Casual man looking fatigue while working with computer in dark office alone.
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How to combat workplace stress before it begins to seriously impact you

12 Oct 2018

Workplace stress can have a hugely negative impact on both your professional and personal life. Here are ways that you can keep yourself on an even keel during the most taxing times in your working life.

Workplace stress is a bit of a necessary evil in the professional world. No one has an entirely stress-free job and it’s a question of when, not if, your workday leaves you feeling fried and on edge from time to time.

If this level of workplace stress is a regular occurrence, you may need to consider a new place of work or a new industry entirely. That said, work is going to be sometimes stressful even if you absolutely adore your job.

When the brain is stressed, as neuroscientist Daniel Levitin explained in a 2015 TED talk, it is not functioning at an optimum level. “[Stress] releases cortisol that raises your heart rate, it modulates adrenaline levels and it clouds your thinking.”

None of these conditions are conducive to clear thinking. “Cortisol is toxic and causes cloudy thinking … a whole bunch of systems shut down,” Levitin explained. However, times of stress in the workplace are the times that, more than ever, you need to be able to bring your best professional self to the situation.

If stress is so heavily rooted in biology, is there a workaround? Yes, if you follow some of the excellent advice from the infographic below, provided by Pound Place.

What Levitin calls a “pre-mortem” can essentially be summed up by the famous adage, ‘Always be prepared’. If you plan ahead and try to come up with strategies to combat situations that you can foresee before they arise, you’ll have put a plan in place before the physical side effects of stress take hold.

You can’t foresee every potential instance of workplace stress, however. So, when you find your anxiety levels beginning to bubble over, focus on your breathing. It may seem like pretty bootless advice, but regulating your breathing is proven by scientific studies to calm your brain.

For some more advice on keeping your head above water even when workplace stress hits, check out the infographic below.

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Eva Short
By Eva Short

Eva Short was a journalist at Silicon Republic, specialising in the areas of tech, data privacy, business, cybersecurity, AI, automation and future of work, among others.

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