Dealing with stressed people takes a lot of skill including not becoming stressed ourselves!
In this article, we briefly outline some strategies for minimising stress in a fast paced workplace.
1. Building resilience
Resilience is the ability to make disciplined decisions about our behaviour, actions and wellbeing (physical and psychological). We can build resilience by:
- practicing mindfulness;
- taking responsibility for our decisions and actions (including choosing to respond and not react to situations and to work from ‘above the line’);
- having clarity around our values and beliefs and ensuring our actions are aligned;
- building new neural pathways;
- exercising and a healthy diet; and
- encouraging positive thinking and absence of negative comments (to name a few).
2. Building professional boundaries
By building professional boundaries, we are less likely to experience social pain and therefore less likely to be in an emotional state of being. We are more likely to experience stress when we are exposed to pain and/or experience other negative emotions.
Being open to the perspective of others and occasionally ‘sitting outside’ of a situation means there is less likelihood that we will be impacted by the other person’s stress reactions and emotions.
3. Understanding our differences in the way we communicate, work, make decisions and relate to others
Sometimes these are called ‘personality clashes’ but really they are just differences in how we prefer to do things at work. Understanding these differences and knowing how to work effectively with people who have a different style will minimise stress for you and them.
4. Remaining assertive, confident and constructive at work
Showing empathy, attention and respect to others will minimise their negative reactions towards you and therefore decrease the occurrence of stressful situations at work. Actively listening and asking thoughtful questions to clarify issues and show you wish to understand and help them also contributes to a constructive interaction.
5. Stress management
Don’t wait until you feel stressed before you practice activities designed to help your mind and body de-stress. Making pleasurable and relaxing activities part of your daily routine pays huge dividends in terms of health, well-being and productivity.
Some suggestions include:
- taking a 10 min break to walk in the fresh air;
- feeling the warmth of the sun on your body;
- slowly savouring a good cup of tea/coffee (and concentrating on this sensation and not chatting or being distracted by something/someone else);
- doing some juggling with a small soft ball;
- laughing; and
- listening to music.
Most importantly – remember to set your alarm to ensure that you regularly take uninterrupted time to BREATHE slowly and deeply. Adding mindfulness and an exercise around compassion or gratitude helps you to achieve even greater outcomes with this activity!
For further suggestions or support to improve workplace relations & interactions, communication or leadership or to minimise conflict at work contact us.