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Make Any Job Less Stressful

Make Any Job Less Stressful

Heather Boerner | HotJobs

“Don’t hold your breath” is a cliche for a reason. When people are stressed, they literally forget to breathe, says Jeffrey Brantley, director of mindfulness-based stress reduction at Duke University’s Center for Integrative Medicine and a coauthor of “Five Good Minutes at Work: 100 Mindfulness Practices to Help You Relieve Stress and Bring Your Best to Work.”

Even taking a few minutes to breathe deeply can calm your body’s stress-spurred flight-or-fight response.

First things first
“You cannot get control of your stress without getting control of yourself physically,” says Karissa Thacker, a Delaware-based management psychologist.

So go back to basics:

• Sleep. Your body may need more rest to deal with the stress.
• Avoid excess. “Stress is a physiological phenomenon that is immediately increased by lots of sugar or alcohol, which stress the system,” says Thacker.
• Move your body. You don’t have to train for a marathon. Even taking the dog for a walk will help clear your mind.

Change your pattern
Try this: talk to someone at work you haven’t visited in a while. Go out to lunch if you usually eat at your desk. Introduce yourself to someone new. Do something to interrupt the usual cycle of stress and anxiety.

“Humans are routinized creatures,” Thacker says. “Upset the routine, and you will also unfreeze the thought and emotional patterns that are keeping you constantly worked up.”

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