6 Easy Ways To Reduce Stress at Work (And Be Happy) in 2022 (2023)

What’s Your Favorite Way to Reduce Stress at Work?There’s a silent killer in your workplace.

It lurks in the shadows, depleting your energy, sacking your concentration, and shaking your confidence.

Your co-workers talk about it in hushed tones (if at all), and your boss is in denial of its very existence…

Its name?

Stress.

It’s no joke. Countless studies show that excess stress can cause real physical symptoms like headaches, upset stomach, increased blood pressure, chest pain, and trouble sleeping.

That’s not to mention its role in mood disorders like anxiety and depression. In the infographic below, we’ll take a look a look at the alarming costs of workplace stress, the warning signs that you’re too stressed, and 6 simplemethods for reducing stress at work.

OSHA (The Occupational Safety and Health Administration) deemed stress a “hazard of the workplace,” and estimates put the cost of stress at $190 billion a year in annual healthcare bills.

(Video) 6 Ways to Reduce Stress at Work

And it’s not isolated to specific industries – the problem is widespread. 65% of adults say that work is the source of their significant stress.

On top of that, a joint team of Harvard and Stanford researchers looked at data from the General Social Survey and the American Community Survey and found that stressful jobs might actually lower your life expectancy.

The key to learning how to manage stress at work so to keep it at a healthy level and make sure it doesn’t become overwhelming. Easier said than done, right? We’re here to help. Here are 6 tried and true methods for learning how to relieve stress at work – so you can get back to kicking butt.

Before you dive in though, The Assist, a free weekly email trusted by thousands of professionals, suggests the following:

“Take a moment to determine whether the stressful situation is within or beyond your control. Favor emotion-focused coping techniques when a stressful situation is beyond your control. Favor problem-focused coping techniques when a stressful situation is within your control.”

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(Video) How Job Stress Affects Your Health | WSJ

1. Make Time For Workplace Wellness

Your workplace should support your sustained wellbeing throughout the day. Say it again so you don’t forget. Hard work needs balance to be sustainable. Now, not everyone is lucky enough to have a dedicated home office, but there are plenty of small things you can do to make your work from home experience more enjoyable and healthier. Some excellent items to facilitate this are:

  • Remote Team Wellness.
    • Connect with the experts in virtual-wellness experiences to give your employees fully-customized training and resources in Stress, Mental Health, Burnout, Sleep, Nutrition and more.
  • Greenery in your scenery.
    • In addition to improving the air quality, adding indoor plants to your desktop can have a soothing effect and make your space feel calmer.
  • A water bottle.
    • Keeping yourself hydrated throughout the day helps to keep your brain alert and “moist” which provides ideal conditions for creative thinking and problem solving. It also ensures that your body will remind you to get up and move when you need the bathroom.
  • Natural light.
    • Creating a bright and natural workspace can immensely support your mood and productivity. In addition, natural light reduces the need for artificial lighting during the day, which can help to save on energy costs!
  • A good laugh.
    • Laughter is good for the soul and a great way to help reduce stress at work. Try setting up a Laughter Gym at your company to provide a place to let loose!
  • Something that smells good.
    • Whether it’s a deliciously scented candle or a diffuser with some uplifting essential oils, keeping the environment smelling good can shift your mood and awaken your senses through scent and sight.
  • Weekly virtual wellness challenges.
    • You may be pretty used to spending all day working on a computer, but staring at a screen for hours is exhausting. A quick fix is to start a weekly wellness competition that will inspire and encourage employees to help handle stress at work. An easy way to get started is by creating a weekly wellness Slack channel or working with a software platform like Nectar to gamify the challenge:

6 Easy Ways To Reduce Stress at Work (And Be Happy) in 2022 (1)

2. Prioritize and Organize

6 Easy Ways To Reduce Stress at Work (And Be Happy) in 2022 (2) Feeling overwhelmed is a major stressor. A great way to make a major reduction in your stress is tolearn how to handle stress atyour work by prioritizing and organizing. Here’s how to do it:

