Combat workplace stress

Prevent workplace stress with these simple tactics.

  • Take active breaks from work or niggling problems to let your brain get its stuff together. Try getting up and walking away from the site of the problem; you may just have an ‘aha’ moment.
  • Fix your posture. Standing tall can boost confidence and tell colleagues you’re on your game.
  • Curate facial expressions – not so much to send a message to others as to fire up feelgood neural networks. Smiling activates the pathways your brain associates with feeling happy; fake it ’ til you make it.
  • Stage dress rehearsals. If you’re giving a nerve-jangling preso, practice in the conditions you’ll face on the day. Recruit trusted colleagues so you’re used to dealing with interruptions or reactions that could otherwise throw you.
  • Journal. Physically scribbling your worries can boost performance and downplay stress.
  • Exercise outside. Even if you’re hellbent on lifting heavy, make one or two workouts a walk outdoors, which has been shown to improve attention and focus.
  • Meditate. Even a few minutes a day can quell anxiety and strengthen self-control.

Writer: Human performance expert Prof Sian Beilock, from her book How the Body Knows Its Mind.

Next: Learn how to switch off after work.

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