Tips for Creating Happier, More Productive
By Dr. Nancy D. O’Reilly
doesn’t take Monday morning traffic to cause extreme frustration at
work. It can even be things as small as a co-worker showing up to a
meeting late, or a client calling to cancel his latest order, or the
coffee pot being empty in the break room.
Unfortunately when you don’t handle your anger and frustration in a
constructive way, it tends to build up. As your stress levels rise,
you tend to be less productive, thus finding it harder to
concentrate or multitask. Eventually those high levels of stress can
take their toll and lead to burn out. The solution is to manage your
frustration and stress properly and quickly so that it doesn’t get
in the way of a productive workday. Here are some tips for handling
frustrating situations in the office and beyond.
Start off with
some affirmations to help you get through the frustration:
Here are a few affirmations to help you increase your tolerance of
stressful situations. Think of these and say them to yourself the
next time you find yourself upset.
In the long run, it is
more satisfying to take the more challenging route, than to take
the easier and less disciplined approach.
I am happiest when I
work on long-term, challenging projects in which I work against
inertia and take risks.
While I may have to do
many things that are difficult, unpleasant or boring, they are
almost never impossible to accomplish.
In order to achieve
pleasant results, I often have to do challenging things.
Yes, it is a pain to do
this now, but I’ll be able to accomplish so much more than by
waiting to do it later.
Follow up with a
“workout” that will get you moving – at least your endorphins:
doesn’t seem like a typical fitness program, laughing gives your
body a great workout and releases endorphins, which can improve your
mood, focus and energy. Even though you may not work up an actual
sweat or earn a medal in competition, laughing brings great
benefits. So, keep a humorous book on your desk, sign up for a daily
knock-knock joke, or just find something amusing to think about
during the next frustrating situation.
Pump up the oxygen. One
of the ways exercise builds energy is by forcing you to breathe
deeply. Each in-breath, or "inspiration," brings fresh oxygen
into your body. Laughter does the same thing. Notice that you
can’t laugh long without having to take a breath. Your brain
gets fresh oxygen and you feel great. The deep breathing that
comes with a good laugh will also force you to relax.
Pump up your muscles.
Working out when you feel tense is a tried and true way to
relieve stress and tension in your muscles and your mind.
Laughing does the same thing with a lot less effort! Notice how
your muscles relax after you laugh.
Turn on the
neurotransmitters. Scientists suspect that laughing resembles
exercise in another positive way. When you exercise, your body
produces "Happy Hormones" that make you feel great.
Norepinephrine makes you feel energetic, endorphins cheer you
up, and serotonin helps you feel less tense. It appears that
laughing may release these hormones too.
Make it all part of a
game. One of the reasons tribal healers often wear wild outfits
and perform entertaining antics is to make people laugh. Ancient
wisdom taught that laughter and fun on a regular basis keeps
people healthy. Organizations that take time for recreation,
games and fun also learn that relieving tension helps groups
make better decisions.
Sometimes it takes a bigger change to notice a difference: By
implementing just a few of the following lifestyle changes, you will
be able to reduce stress and frustration levels. Here are some
Research shows that companion animals, like dogs, cats, rabbits,
and birds, help people live longer and healthier lives. Health
benefits of having a pet include lower blood pressure, decreased
stress, reduced bone loss, lowered cholesterol levels, and
improved circulation. A companion animal also adds new meaning
to the life of a person living alone. The pet offers
unconditional love and commitment to its owner. It can act as a
friend, therapist, entertainer, and warm, fuzzy, bundle of joy.
Take up a hobby or
something you enjoy. By trying new things or opening your mind
to new experiences, you’re bound to find something that
resonates with your personality and boosts your confidence.
yourself running out of time? On your list of things to do,
cross off something you don’t enjoy and let someone else do it
(they just might enjoy it)
Create support systems. Learn to confide in your friends and
family members during particularly stressful times. Also look
into support groups, meet-ups and social activities that will
introduce you to new people and create new friendships. Make an
effort to get to know the people you work with; there may be
someone at the office you can relate to with more than just
a place or activity that’s stress-free. For some people, walking
their dog, going to the park or just being outdoors helps. For
others, going to the library or museum can be a stress-reliever.
Whatever it is, find that place that allows you to be “you” in a
peaceful, stress-free way.
someone else. Become a mentor or volunteer for a community
organization. By helping someone else in need, you’ll realize
your own problems are very small in comparison – plus you’ll
feel great about the help you can provide!
Meditate, pray or open your mind to spirituality. Studies have
shown that meditation techniques can greatly reduce stress. An
added bonus is you can meditate anywhere! In your car, while
sitting in traffic, or in the privacy of your office during a
lunch break. It only takes a few minutes to silence your mind
and find peace.
take the time to understand and overcome the stress in these
frustrating situations, you can really improve your emotional and
physical well-being. Not only will you improve your mood and your
health, but your productivity and energy will also make the office a
better place to be.
Read other articles and learn more about
Nancy D. O’Reilly.
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