  • Clarify Goals.
    • Before you can prioritize, you have to set clear objectives. Make time to sit with your manager and clarify your goals. sBe sure that your daily activities track back to one of your overarching goals.
  • Prioritize Against Goals.
    • Don’t set priorities arbitrarily. Use your goals to evaluate the importance of every task. At SnackNation, we teach team members to evaluate each task by asking, “Is this getting me closer to or further away from my goals?” If the answer is anything other than “closer to,” it’s not a priority.
  • Focus on 2-3 things Max.
    • There’s an old saying – if everything is a priority, nothing is a priority. Focus on the “biggest levers” – that is, the 2 or 3 things each week that will have the biggest impact on your goals.
  • Set Deadlines.
    • As a general rule, if a task doesn’t have a deadline, it will get pushed aside for one that does. Set realistic deadlines for everything, and everything will get done.
  • Use Your Calendar.
    • Plan your weeks in your calendar so that you maximize the limited time you have each week. At SnackNation we recommend team members plan out their weeks on Friday or even Sunday evenings. Make sure to schedule breaks in there as well – as in actually put them in your calendar!
  • Make a To-Do List.
    • So simple, yet so effective. To make sure things get done, write them down in a notebook or a note taking app. If you’re still overwhelmed, use a task management software like monday.comto keep a handle on your daily activity, and make sure nothing slips through the cracks.

6 Easy Ways To Reduce Stress at Work (And Be Happy) in 2022 (3)

3. Form Positive Relationships

6 Easy Ways To Reduce Stress at Work (And Be Happy) in 2022 (4)

Making friends at work isn’t always easy. In fact, a recent sociology study suggests people may need to spend up to 200 hours together before they consider themselves “close friends.” Hours spent bonding at work can help build friendships, but the dedicated quality time spent team-building can speed up the bonding process.

Rally a team to use a resource such as Go Game to bring more team-building time into your office environment. As you race through scavenger hunts, solve puzzles, play lawn games, and more, you’ll notice strong friendships forming organically.

Here are some other tips for fostering positive personal relationships at work:

  • Start your own “buddy” or mentorship program.
    • At SnackNation, every new hire gets a veteran “buddy” to show them the ropes, introduce them to people, and provide guidance and support.
    • By design, this “buddy” isn’t a manager. It’s someone in whom you can confide any concern, personal or professional. Our SN buddies are trained to lend an ear and provide judgment-free advice.
    • They system works best when buddies are from different departments, so there’s less chance of office politics becoming a factor.
  • Put down your smartphone!
    • Instead of burying your head in your Instagram feed at lunch, leave your phone at your desk during breaks and engage with co-workers.
  • Encourage vulnerability.
    • Vulnerability exercises are something we do at our SnackNation offsites. After breaking out into smaller groups of four or five, everyone in the group is encouraged to share something personal – often a meaningful experience from their upbringing.
    • The relationships formed during these vulnerability exercises are the basis for some of the deepest and longest-lasting relationships at the company.
  • Host an interactive event.
      • Speed up the getting-to-know-you process by taking part in a structured activity, like a City Brew Toursguided brewery tour. With a charismatic beer nerd guide at the helm and an itinerary to follow, you’ll have plenty in common to talk about and can avoid any awkward silences.But what if you work remotely? Get everyone together online instead! We love this virtual beer making event from Unboxed Experiences by City Brew Tours.
      • Host a ‘Happier Hour’ with Laughter on Call for a laugh out loud, stress-busting experience that creates connections in isolation and builds trust. ‘Happier Hour‘ provides a structure for ZOOM socializing with some ice-breaking questions, Improv games, and personal storytelling prompts to help people get to know each other a little better, relax and blow off steam. The ‘Happier Hour’ experience reminds people that we are in this together and that despite a pandemic we can still maintain relationships and have a good time!

