Stress is a powerful enemy. It’s hugely prevalent in today’s high pressure society and especially in large cities like London where difficult commutes, economic pressures and fierce competition make the workplace one of the leading causes of modern stress.
Stress costs employers millions and causes millions of working days to be lost each year. Stress in the workplace leads to low morale, poor efficiency, mistakes, accidents and absenteeism. Because of the worry around how employers may perceive or react to employee stress, many people do not seek help straight away. However, the sooner people seek help the easier it will be to make a full and speedy recovery.
The main reasons given for work stress are too much pressure, lack of support from managers and work-related violence and bullying. In fact, according to a poll commissioned by mental health charity Mind and YouGov, 64% of people say they found work very or fairly stressful.
11 per cent of the population smoke to combat the stress, whilst 57 per cent drink alcohol after work to de-stress. These unhealthy behaviours, can increase the risk of cancer and heart disease and stress itself has been shown to shorten our lifespans. Stress also has a hugely negative impact on your family and friends.
Tips to Decrease Stress in a Busy London Office
Start Early – research shows that if you need to add a bit of time to your working day you’re better off starting early rather than staying late. Things tend to be more peaceful around this time of day, the commute can be easier and we are usually more clear header and productive.
Set Realistic Goals – most stress comes from a simple equation – we want to do more than our resources allow (time or ability). Take a step back and set yourself some more realistic goals. Anxiety arises from setting unrealistic goals that are impossible to meet. If your goals are set by someone else, talk to them about their expectations.
Take Breaks – when we become stressed or busy we are often tempted to skip breaks but down time is essential to allow our minds to regroup. Breaks will actually increase productivity rather than lowering it.
Stay Healthy – eating well, getting enough sleep and exercising are all key to staying strong enough to deal with stress. Don’t allow your body to become too run down.
Separate Work & Home – try to leave your work at the office. Switch off your phone and dedicate some real time to family, friends and relaxation.
Avoid Negative Thoughts – there are certain types of thought patterns that often lead to stress.
- “Should” or “must” statements that set up unachievable rules.
- Always expecting the worst – always thinking things are a “disaster”.
- Black and white or all or nothing thinking – right or wrong, succeed or fail with no in-betweens.
- “What if?” worrying about things that may never happen. Always fearing the worst.
- “They must think…” assuming what other people are thinking – usually negative.
Learn To Say No – sometimes it’s in your own best interests to say no to things that you know are not appropriate, possible or healthy for you to do. Many people with people pleasing personalities find that not being able to say no drastically increases their stress levels.
Ask For Help – Whether it’s training up your staff and delegating more tasks or going to your manager, don’t be afraid to ask other people to take some of the load or to reassess your workload. Many people assume that their manager won’t help them, but a lot of the time they won’t be aware that you are under so much pressure. At the end of the day, it’s in their own best interests for their team to be able to perform at their best.
If you don’t feel like you can go to your manager, you can seek help outside the workplace. Stress in London is a huge cause of problems and I have helped many clients break free from their struggles.
As the published author of The Stress Management Kit, I can help you get to the root of your stress problems using hypnotherapy and help you learn new and easy ways to feel more relaxed and in control. To discover more about what I can do for you please don’t hesitate to get in touch.