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About to Blow? 5 Ways to Keep Calm During Stressful Days at Work

Work can be hectic. Here are 5 things you can do to make work more manageable (and even enjoyable)!

Work can be hectic.

An annoying boss, gossipy coworkers, office politics, deadlines, micromanagement, and a million other things.

While things seem difficult now, they will get better if you follow these 5 steps.

1. Focus on one thing at a time.

Too often, we like to spend work multitasking. While most people praise their ability to watch Netflix, eat, and fill out this month’s expense reports – it’s something you should try to avoid at all costs.

Despite what you might believe, humans are terrible at multitasking. Why? We aren’t designed to focus on more than one thing at a time. In fact, if we have Netflix on one screen and “work” on the next. We aren’t actually focusing on them both at the same time. Instead, we are switching our focus repeatedly from one thing to the next. So fast, it may not be noticeable – but it’s still occurring.

When you have a task to do, stop everything and focus on getting it done. Put your phone away. Close the 27 tabs on Chrome. And work. I bet you’d be surprised at how much work you get done when your focus isn’t divided.

2. White noise

This one kind of piggy-backs off the first point. Because our attention is constantly being ripped from the task at hand, we need to do everything we can to stay focused.

And the office is one of the most distracting places on earth. Water cooler chatter, people on the phone, giggling, your deskmate eating right next to you, and much more.

To get rid of all of that, try white noise. It can be instrumental music, nature sounds, and even artificial white noise (like this):

One thing to stay away from is music with lyrics. It acts as a form of white noise, but if there are lyrics and if the tone varies too harshly, it leaves you vulnerable to breaking your focus to listen. If the whole point is to keep your mind clear of things that take your attention away or annoy you, then it may be best to ditch Nicki Minaj and stick with music without lyrics.

3. Meditate

Even when your productivity soars because of white noise and only focusing on one thing at a time, that doesn’t mean your workday will be void of stressful situations.

Maybe you have to make an uncomfortable phone call with a client, you have a very aggressive deadline, or your boss wasn’t pleased with the latest proposed you issued.

Stress is unavoidable, but often times it lingers far longer than it should.

To avoid stress, try meditation. When people here about mediation, their first reaction is “yeah, yeah, but what are some other methods – meditation is a bunch of hoopla.”

No, it’s not. There have been A LOT of studies conducted on meditation that have concluded that it’s an amazing way to relieve stress, anxiety, depression. Let me share some of them with you.

A study with 3,515 participants concluded that meditation improves anxiety and depression.

In an eight-week study, meditation reduced the inflammatory response caused by stress.

In a large study with 2,466 participants showed that meditation had promise to reduce anxiety levels.

If you’re stressed out a lot or you find your mind continually being flooded with anxiety, give meditation a serious shot. Pick up a book on meditation and try it every day for a month.

4. Ditch the fluorescent lighting

For some, fluorescent lighting can cause headaches, migraines, and eye strain. Trying to deal with the stress of work is difficult enough when you feel good, but is almost unbearable when you feel like garbage.

If you have the ability to, try switching to a different type of bulb or even use natural light. Also, ask if you can move desks to a much less lit area of the office. Give it a couple of weeks to see if you notice any difference in the way you feel.

And if your management team isn’t flexible in the slightest, consider getting some fluorescent light glasses. These types of glasses actually have a special tint that filters out the harmful light from ever reaching your eyeballs.

5. Get healthy

And while it may have taken some convincing for you to believe that meditation is the real deal, I doubt it’s the same with health in general.

If you’re healthy, you feel good. Bad days aren’t so bad. Good days are even better. And stress, anxiety, and depression are usually too weak to really take a hold on you.

If you have tons of energy because you’ve been exercising every day, it’ll be much easier to get through your workday. If you go through an entire day without a headache because you stopped eating processed sugar and spent the month eating a of serving vegetables with every meal, then you may not be so stressed about that deadline.

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