5 Ways to Beat Work-Induced Stress
Posted by Casey Nicole on September 18, 2012 at 11:34 AM
The average American employee works nearly 9 hours per day. If you feel like you really need 56 hours in a day just to meet all of your deadlines, then you have a bigger problem than drowning under your inbox: You’re setting yourself up for heart disease.
A new study published online in The Lancet, studied employees under “job strain.” Job strain includes piles of work to do, feeling like you have zero control over your workload, and that you have zero chances at getting a promotion.
The findings revealed that employees who experience job strain are at a 29 percent greater risk of developing heart disease than those without these demands. Even people who had high workloads were actually okay as long as they felt like they had a sense of control over their job.
Strain leads to stress, which increases your blood pressure—the number one risk for heart disease—and could lead to a long list of other heart-damaging side effects, researchers explain.
Are you strained? Answer these two questions:
- Do you feel constantly overloaded at work?
- Do you feel like there’s jack you can do about it?
If yes to both—congratulations!—you have job strain.
Even if you can’t control your workload, you can control how you react to it and prevent the heart-damaging effects of stress.
1. Sweat it Out
Thirty-three minutes of high-intensity exercise helps lower stress levels more than working out at a moderate pace. Plus, the benefits will last as long as 90 minutes afterwards.
2. Take Your Calls Standing Up
The moment you sit down at your desk, your breathing rate goes up 30 percent, your blinking rate goes way down, and you tend to tighten your arms and shoulders without knowing it. The easiest remedy is to change your body position every half hour or so. Simply standing while on the phone can improve bloodflow and ease muscle strain.
3. Visit Jezebel.com
For every hour of work, spend one minute perusing a funny blog. Regular breaks keep you fresh by helping you process and absorb new information and increase your efficiency. During your mini-break, take 10-second breaths—inhale 4 seconds, exhale 6—to bolster your heart’s ability to recover from stress.
4. Follow the 3 Second Rule
The average working professional spends roughly 23 perfect of his or her workday on mail and glances at her inbox about 36 times an hour. Then, it takes an average of over a minute to return to a task once you’ve stopped to read a new email. Allow yourself no more than 3 seconds to decide whether a message is worthy of your immediate attention.
5. Get your Starbucks fix – with Coworkers
Recent research revealed that stressed-out men who turned to coffee by themselves, remained just as nervous and jittery. But, when anxious men got their caffeine fix as part of a group, their feelings of stress subsided.
How do you fight work-related stress? Or is your job not stressful at all? Share your comments below!