6 Habits To Help You Ride The (Inevitable) Waves Of Work Stress

Working really hard inevitably means stress. But it shouldn't go unaddressed. Instead, use these six habits to help manage it.

While it's obvious that negative life changes lead to stress, psychologists have found the positive changes load up our stress levels as well. According to one well-known scale, experiencing outstanding personal achievement is more stressful than having trouble with your boss or taking on a mortgage.

Maybe that's why the entrepreneurial set is prone to panic attacks: Whether we're going through the trough of sorrow or peak experiences, the volatility we invite into our lives can be tough to deal with.

Which is why we need all the help we can get. Writing on the OPEN Forum, author Bruna Martinuzzi surveys a range of factors to help us better navigate our cognitive kerfuffles.

1) Step away from the Internets

We knew our phones were stifling our creativity. Turns out they're taking our well-being, too: British studies suggest that the more time you spend combing through social media on your devices, the more likely you are to feel anxious and overwhelmed. So put the phone down.

2) Mind your diet

Yogurt reduces stress—really. Also, Martinuzzi notes, taking the right vitamins can help too: Dietary inadequacies cause a decline in the function of enzymes, which can cumulatively influence our mood states. Vitamins and minerals come to the rescue by regulating biochemical processes in the brain that affect mood.

3) Mind your mind

Turns out that anxiety is often just your mind wandering around. To be less anxious, then, we can learn to train it, same as we'd train a puppy.

4) Build your relationships

A gigantic body of research links the quality of our relationships to the quality of our physical and emotional health. The more we invest in our relationships, says social science, the more resilient we become.

5) Listen to music

Your playlist can make you more productive. And gentle songs can sooth a savage pain receptor.

6) Get some exercise

As John Coates notes in The Hour Between Dog and Wolf, the amount of exercise you get predicts the amount of emotional discomfort you can handle. So that's another reason we all need to work out—luckily it only takes seven minutes.

Hat tip: OPEN Forum

[Image: Flickr user Montse PB]

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  • Laurie Erdman

    Oh please. You didn't suggest yogurt did you?  As someone who helps people improve their performance and focus, dairy is one of the evils. It causes congestion and mucus, as well as distracting aches and pains (and no I'm not even referring to lactose intolerance). There are much better and nutritious foods on which to fuel the growth of a fast growing company.  Kale with its high doses of muscle relaxing magnesium is a far better choice.

  • Dan

    Actually Laurie, kale is surprisingly low in magnesium - spinach, almonds, and hemp seeds are far better sources

  • Laurie Erdman

     Good point Dan. Raw cacao is even better. Dairy however is still a loser in my book.

  • Cher Holton

    Great article! Even though we may "know" this stuff, most of us are not practicing it on a regular basis. And I have found that leaders who know how to handle their own stress are not only more effective; they see incredible results among their team members as well! Thanks, Drake!