How To Handle Stress At Work

How To Handle Stress At Work


I’m going to give you a top 10 countdown
today for how to handle stress at work. And spoiler alert, firing your boss
doesn’t come in till number 5. We spend a lot of our life at work. So how to handle
stress at work is going to be really important as we take on the top 10.
Number 10 “Stop working”. Duh!
Then you wouldn’t have any stress at work, right? Wait a minute
Dr. Paul, you can’t tell me to just quit my job. Right. That’s not what I’m saying.
here’s the psychological piece to this It’s an option to stop working. Now, why
would that be important? Because you’re choosing to be there.
Think about it. When I say, “well, stop working.” You’re like, “I can’t stop working
I need the income. I got to have the paycheck.” Right. Yeah, but it’s an option. And if you
stopped you’d lose all of those great benefits that you have from working. See
it as a choice and the stress level changes. So, I’m not saying that you
should quit your job. I’m saying consider that this is actually a choice. Number 10,
stop working or at least consider it. Now, coming in at number 9 today is “self-care”.
Take care of yourself. What you do outside of work matters, a whole lot. So
if you’re going home from work or if you’re taking all of your work home with
you, then what kind of a break are you getting at home? Self-care means that
you’re going to have some appropriate recreational activities planned for
after work or for on the weekend. You’re going to spend some time exercising,
you’re going to hang out with people you love, you’re going to interact with your
family and with your friends, you’re going to do a little work in the yard. Take
care of yourself, that’s huge and it will change the way you experience stress at
work. Number 8. “Focus on the big picture” What is it that
you’re doing at work? Why is all this effort necessary? What are you making? I
was walking across campus as an undergraduate at BYU. One of the legends
at BYU is Professor Hugh Nibley and he was walking along with me. I was
walking next to this amazing man who knows so much and he blows me away with
his intellect. And he stopped and looked at some smokestacks that were there near
the campus. And he said, “what is it that we’re making that’s worth all of that
smoke?” This is a great way to get that perspective. Get the big picture. What is
it that I’m making that’s worth all of this smoke, all of this stress, all of
this effort that I put in everyday? Think about what the end result is of your
work and as you focus in on that big picture it’s likely to help you handle
the stress that you’re handling right now. I’m thinking of a cartoon that I saw
once with two Stonecutters hanging on their scaffolds, chipping away at this
rock wall to cut stone out of this wall. And the one guy says, “man, this is
terrible that I have to cut this stone every day and it’s hard and he’s
whacking away at his chisel” And the other one is just kind of whistling
while he works as he says, “man, I’m building a cathedral.” See? Big picture
makes a difference in how you experience stress at work. Number seven,
“take breaks”. If you get stuck in a trap of just working, working, working, working,
working. No breaks. You’re going to get stressed out. This is not a brain
friendly kind of a thing to do. So, taking breaks, now what I mean is brain friendly
breaks. Example, sometimes people take a break at work they got ten minutes, right?
They grab their coffee and they go to their social media feed.
I’m not saying that either coffee or social media is a bad thing. What I’m
saying is you want a brain friendly break. Social media tends to engage some
of the same parts of our brain that we’re already using in our job. You want
to get up walk around. Do something physical, go outside, take a nap. These are
the kinds of things that are going to support your brain functioning and
actually help you to recharge it, so that you can reduce the amount of stress that
you’re having on the job. Number six, already kind of slipped it in.
“Take a nap.” This might be something choose during your break. But here’s the
thing. I included it as its own item here on the top ten list because of the
social taboos that are out there around taking a nap. It makes it seem like, “oh,
you’re being lazy.” No you’re not. You’re doing a brain friendly activity that is
going to reduce your amount of stress and actually make you more efficient on
the job. Here in my office, I have a couch. It’s right over there.
It’s got pillows on it. It’s soft and yeah, my clients will sit there and visit
with me. But guess what happens? if I’ve got a few extra minutes or a missed
appointment, oh yeah, I am kicking back. I take off my shoes, I laid out on my couch
and I’ll take maybe 10 minutes, maybe 15 minutes for a little power nap and when
I come back from that nap, I am so refreshed. It helps me to manage the
stress of a job that I love but that demands a lot from me, emotionally and
