It’s a common belief that stress is harmful for our bodies and minds, but stress is actually natural. What’s harmful is how we deal with stress. Finding healthy and sustainable stress-relief methods will help you advance in both your personal and professional lives because when life throws curve balls your way, you’ll know exactly how to cope. Let’s look at a few reasons why healthy stress-relief methods are crucial for your career advancement, and then some healthy ways to relieve stress.
Stress Impacts Your Focus
When you’re stressed at work, your ability to do your best work plummets. Stressed out employees make more mistakes, find it harder to work with other people, and can’t focus on their duties as clearly as those that have their stress and to-do list in check.
It’s no surprise that continued stress can have a detrimental effect on your body. According to Healthline, stress can cause increased depression, insomnia, a weakened immune system, high blood sugar, high blood pressure, stomach aches, a low sex drive, muscle tension, increased heart rates, a higher risk of heart attack, rapid breathing, and heartburn. Stressed out people also are more likely to turn to drugs or alcohol to reduce their stress. If you are one of the many that turn to substances to reduce stress, find help for your addictions.
While all of these might just seem like physical effects on your body, they actually affect your career advancement as well because when you aren’t feeling your best, you won’t perform at your best. Chronically stressed out employees take more sick days, time off work, and are caught in a perpetual catch-22 of falling behind on work because they are stressed and need to take days off, but then this time off causes more stress and an increased workload. Avoid this perpetual cycle by learning stress-relief methods that work for you.
Handling Stress Makes You a More Adaptable Employee
Once you do discover the stress-relief tactics that work for you, you will find that these skills translate to other parts of your work and you will become a more adaptable employee. We all face constant stressors, both at work and at home, and being able to tackle these stressors in a healthy way is a great example of problem-solving. Good problem-solvers are extremely valuable in the workplace because if you can manage your own stress, you can handle anything that comes your way.
Healthy Ways to Relieve Stress
Now that you know some of the many ways that stress plays a role in your work and career advancement, let’s look at a few healthy stress-relief methods that you can practice in and out of the office:
- Start an exercise routine – Time and time again, researchers have shown that exercise is great for both our bodies and our minds. This natural stress reliever will help decrease your stress, anxiety, and even depression. You can start small by just incorporating 30-minute walks or jogs into your day, and then move on to both strength and cardio training to really reap the benefits of exercise.
- Practice meditation – Meditation is a great way to slow your mind down and reduce stress. Try some simple breathing exercises to get started, or put on a guided meditation video. There are thousands of these videos on YouTube and you can sort by duration and skill level (even beginners can enjoy the many benefits of meditation).
- Talk to loved ones – Another great way to relieve stress is to talk it out. If you have a trusting relationship with your boss or coworkers, don’t be afraid to let them know how you’re feeling and see if they can help. You might be surprised how many resources you have available at your job to help with your stress, and all you have to do is reach out.
Managing your stress in the workplace is key to career advancement because when you know how to relieve your stress, you will be more focused on your work, feel better, and show your problem-solving skills and adaptability.