Three Ways to Reduce Workplace Stress


negative coworker.jpgDo you feel as though the stress levels in your workplace seem to have escalated over the last ten years or so? It’s not your imagination. Here are three things you can do to help deal with it:

1. Change our environment
Don’t underestimate the impact that external stimuli has on your mood. Images, colors, sounds and even geometrical shapes play a significant role on our emotional states. The growing mountain of research (e.g., Wexner, 1954; Schaie, 1961, 1962; Kreitler & Kreitler, 1972, Adams & Osgood, 1973; Byrnes, 1983, etc.) keeps reinforcing how much control we actually have over our attitudes at work. Want to feel more happy & positive? Decorate your workspace in combinations of blues, greens & pinks. Make sure the dominant shapes and patterns are curves – no sharp angles – with lines moving upward from left to right. Have background music, not too loud, with higher pitches and a fast rhythm. Whatever you do, stay away from dominant black or green-yellow colors; irregular, sharp-angled and jagged patterns; and grunge or rap music – they can take you from edgy to angry. (You can find more details about how we can work with our environment in Winning with the Caller from Hell)

2. Create a new morning routine
Research shows that chronic workplace stress typically begins at the beginning of workday, then escalates as the day progresses. Interrupt the pattern by creating a new morning routine. Go to a different place for your coffee. Do your administrative work before you check your emails, etc.

3. Become the best at something
Pick one aspect of your job, and set a goal for absolutely mastering it. Maybe it’s time management, maybe it’s information processing, maybe it’s dealing with a certain type of customer or crisis. Study it, research it, read books and go to seminars. The better you get at something, the more confidence you have; and there is no better weapon against stress than confidence!

I hope these help. Have fun!

“Never compromise your standards. Never stop learning. And never stop having fun!”


[This is from the Archive Project – where we are attempting to get 10 years of Winning at Work on the web! Original publication date: 27 March, 2005]

Shaun Belding is CEO of The Belding Group and has been consulting and speaking on customer experience, employee engagement and workplace performance for 23 years

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