intellectually. So, those naps are one way that you can do this. Now, here’s one that
some people really love. Fire your boss! Number 5, “Fire your boss”. Now you might
choose to literally do this or to just consider it as an option. It’s kind of
like that first one number 10 when we talked about stop working. Fire
your boss is something that you could do and it doesn’t necessarily mean that
you’re going to quit. Now, where this gets really tricky, is if you
are your own boss. That’s the situation with me. I don’t have a boss that I
answer to. I am him. What would it mean if I fired me as my boss? You know what, I
have done this a few times just in the last year and of course, I’m still here
and I’m still running my practice. But I fired myself as the boss over certain
things. The production of these videos for example. Nate Woodbury of Be the Hero
studios is sitting right over, there. He’s running the camera. I fired myself from
video production because I suck at it. But he rocks at it. So do you see what I
mean? You can fire your boss even if you’re your own boss, I took myself out
of that position, put him into that position and my stress level, went way
down. I also fired myself from answering my phone and running my calendar and
sorting through my inbox. That’s what Cindy does. She’s brilliant
at it. I’m not so much. I fired my boss. Do you see what I’m saying? There’s a lot of
ways you can get out of your own way and reduce the stress level and that
actually helps to give other people a nice way to make a living too. Pretty great
idea. Let’s move on to number 4. “Do the hard stuff first” I think it was Steven
Covey that used to talk about eating a live frog first thing every morning and
then nothing else that happens to you all day long is going to seem quite so bad.
Well, you’ve got a whole list of things that you need to do right for your job?
There’s things that are expected or things that are on your task list. Pick
the hardest stuff and do that first. Because then it gets easier not harder.
And psychologically, what a gift. Do the hard stuff first. Coming in at number 3
on our list is to “connect socially”. This is where you
acknowledge the other people in your environment because you’re not alone, are
you? What if you have a job where you do work alone. I’m betting that even if you
work alone, you got to interact with some people at some point, in some way. Get to
know the people that you interact with. Even if it’s the delivery guy. Get to
know them. These are real people and they have some kind of a vested mutual
interest in your success. That’s why they’re around you. Get to know them as
people. Where do they live? What does their life look like? Do they have a
family? What are their interests? Social connection in the workplace has been
shown to reduce stress. Number two on our list for managing stress at work, is to
“breathe”. I know you breathe all day, every day. In and out. I get it. I’m talking
about taking an intentional approach to calming your body and your brain through
focused breathing. There’s other forms of meditation and mindfulness that could be
useful here. The quickest way I know to get there is
simply to breathe, pay attention to your breathing. You know what, a lot of the
fitness wristbands, the Fitbit, Apple watch, things like that. Have an app
installed on them that allow you to do this. To focus on your breathing. Just pay
attention to it. Stop for a minute or two and simply
watch your breathing. Now, there’s other things you can do as well with breathing
like, I like this particular exercise. In through the nose, nice deep breath and
hold it for maybe 5-10 seconds and then out through the mouth. Nice and slow.
Restrict the flow. Take about twice as long to exhale
as you did the inhale. Do a few of those and see how you’re feeling. This has a natural
calming effect on the brain and helps you to manage stress better. Breathe. Now,
coming in at number 1. No surprises here folks, “positivity”. Positivity. How you
look at your life matters. Your perception has a huge impact on
what kind of stress you experience. In your work. Also in your relationships, in
your finances, everything is affected by your attitude and it’s a choice. Keep
watching the videos on this channel to develop that positivity. It’s the number
one thing you can do to manage stress. So works going to go a lot better now that
you’re handling the stress. Come back tomorrow we’ll have some more great
content for you here at Live on Purpose TV.

7 Replies to “How To Handle Stress At Work”

  1. I love all your videos and how you take more complex ideas and present them with such clarity and humor. Just wanted to comment that the author of "Eat That Frog" is Brian Tracy.

  2. I love this video, maybe I’ve heard these suggestions hundreds of times, but never so convincingly. I like the way you deliver your message. Good job!!

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