Important stress management techniques
It seems of late that being overly busy, stressed, and overwhelmed has become the “new normal” and in some cases the new in-thing.
When asked how they are almost nobody ever responds detailing how calm, collected, and together they are – how they are flying through their to-do list and how they have their life together. In contrast, it seems that most conversations descend into a comparison of who is busier and whose inbox is the most overwhelming.
The truth is that most feelings of being overwhelmed and the accompanying feelings of anxiety and stress can be managed with a few techniques that are maybe not easy to learn but worth mastering.
Engagement firm InspireMe advises that disengaged employees cost the UK £348 billion a year in absence and lost productivity.
The issue of stress and anxiety in the workplace has been raised by the World Health Organisation and the World Economic Forum of late and employers have been urged to implement a workplace more conducive to mental wellness by implementing safe spaces for employees to take a break and offering gym memberships to make exercising easier.
It’s in your head – but you can manage it
Writing for Forbes, career coach Sara Young Wang agree that “daunting” to-do lists and heavy workloads can lead to feelings of being overwhelmed. She adds that while time management strategies might help by delegating and deleting unnecessary tasks, learning to create boundaries and say “no” more often, it would be better to learn how to manage your feelings and thought processes.
She writes that a fear of bad outcomes can greatly contribute to feelings of anxiety and being overwhelmed. Her advice is to examine the situation you fear closely and study what exactly it is that you fear as this would often expose irrational feelings.
She adds that being faced with uncertainty is also more stressful than a certain negative outcome and advises to think through some actions that you will take if the worst possible thing happened – as this would often greatly reduce feelings of being overwhelmed.
“Just focus on the facts and what’s actually happening right now not what might happen in the future,” Young Wang writes. “There is no life-hack for uncertainty,” she added, “acceptance is the only way to go.”
Young Wang further writes that managing your stress levels is extremely important as high stress levels would, for instance, bar you from coming up with a creative solution to a tough problem. She also advises that it helps to just acknowledge feelings of being overwhelmed and let them go, learning to meditate to help you stay in the present moment, recognize feelings of being overwhelmed for what they are and be gentle and kind to yourself.
There is an app for it
This article has a handy list of mindfulness apps and apps that will teach you how to meditate, like Headspace. “There are apps which challenge you to confront your anxieties. They will give you tasks to do, based on your level of anxiety and particular worries,” the article reads. Meditation can go a long way to help manage stress, elevate happiness and make you more productive. With it being as simple as downloading an app on your phone, there is really no excuse for not taking five minutes to meditate, center yourself and relax.
It might not be a work thing
Writing for Talk Space, Jessica DuBois-Maahs adds that feelings of being overwhelmed at work might not be caused by work stress at all but by problems in other spheres of your life like relationship issues, bad nutrition and not sleeping well, financial distress and insecurity, significant life changes, and personal trauma.
She also stresses that it is possible and very necessary to learn how to control though processes and feelings. These techniques include accepting anxious feelings, reverse thoughts of overwhelm, learn how to breathe and be in the moment and find resources to teach you how to manage your feelings. She emphasizes that if you are not able to do this it would be highly beneficial to seek help from an expert in therapy.
Learning how to deal with it
In an excerpt from Anxiety Gone published on Thrive Global, the authors stress that for negative emotions and beliefs would not help address the situation causing you to feel overwhelmed. They also advise learning to control anxiety by deep breathing and relaxation techniques and improving self-awareness.
“Define exactly what you are worried about and then ask yourself if worrying will help you solve the problem,” the authors wrote. “You can’t prepare for the future by worrying.” They also advise some introspection on the impact worrying has on your own life including your relationships with others, your levels of responsibility and if it has merely become a habit. They urge you to write down the answers to these questions as it would increase self-awareness and also to ask yourself why you choose to worry instead of thinking positively.