Hello podcast listeners. Welcome to Swedish’s
News You Can Use. This is Carolyn McManus. I’m a physical therapist at Swedish, where
I teach mindfulness based stress reduction. Today I’d like to share with you five tips
on how to reduce stress in the workplace. So, when I think of managing stress effectively
in the workplace, one of the first tips I’d like to recommend to you is to talk to yourself
as you would your own dearest friend if he or she were in your circumstances. We often
neglect to give that same wisdom and compassion to ourselves, but that kind and understanding
self-talk actually calms the nervous system. The second tip I want to recommend is to breathe
deeply, and take a calm breath into your waistband. So often when we’re under stress our bodies
actually react, so one of the first things that shifts for us when we are under stress
is our breathing pattern becomes short, shallow, rapid. So, just by breathing deeply, so that
as you inhale your stomach gently rises, and when you exhale your stomach gently falls.
That will actually calm your nervous system. My third suggestion is to avoid the painful
costs of perfection. You know, very often people will set unrealistic goals that are
humanly impossible to achieve. And they’ve set themselves for very high stress levels
just in that attitude and approach. So we’re not here to do things perfectly, but to do
them to the best of our ability and in service of that, you might want to again set realistic
goals, prioritize for example. What are the three most important things you want to do
today, or the three most important things to focus on?
My fourth suggestion is to remember you have a body that needs to be taken care of during
your work day. Remember to take your lunch and take those fifteen minute breaks, eat
well, drink lots of water during your day, you might want to learn some gentle stretches
that you can do at your desk to help your muscles relax, or take a short walk. You could
also when washing your hands, remember to take a slow deep breath.
And, my fifth suggestion, at the end of the day review what went well. Think about what
your successes were. What was positive, helpful, valuable. By focusing on these positive things,
you can reduce your stress and feel good about yourself and your day. Thanks for listening
to Swedish’s News You Can Use.