather and talk about how the day is going. If the dialogue is productive, great. If not, it can be a genuine drain and escalate what you're feeling in the way of misery on the job. A smartphone offers solutions to all sorts of problems -- apps for music, jokes, meditations, craft projects, YouTube, reaching out to people who are uplifting by watching their videos. Use your phone to relive your angst! The lunch break is yours. Use it well.

5. Allow honesty

The most important step in well-being is self talk. Be very clear in your own head and heart about the situation you find yourself in. You know if the position is healthy or toxic, if you need to extend compassion or remove yourself. Be genuine and tend to what you know you ought to do.

Remember, we all have our own set of problems. We don't need to own those of others.

Related: How to Find Value in Other People's Problems

Deborah Carlin

Social psychologist and author

A social psychologist with clinical training, Dr. Deborah Carlin is an expert in the field of the human condition and self-development, and has helped individuals and guided leaders and corporations to become the best version of themselves.  She is the author of Build the Strength Within: Create the Blueprint for Your Best Life Yet (SelectBooks).

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