Even More Ways To Manage Stress At Work.

"Finally", I hear you say, "He is coming to an end with suggesting things to do at work to manage my stress levels!" These last few suggestions focus on your emotional brain, the most important part as far as I’m concerned. 

Look Forward - When sitting at your desk feeling low, usually between 2 and 3 in the afternoon, lift your spirits by thinking of something exciting coming up. It could be something that you are going to do after work, that night, or in the weekend. If you have a vacation coming up, or planning one, think of that.

Fond Memories -  I speak a lot about always being in the moment and looking forward for a very good reason, it helps us to focus on the positive. However, you can look back provided you are only looking back in time to learn from your mistakes or to think of positive memories. For some reason which research is still working on, the only positive memory we hold in any great detail is holidays. So, if you can't think of something positive coming up, think of the fun you had while on your last holiday.

Give Something - Altruism is a powerful tool for supporting your emotional brain, giving something. Help someone at work who is struggling, start a fundraiser, or perhaps volunteer to tidy a part of the office that everyone avoids.

Smile - Smiling has an amazing impact on your brain. There are muscles on either side of your face that are unique, they send a signal to your brain that you are happy. Hence the saying in call centres, 'Smile before you dial', it changes your attitude and your voice.

Hugging - Careful with this one, appropriate hugs please. Hugging - just like talking, smiling and giving - is part of our socialisation system that we need as humans to bond with each other. We are social creatures and need social bonding to support our emotional selves.

Keep a positive diary - Some experts will say that you should write down things that annoy you across the day so that you can find a pattern of behaviour to avoid those things in the future. In my humble opinion this is the wrong thing to do because we know that writing things down imprints the message in your brain. Why not write down the good things that happen to you across the workday and find the positive pattern so you can do more of what makes you happy.

Set Goals - Setting short and long term goals gives us something to aim for and keeps us focused on what we want to achieve. Personal goals don't necessarily have to be SMART - Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound - they can be as broad as you want them to be. 

Spiritual Practices - I've saved the best for last. In order to keep our brain under control and focus our mind so that we only hear a good voice inside of our head (yes, we all have one), we must totally focus the brain for as many periods across the day as we can. Prayer is good, meditation is good, thinking only about positive thoughts is good, visualisation is also good. For men, in particular, who may have trouble with the aforementioned suggestions, reading action fiction novels has been found to be beneficial for the emotional brain. 

I encourage you to go back over the posts from the last three days, choose just one technique that resonates with you, and concentrate on that. Don't overwhelm your brain with lots of things all at once, your brain is uncomfortable with change and hates surprises. After a week or two, introduce another technique, and so on.

There are lots of things that you can do to help yourself to deal with stress. Know that if you don't start taking control of things within your control, such as your thoughts, you may end up regretting it in the future.

So what have you go to lose except stress…