Anyone who works in an office knows that it can be extremely stressful. Deadlines, last minute changes, and demanding colleagues or bosses are some elements that contribute to a stressful environment. In fact, according to a study by JobsCentral, more than 60% of workers in Singapore complain of work stress.
The good news is that there are ways to combat the stress and instead have inner peace, despite your working environment. Here are my suggestions.
1. The Early Bird Gets The Worm
I can hear you moaning: “I have to get up early and exercise?” Before you hit the close-tab button, hear me out. There are several reasons for waking up early and getting in good exercise before heading to work. Waking up early allows you to have some quiet time, before the world wakes and begins its hustle and bustle. It also adds to your day by giving you something more than just sitting at the computer and working in the office. Harvard biologist Christoph Randler found that early risers are more proactive, anticipate problems earlier and minimise them efficiently, which in turn leads to better job performance, greater career success, and higher wages.
Exercising is a great way to spend a little time by yourself and with your thoughts. It helps get you moving and keeps you fit, which in turn will keep your stress levels down. Exercising does not have to be a two hour affair with a treadmill, dumbbells, and that devil machine that parts your legs to the point of crying. It can be as simple as going for a 15 minute jog, doing 2-3 minutes of jumping jacks, or even finding some good music for dancing to. Beginning your day with a quick workout will get your day started correctly. To help you get started, check out this scientifically backed 7-minute workout for best results. So, no more excuses!
3. Set Intentional Goals
A seminal study conducted in the late 1960s by psychologists Latham and Locke found that setting goals increased performance and productivity by up to 25%. So define goals for yourself, set your course and get going. It can be something that you need to complete, but it can also be as simple as paying for someone’s lunch this week, or saying ‘yes’ to doing a friend a favour. Setting goals that also benefit others is a great way to boost your own morale and keep the week flowing. Your intention shapes how your story unfolds over the week.
No, I am not asking you to levitate. This is about minding our focus. This means being aware of what we are paying attention to, and in doing so, taking the time each day to reconnect and centre ourselves without getting lost in transition, chaos, and change. A study in the year 2008 by organisational psychologist Albert J. Arias and others found that meditation leads to stress reduction, and improved change management and leadership performance. All it takes is a moment of unbridled silence, not 30- or 45-minutes. You do not have to sit cross-legged on the floor chanting ‘que sera sera’. Simply find a quiet spot to be still with yourself and follow your breath. If you realise you have drifted, simply return to following your breath.
If you would like more tips or guidance for busting stress, consider integrating more mindfulness practice into your daily routine. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how I can help you quickly and easily do so.
Written by Lim Han Ee