4. Start Exercising (or Exercise More)

6 Easy Ways To Reduce Stress at Work (And Be Happy) in 2022 (5) With its mood-boosting and endorphin-releasing properties, regular aerobic exercise is a natural stress reducer.

(Video) 6 Daily Habits to Reduce Stress & Anxiety

Exercise’s ability to elevate mood is well documented. Numerous studies going back to the early 80’s found that regular exercise can improve mood for people with moderate depression.

In fact, a 1999 study found that exercise was just as effective in eliminating depression antidepressants. Exercise also helps get your mind off your stressfulthoughts. By training yourself to be in the moment and focus on your body’s movements (rather than mulling over your worries), exercise can be a form of active meditation and have a calming effect on the body and mind.

You should aim for a minimum of 30 minutes of activity each day. If you don’t have the time to fit in a run or gym session before or after work each day, here are some tips to increase your mobility in the office:

  • Launch a wellness challenge.
    • Gamify company fitness by launching a wellness challenge. Shoot for a team-wide goal, but also reward top performers to foster some friendly competition. At SnackNation, we passed out fitness trackers and added up our steps in a bid to virtually “walk” the distance from LA to San Francisco during our wellness month. Each week, we also named a winner for the most active team member.
  • Switch to an “Active Desk.”
    • Sitting for long stretches at your desk is not good for your health. Alternatively, standing desks get you out of your chair and on your feet. This works your stabilizing leg and stomach muscles, your heart, and lets you burnextra calories.Check outVivo’s sit-stand desk (this is the one I personally use).
  • Take walking meetings.
    • In a recent interview with the Awesome Office Show, BittyFoods CEO Megan Miller explained that she gets in daily exercise by taking calls while strolling through San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. LA-based skincare brand Murad also installed a walking track in their office space to encourage team members to get up from their desks during the day.

5. Eat Healthy and Nutritious Foods

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Photo Credit: Stacy via Flickr’s Creative Commons

Ever heard the phrase “eat your feelings”?

It’s a real phenomenon. Many people turn to unhealthy “comfort foods” as stress management at work.

Safe to safe that dealing with work stress in this manner is not good. Why does this happen? When we’re stressed, our brain releases the hormone cortisol, which makes us crave salty, sweet, and fat-laden foods for the temporary pleasure they bring. But ironically, “stress eating” only exacerbates the problem.

Sugar or fat-laden foods like pizza, burgers, and ice cream make us feel lethargic, and less likelyto tackle the problems that lay before us, which in turn only increases our stress. 6 Easy Ways To Reduce Stress at Work (And Be Happy) in 2022 (7) That’s why it’s so important to eat healthy foods that are rich in complex carbohydrates that fuel our brains and support concentration and focus. This will give you the power to learn how to handle work pressure & how to overcome stress at work. Not sure what to eat? Here are some tips: Eat this:

  • Complex carbs like whole wheat bread or pasta and vegetables
  • Foods high in fiber like fruits and vegetables
  • Superfoods like Kale, Dark Chocolate, and blueberries, which contain mood-boosting antioxidants
  • Lean proteins like chicken, or better yet, wild-caught Alaskan Salmon (high in mood stabilizing omega-3’s)

Avoid this:

(Video) Daily Habits to Reduce Stress and Anxiety

  • Foods high in fat like cheese and red meat, which lead to lethargy and sluggishness
  • Foods high in refined carbs or sugar, which cause your energy to spike and crash
  • Caffeinated drinks like coffee and soda, which in inhibit your ability to sleep
  • Nicotine, a stimulant that can boost your anxiety
  • Alcohol, a natural depressant

And don’t forget, no other food category impacts your overall diet like snacking. The availability of healthy snacks will help improve your diet and keep your stress in check.

6. Get Enough Sleep

6 Easy Ways To Reduce Stress at Work (And Be Happy) in 2022 (8) We can’t say this enough – get some sleep!

Stress has long been linked to chronic insomnia. But while conventional wisdom treats the inability to sleep as a symptom of stress, researchers at Gold Bee found that poor sleep may actually be a contributing factor.

