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When your phone never seems to stop ringing, your inbox fills up quicker than you can reply to messages, and you barely have time to eat lunch, it’s no wonder you may end up feeling stressed. Related: 7 Ways College Students Can Manage Stress Effectively Signs of stress can include rapid heartbeat, headache, muscle aches, fatigue, shortness of breath, feeling powerless, sudden mood changes, or changes in appetite. Stress may also lead to decreased work productivity and interpersonal difficulties with your colleagues.

How To Stop Work Stress In 5 Ways

Despite the stress you may encounter at work, you can learn to manage stress so that you can be more productive and have healthier relationships with your colleagues. Here are five tips to try right now to stop work stress:

1. Prioritize

It’s easy to become overwhelmed when you feel like you don’t have enough time in the day to check off all of the items on your ‘to-do” list. Determine which things you must absolutely do today and focus on those. Don’t try to take on all of the tasks by yourself, though. Instead, delegate tasks to others whenever possible.

2. Clear Clutter

Working in a disorganized space can make it hard for you to focus and can leave you feeling unmotivated. You may also waste time trying to locate items you need to complete an assignment. Throw out things you no longer need and make sure everything you need to do your work is easily accessible. Once your work area is clear, it may also help to decorate your work space with images that represent peace and tranquility. You can find images online or in a magazine.

3. Change Your Atmosphere

Temporarily remove yourself from a stressful situation and go somewhere that is calmer. Consider taking a walk and focus on the present moment, not what you need to get done when you get back to work. If you can’t get out of your building, visit the staff lounge or another floor where you have supportive colleagues. Taking a break is likely to leave you feeling refreshed when you return to work.

4. Re-Fuel

Make time to eat lunch and healthy snacks. Instead of working while you eat, consider a technique called mindful eating which can help you enjoy being in the present moment. Practice mindful eating by taking the time to focus on the texture, appearance, smell, and taste of your food. Aside from working on an empty stomach, lack of sleep can also make stressful situations tougher to manage. If you can, consider taking a short nap that is no more than 20 to 30 minutes.

5. Practice Deep Breathing

Stress can lead to shallow breathing which can perpetuate a cycle of anxiety. To prevent this from happening, consider deep breathing also known as diaphragmatic breathing. Sit or lie down comfortably and place your hand on your stomach. Inhale through your nose until you feel the hand on your stomach rise. Your chest will also rise slightly, but not as much as your stomach. Then, depending on what feels most comfortable, breathe out through your mouth or nose as you feel the hand on your stomach move inwards. Repeat until you feel calmer. Although there are times when you may feel stressed at work, you can learn to manage stress by focusing on what you can change right now. However, seek help from a qualified mental health professional such as a psychologist if you have unremitting stress that interferes with your ability to function at work.

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