3 Ways That Being Stressed Out Slows You Down at Work and in Life (and what to do about it)
Oct 14, 2019
Does this sound familiar....?
Alerts pinging you from your email and phone, the world's longest to do list, clients sending in bizarre requests, sessions to be at and others to plan for, with no end in sight. You might even be clocking mad overtime hours and taking your work home with you, giving you no downtime to recover.
Stress at this level can be absolutely crippling to your performance, health, and ultimately your happiness, plus it's one of the biggest threats to work place productivity.
While some stress is helpful because it lights a fire under your booty to motivate you to take action, chronically high levels of stress can lead to burnout, chronic fatigue, insomnia, anxiety, and depression. Plus, stress is a risk factor for every major chronic disease!
A quarter of all Americans feel that their job is the most stressful part of their life!
This means that it is absolutely important that we become aware of some of the telltale signs that you or someone you work with might be getting stressed to the max.
While symptoms of chronic stress can vary from person to person, here are some things to keep an eye for both in yourself and your team mates:
1) Ongoing health issues or low energy levels:
When your body interprets something as stressful it begins to pump out high levels of cortisol and adrenaline. Back in the day, running away from the sabertooth tiger would have brought those levels back down, but now with no tigers around (thankfully) these levels often stay elevated which can often leave you dealing with:
- chronic tension in the neck, shoulders or lower back
- creeping weight gain, leaving you feeling sluggish
- high blood pressure and cholesterol levels
- weakened immune system leaving you more prone to colds and flus
2) Distracted and forgetful:
Being stressed to the max can often leave someone feeling overwhelmed and scattered. When trying to tackle everything on the to do list, you might find yourself jumping restlessly from task to task. Ironically, multitasking actually slows you down and stresses out your brain because it's forced to switch back and forth constantly between tasks.
Chronically high levels of stress can also impact the quality of your work, effect your memory, make it hard to learn new things and make good decisions.
3) Always feeling irritable and cranky with self, co-workers, friends and family
Have you noticed yourself avoiding interactions with team members or friends and family? Being stressed out can leave you feeling extra sensitive, anxious or frustrated which can easily take a toll on any relationship, whether at work or home.
This is especially important to watch for in team environments! If you notice that team members are avoiding each other or aren't taking part in usual discussions or meetings it might be time to share some stress relieving and managing techniques.
Did any of these sound familiar? Here are some easy tips to bring to work with you to help you keep your stress level down so that your health, happiness and performance levels stay up:
- Take short movement breaks throughout the day: It may seem counter-intuitive to take breaks, but according to research from Georgia State University, the brain can only focus for 45-50 minutes at a time. In order for it to regain focus, it needs novelty and downtime to process information at high speeds again. They also serve to energize your body and mind for less tension and better focus!
- Stay on one task until you are finished with it: As much as you can, avoid hopping back and forth between tasks and browsers. Doing so actually is much less stressful for your brain since it can stay in one context until you're done with it. Your brain also loves crossing things off the to do list, so completing tasks actually releases a surge of dopamine which gives you feelings of accomplishment, satisfaction, and happiness
- Train yourself to take deep breaths: Slouching over a keyboard makes it hard for your body to breathe properly so it is forced to take short, shallow breaths. Since this is the way we breathe when we are under stress it triggers the same response in your body: MORE STRESS! Make it a bait by finding something that you do frequently throughout the day and while you are doing it take slow, deliberate deep breaths. Bonus points if you can take short breathing breaks so that all you are doing for a few minutes is relaxing tension and breathing deeply!
Stress is exhausting for the mind and can wreak havoc on your body and health…..if you aren’t taking steps to manage it.
With over 14 years of experience as a personal trainer and yoga instructor, I have helped 100’s of clients deal with the stress, aches, pains, and challenges of spending long hours at a desk. And as a writer and entrepreneur myself, I know what its like to have been on the computer for long hours, which can leave me sore, stressed and sleepy if I'm not aware of my posture and taking regular Yoga Breaks.
Want to learn how to take Yoga Breaks right at your desk to ease tension, feel stronger, have more energy and stay energized and focused all day? Click HERE to grab a 10 minute video you can do right at your desk to get rid of tech neck so you sit, stand and walk taller with more confidence!