That’s because a lack of sleep inhibits your ability to cope with even normal amounts of stress, and negatively affects your mood and outlook. The point is, you can’t hope to reduce stress when you’re on edge and irritable from lack of sleep. Here are some tips to get your sleep schedule back on track:

  • Shoot for eight hours a night.
    • There used to be a stigma, especially among business leaders, that “sleep is for the weak.” The most productive people know that you can’t operate at peak performance without the regenerative effects of proper sleep. So don’t skimp!
  • Stick to a schedule.
    • Set your body’s internal clock by hitting the hay at the same time every night. You should be able to fall asleep fairly quickly and wake at the same time each day without an alarm clock. And speaking of sticking to a schedule…
  • Avoid sleeping in on weekends.
    • While it may be tempting, sleeping in can throw off this schedule and undo the progress you’ve made.
  • Turn off screens 1hour before you want to go to bed.
    • Whether it’s TV, laptops, or our smartphones, screens keep our brains engaged and make it difficult for us to fall asleep. Winding down your day with a healthy activity and avoiding screen time can help you better cope in a demanding job.
  • Take cat naps.
    • We’re talking 15-20 minutes, max. While we definitely believe that naps are regenerative, don’t over do it. Again, the goal is to get in a rhythm of getting proper sleep more often than not, so you’re clear headed and ready to take on the day.

Bonus: Kick Your Bad Habits

6 Easy Ways To Reduce Stress at Work (And Be Happy) in 2022 (9) Managing stress at work is partially about your mindset. Your outlook can have a huge impact on your ability to cope with everyday stressors.Keep them in check so they don’t become major sources of negative stress. Here are a few tips to change your mindset by break the bad habits that are holding you back:

  • Stay positive.
    • One way to do this is to express gratitude. It’s surprising how much different your outlook is when you make a point to recognize the people and things in your life that you’re lucky to have.
  • Resist perfectionism.
    • Don’t fear mistakes, learn from them. The desire to be perfect can make your stress spike and your self-worth plummet. Recognize that failures don’t define you, they’re just opportunities for learning and growth.
  • Focus on what you can control.
    • Much of the anxiety we experience is over the uncertainty caused by things outside our control. The best way to combat that is to only focus on the things we can control – like our effort, our attitude, and how we treat people – rather than the outcomes we can’t.

6 Easy Ways To Reduce Stress at Work (And Be Happy) in 2022 (10)

Conclusion

Of course, not all stress is created equal. Acertain amount of healthy stress in the workplace is actually a good thing. Experts make a distinction between eustress (good) and distress (bad), and point out that eustress is actually necessary for individuals to make breakthroughs and companies to grow.

What’s the difference? Eustress is motivating. It keeps you on task and helps you cross the finish line. Distress is debilitating and occurs when the good stress builds up and becomes too much to cope with. Negative work stress can come from a variety of factors. (Any of these sound familiar?)

  • Fear of being laid off or fired
  • Additional overtimedue to budget cuts
  • Pressure due to constantly rising expectations
  • Pressure to constantly work at peak levels

How do you know if your stress level is out of control? Here are a few warning signs:

  • Depressed mood – you may lose confidence, become angry, irritable, or withdrawn
  • You lose interest in your work, and a sense of apathy takes over
  • You’re unable to sleep or experience fatigue during the day
  • You have trouble concentrating
  • You experience muscle tension, headaches, or stomach problems
  • You notice a decrease in your libido
  • You turn to alcohol or drugs as a coping mechanism

While dealing with stress at work is real problem in the American workplace, it’s definitely solvable. Follow the tactics outlined here to bring your stress level back down into the healthy range so you can continue to experience breakthroughs and create some real magic for yourself. We hope you learn how to avoid stress at work. Have a great trick to reduce stress in the workplace that we didn’t cover? Let us know in the comments below.

