How to Beat Workplace Stress

Two Methods:Stress Relief at WorkStress Relief Outside of the Office

People in many professions work well over the usual 40 hour work week and end up bringing workplace stress home with them. Stress is a negative reaction to overwhelming pressures placed on people. Fighting this stress is a personal goal, because most companies do not have the resources to focus on the personal health of their workers. It is important to fight stress as it can lead to decreased productivity, weight gain and unhappiness. Reducing work stress usually happens through a series of changes both during the work day and at home. Try incorporating 1 or more of the steps into your routine each week and you may find yourself happier at work and at home. Read more to find out how to beat workplace stress.

Method 1
Stress Relief at Work

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    Start your day early. Many inspirational speakers and life coaches believe that the key to success in work is starting early rather than staying late. When you arrive early for work, you have fewer people to distract you from your tasks, and you may find that you are productive and less tense.
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    Create realistic goals. Surveys show that protectionism is a high goal amongst professional women and managers. Lowering your expectations to small sets of reasonable goals will lower the anxiety that comes from not achieving a high, unattainable goal.
    • One of the keys to meting out perfectionism is understanding that mistakes are common. They can also have positive consequences, allowing you to change your course of action before it is too late. Recognize your mistakes and learn from them, instead of denying them.
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    Use a to-do list or calendar to simplify your goals. Each person works slightly differently, but each worker can also learn to prioritize the main workplace goals from the things that can be done in time. Use a calendar, a pen and pad, an organizer, a pocket calendar, or anything that will help to get the stress out of your head and organized in a simplified manner.
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    Avoid gossip and complaints. Voicing occasional grievances and annoyances can cause a negative, stressful attitude in the workplace. If you work with people who do this often, try to abstain.
    • By avoiding constant complaining, you may be more aware of major grievances. You should take the time to talk with your superiors about unrealistic goals, victimization at work, unfair work practices or salary questions, when necessary. Learn to separate the problems that can be solved and those general annoyances that have little effect on how you conduct your life.
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    Take breaks at work. Sitting for hours on end in an office chair has not only been shown to increase stress, but it can also cause chronic back pain, carpal tunnel, eye strain and more. Remove these health stressors by getting up from your desk every half an hour.
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    Take a lunch break. Get out of the office every day for at least 30 minutes. Get some sunlight, if possible, or take a walk - whatever you find gives you the best stress relief.
    • Some people choose to do yoga during their lunch break. Finding a private place and bringing a yoga mat to work may help you to stretch out muscles that could otherwise cause chronic pain. Yoga has also been shown to concentrate the mind and reduce stress when part of a regular practice. Meditation, breathing exercise or regular massage can also have the same stress relief effects.
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    Take regular vacations. Vacation time is built into most companies so that you can relieve stress caused by work. Although you may find you want to stay longer, the change will help to revive and relieve workplace tension.

Method 2
Stress Relief Outside of the Office

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    Leave your work at the office. Although some professions, such as school teachers, rely heavily on grading after hours, you can probably make a conscious effort to separate work from home life. Ignore work emails and calls.
    • If you telecommute or work from home, it is still important to leave work to certain hours of the day. You can find yourself feeling as though your work day never stops, if you do not turn off the computer or forward telephone calls to your voice mail.
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    Exercise regularly. Health professionals suggest you should get at least 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise per day in order to maintain a healthy heart and lungs. Find a class or exercise you love to do, and the endorphins that you release will reduce the ill effects of stress on the body.
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    Take a class or become a volunteer. Some studies have shown that spending time on yourself directly reduces stress caused by work. This dedication to education or the community will help you feel as though your life is well-rounded, relaxed and more fulfilled.
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    Eat a balanced diet. The tendency during a stressful period is to eat a lot of empty calories and carbohydrates. Plan your snacks and meals ahead of time, so that you have the fuel you need to do your work.
    • Eat or snack before you have any large tasks to accomplish. It is not a good idea to go into a presentation, meeting or important phone call with a completely empty stomach. Your body responds to the good proteins, carbohydrates and healthy fats by giving you the energy you need to excel mentally.
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    Focus on sleeping well. You should dedicate around 8 hours of your night to sleep. Count in 1 hour for relaxing and unplugging your devices before going to bed and 1 hour to wake up.


  • Take time to laugh at least once per day. Find a radio show, podcast, YouTube clip or anything that will help you to relax. Laughter is good for your health.
  • Surround yourself with things you enjoy at work. Put up pictures that make you smile, or decorate with your favorite colors. These small notions can have a positive impact on your mood.
  • If you are very unhappy at work and you are unable to relieve your stress with the above options, it may be time to look for a new job. You can set alerts on Google or Career Builder for similar jobs in your area.

Things You'll Need

  • Healthy food
  • Exercise
  • Schedule or To Do list
  • Walk
  • Yoga, massage or meditation
  • Vacation
  • Sleep
  • Lunch break
  • Work breaks

Article Info

Categories: Workplace Conflicts Coping and Issues