Steps You Can Take To Stay Calm At Your Workplace
Staying calm at work is important to performing well at work. When thinking clearly, the mind can come up with some of its best ideas. A calm mind allows us to make new connections and between very different concepts to create something novel.
This aside from the positive effects that staying calm will have on your overall health – after all, work isn’t everything. Being filled with calm and positive emotions at work, and in life, is associated with a longer, happier life, and reduced the instance of disease.
Here are effective ways of achieving this positive, calm state of mind at work:
The first, most important thing you can do to control stress is to set boundaries. This can involve making it known that we’re not available outside working hours (and sticking to it), but it can also manifest in other areas. For example, decline to take on a new project if you know you don’t have the time. Request that deadlines be pushed back or changed when you have too much on your plate. Setting limits with demanding co-workers can also help.
You might be thinking: “All of this is easier said than done.”
We say: that’s fair.
Start with small requests and build the skill from there (yes, setting boundaries is a skill that must be learned like any other!). You’ll find that the people around you are more understanding than you might think. Especially as you become more productive in your increasingly positive and energetic mental state, boundaries will be easier to set.
LOOK AT THE BIG PICTURE
Deal with stress and anxiety at work by looking at the big picture. When having a hard time staying calm, assess the work situation with a different perspective. What’s the worst that can happen if a deadline needs to be adjusted? Is telling a coworker “no” to a request so bad? Look back to past experience: was denying a request ever so bad?
Chances are that it’s not going to be the end of your career, let alone the world. In fact, many will appreciate that you’re setting clear expectations and not making promises you can’t deliver on.
STAY FOCUSED ON SOLUTIONS, NOT PROBLEMS
When pressure is mounting, it can help to stay focused on solutions, not problems. Keep your eye on the bigger goals, and don’t get caught up in the hurdles along the way. When you are confident that you’ll achieve the goal despite the drawbacks, calm naturally settles in.
THE PARETO PRINCIPLE
If you are sweating at work, make sure you aren’t sweating the small stuff. The Pareto principle (also called the “80/20 rule”) is about finding the 20% of the tasks you do throughout the day that produces 80% of your results. Focus on those instead of the small, thankless tasks that don’t matter very much.
BREATHE THROUGH THE STRESS
The next time you’re faced with a stressful situation, take a moment to breathe and set your state of mind before you jump in.
It’s a quick and easy adjustment that resets your state of mind going into a project, and that different state of mind can positively affect your performance and throughout the lifecycle of the project. Just perform the following steps:
- Take five deep breaths in and out. Focus on ‘deep breathing through your belly’ – filling your belly up with breath first, and then your chest.
- As you breathe out, imagine all the stress in your body leaving.
- Smile gently. Don’t worry about how you might feel. Smiling has a positive effect on our moods.
STOP DEMANDING PERFECTION
Finally, stop demanding perfection of yourself. You’re not perfect and that’s okay. We all fail sometimes, and no one expects us to get things right 100% of the time. Whatever you think you may have done wrong at work, it’s not worth the negative lasting on your health and emotional well-being.
Stress can make success and productivity in the workplace challenges, but it doesn’t have to rule our lives. When we are mindful and take steps to keep calm at work, we can easily manage it and be more creative, productive, and happy at work every day. With the multitude of impacts work stress has on the rest of our lives, it’s well worth a try.