(Video) How to reduce stress with the 2:1 breathing technique

Employee Wellness Resources:

121 Employee Wellness Program Ideas Your Team Will Love

45 Successful Corporate Wellness Programs Employees Will Love

42 Corporate Wellness Companies That Are Transforming Workplace Health and Happiness

13 Easy Ways to Create a Zen Office Space On a Budget

23 Surefire Ways to Boost Employee Wellbeing

How to Create a Killer Office Fitness Challenge

25 Office Exercises: Easy Desk-Friendly Ways to Get Fit

11 Data-Backed Benefits of Employee Wellness Programs You Need to Know About

Everything You Need to Launch a Kick-Ass Employee Wellness Survey

9 Simple Hacks to Stay Healthy at Work

What Is An Employee Wellness Program?

FAQs

What are 6 ways to reduce stress? ›

6 ways to help manage daily stress more effectively:
  • Talk, Talk, Talk! Turn to family and friends, or even a trained therapist, to discuss things in your life that are causing stress. ...
  • Exercise Regularly. ...
  • Engage in Meditation. ...
  • Healthy Diet. ...
  • Stay Organized. ...
  • Practice Positive Self-talk.

What are 10 ways on how do you avoid stress in the workplace? ›

Powerful Ways to Reduce Employee Stress
  1. Create a Strong Work-Life Balance. ...
  2. Provide Employees with Strong Benefits. ...
  3. Encourage Open Communication. ...
  4. Offer Adequate Paid Vacation. ...
  5. Consider Scheduling Team Outings. ...
  6. Utilize Flexible Work Schedules. ...
  7. Provide Employee Recognition. ...
  8. Encourage Breaks Throughout the Day.
22 Apr 2022

What is the best way to reduce stress in a working? ›

Techniques such as meditation, deep breathing exercises, and mindfulness (a state in which you actively observe present experiences and thoughts without judging them) can help melt away stress. Start by taking a few minutes each day to focus on a simple activity like breathing, walking, or enjoying a meal.

What are 7 positive ways to deal with stress? ›

Healthy Ways to Cope with Stress
  • Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories, including those on social media. ...
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  • Take care of your body. ...
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  • Talk to others. ...
  • Connect with your community- or faith-based organizations.
  • Avoid drugs and alcohol.

What are 5 ways you can reduce stress? ›

5 tips to manage stress
  • Use guided meditation. Guided meditation is a great way to distract yourself from the stress of day-to-day life. ...
  • Practice deep breathing. ...
  • Maintain physical exercise and good nutrition. ...
  • Manage social media time. ...
  • Connect with others.
10 Dec 2018

What are 12 ways to manage stress? ›

12 Ways To Eliminate Stress At Work
  • Act Rather Than React. "We experience stress when we feel that situations are out of our control," says Melnick. ...
  • Take A Deep Breath. ...
  • Eliminate Interruptions. ...
  • Schedule Your Day For Energy And Focus. ...
  • Eat Right And Sleep Well. ...
  • Change Your Story. ...
  • Cool Down Quickly. ...
  • Identify Self-Imposed Stress.
20 Mar 2013

What are 8 ways to reduce stress? ›

10 Tips to Manage Stress
  • 1.Exercise.
  • 2.Relax Your Muscles.
  • 3.Deep Breathing.
  • 4.Eat Well.
  • 5.Slow Down.
  • 6.Take a Break.
  • 7.Make Time for Hobbies.
  • 8.Talk About Your Problems.
29 Apr 2021

What are 3 ways you can manage stress? ›

Take a walk in nature. Meditate or practice yoga. Work in the garden or do a home improvement project. Go for a walk, run or bike ride to clear your head.

What are 10 stress strategies? ›

10 Ways to Cope with Chronic Stress
  • Re-balance Work and Home.
  • Build in Regular Exercise.
  • Eat Well and Limit Alcohol and Stimulants.
  • Connect with Supportive People.
  • Carve out Hobby Time.
  • Practice Meditation, Stress Reduction or Yoga.
  • Sleep Enough.
  • Bond with Your Pet.

