16 Office stress busting strategies

Life can sometimes feel hectic and overwhelming. So here are 16 stress busting strategies to help you and your colleagues stay calm, focused and effective at all times.

1. Accept that stress is part of life’s rich tapestry

There's a possibility that life might not always be plain sailing. There are times when we need to push out of our comfort zone to grow and develop. This can lead to feelings of anxiety or stress but will also usually result in some positive change or improvement in life. Embrace it, don't fight it.

2. Understand what feelings of stress mean

The stress response is a sign that we feel out of control in some element of our routine and that we need to take action to re-establish this balance. Once you are in the habit of responding appropriately to feeling stressed, you will feel calmer, sooner.

When stress strikes, take a moment to isolate the trigger and at least one corresponding positive thought or action that you can put into practice right away that will address the situation.

3. Redefine Stress Management

Managing stress does not necessarily mean eliminating stress. The key to success is to know how far you are willing to move out of your comfort zone and how often you are willing to do this. You can then manage how quickly you make progress through life without ever feeling overwhelmed.

4. Be a Team Player

Just as others may cause you stress, so you may cause stress for those around you. Pause for a moment and think about what you do that could cause stress for others. Then consider alternative approaches. If everyone in any team or family asks themselves this question, overall levels of stress are greatly reduced.

5. Change your attitude

Complaining colleagues or pressure situations may be frustrating but can be used to your advantage. Reassure yourself that while relationships may be strained or days can be challenging, every situation you find yourself in will teach you something valuable and you will always be learning new skills and techniques that will help you in the future.

6. Change your environment

Identify what it is that causes you the most stress and do something quickly to avoid these situations. Think about your daily habits and routines at work and what you might do differently.

In what new ways can you organise your day that will prevent you bumping up against people and situations that challenge your energy, effectiveness and mood?

Small adjustments can make a huge difference. Sometimes we're just too busy to think about our day this way so take time to plan and you'll reap the benefits later.

7. Change your approach but no need to reinvent the wheel

If you regularly feel stressed, whatever you are doing now is not working so something has to change. Identify what you’d like to change, find a colleague or friend who is successful in this area of life and model their approach. The way they operate might not provide the full solution for your situation but learning from others always provides new insights that help perfect our own success strategies.

8. Remember the stress response is natural

In the days of the caveman we dealt with it by fighting or fleeing, both of which can be difficult in a work environment. The next best thing is to channel your stress into positive activity - step out of the situation and immerse yourself in an absorbing project or take a short break for some physical movement. You'll instantly feel much calmer

9. Be honest about the lifestyle choices you make

Stress has mental and physical implications. You must be honest about your responses to stress and whether or not they will really help you feel better. Faced with a super busy day ahead, loading up with caffeine and a sugary breakfast will only leave you feeling more stressed. Alternative choices such as porridge or eggs with herbal tea or water will calm your system and help reduce stress levels.