Stress is difficult to avoid in the workplace – whether you’re working alone or as part of a team. A study by the Health and Safety Executive in the UK found that 12.5 million working days were lost due to work-related stress, depression or anxiety.
In the US, 40% of workers said that their job was very or extremely stressful and 25% said that their job was the number one stressor in their lives.
Tania Diggory (pictured below) of Calmer works with businesses and entrepreneurs to help them be mindful at work.
In the past, Tania struggled with stress while setting up a new business. She previously ran an international events company and found it difficult to cope in the early days.
“In the transitional phase at the beginning, I was struggling to manage my own wellbeing. It was a bit more than I had mentally prepared myself for,” she says.
At the time she was also experiencing a few personal issues: “I wasn’t really looking after myself and I kept working, working, working. I ended up going through depression, anxiety and panic attacks for a year on and off.
“I didn’t really know that was what I was going through at the time – I just thought I was feeling ill.”
Tania got through it doing research about how she was feeling, building up her own support system and getting coaching in Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP). She also spent some time learning about wellbeing and what worked for her. “I haven’t had a panic attack in three years,” she says.
She believes that it’s important to put your wellbeing at the heart of your work, whether you’re an entrepreneur or working for a company and says that there are lots of ways to “self-coach” yourself through difficult days.
Read on for our tips for coping with stress at work.
- How to be a mindful parent and stay calm when life feels stressful
- 6 ways to be kind to yourself and break your bad habits
- Mindful deep reading – the health benefits of reading novels
How to manage your stress at work
- Identify your triggers. Can you identify what is causing your stress? It could be that email notifications popping up are a source of anxiety or that you’re not managing your workload.
- Think about your ‘stress container’. Imagine your body as a container – a little stress can actually motivate you, but too much cortisol (the stress hormone) will trigger the fight or flight mode in your brain. It’s a good visual way to think about your stress levels at any time.
- What are your choices? Look at a stressful situation objectively and think about the steps you can take to address the problem or prevent it happening again.
- Make use of mindfulness – read our tips for mindfulness at work.
- Meditate to ease panic attacks – these apps for meditation might help.
Read more related articles about mindfulness:
You can listen to a talk by Tania Diggory at the Mindful Living Show on 1-2 June.