What are 10 examples of positive stress? ›

Examples of positive personal stressors include: Receiving a promotion or raise at work. Starting a new job. Marriage.
...
Having a child.
  • Moving.
  • Taking a vacation.
  • Holiday seasons.
  • Retiring.
  • Taking educational classes or learning a new hobby.

What are 7 tips to avoid stressful situations? ›

7 Tips to Avoid Stress
  • Take care of yourself. Avoid drugs and alcohol as they can add to stress. ...
  • Engage in self-relaxation. ...
  • Take breaks when needed. ...
  • Seek out social support. ...
  • Connect with others socially. ...
  • Maintain a normal routine. ...
  • Give back to others.

What are 4 ways to avoid limit stress? ›

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  • Get active. Virtually any form of physical activity can act as a stress reliever. ...
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  • Laugh more. ...
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  • Assert yourself. ...
  • Try yoga. ...
  • Get enough sleep. ...
  • Keep a journal.

What are 4 effective strategies to avoid and limit stress? ›

Fortunately, there are 4 steps to help reduce stress and cope with the inevitable stressors of everyday life:
  • Avoid. Believe it or not, it is possible to escape some of the minor stressors that tend to trouble people: ...
  • Alter. Communicate clearly and let people know your expectations. ...
  • Accept. ...
  • Adapt.
8 Mar 2021

What are the 10 ways you can avoid or prevent stress? ›

10 Ways to Manage Everyday Stress
  • Balance work and play. Make time to work on your tasks and goals (like schoolwork, chores, or practice). ...
  • Plan your day. ...
  • Stick to your plan. ...
  • Ask for help when you need it. ...
  • Use the positive energy of stress. ...
  • Deal with problems as they come up. ...
  • Eat good foods. ...
  • Get enough sleep.

What are 15 ways to reduce stress? ›

15 Simple Ways to Reduce Stress & Anxiety
  • Exercise. You don't need a gym to exercise. ...
  • Go outside. Connect with nature in your backyard. ...
  • Aromatherapy. Pull out those old scented candles and inhale a calming scent. ...
  • Journal. ...
  • Listen to calming music. ...
  • Sing. ...
  • Laugh. ...
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2 Apr 2020

How can I be happy and stress free? ›

Here are 15 evidence-based ways to relieve stress.
  1. Get more physical activity. ...
  2. Follow a healthy diet. ...
  3. Minimize phone use and screen time. ...
  4. Consider supplements. ...
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How do you relax your mind and anxiety? ›

How can you relax your mind and body?
  1. Take slow, deep breaths. Or try other breathing exercises for relaxation. ...
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What are 3 ways to reduce stress? ›

Meditate or practice yoga. Work in the garden or do a home improvement project. Go for a walk, run or bike ride to clear your head. Read a book, short story or magazine.

What are the 4 steps to help reduce stress? ›

Four Steps to Reduce Stress
  • Create schedules and use checklists. To minimize stress and last minute tasks, keep track of all of the important things you need to accomplish and then prioritize them. ...
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14 Jul 2020

What are the 10 stress management techniques? ›

These options are relatively easy, quick, and relevant to a student's life and types of stress.
  • Get Enough Sleep. ...
  • Use Guided Imagery. ...
  • Exercise Regularly. ...
  • Take Calming Breaths. ...
  • Practice Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR) ...
  • Listen to Music. ...
  • Build Your Support Network. ...
  • Eat a Healthy Diet.
26 Aug 2022

How can I be happy and relax? ›

How to be happier
  1. Manage your stress levels. If you have a lot of stress in your life, find ways to reduce it, such as learning a few time-management techniques. ...
  2. Enjoy yourself. ...
  3. Boost your self-esteem. ...
  4. Have a healthy lifestyle. ...
  5. Talk and share. ...
  6. Build your resilience.

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