5 Ways To Reduce Stress In Your Body When Work Is Making You Mega-Stressed

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anxious man at work
Self

No one should feel anxiety about going to work everyday. It's a horrific feeling to be in any state of anxiety or stress.

That anxiousness blooms in a vital part of your brain, your amygdala, where your fight-or-flight reflex lives. Sadly, being stuck in your amygdala for anything more than a few seconds is a miserable place to be.

It feels a bit like sleeping in a zipped-up tent with a mosquito — it's a sucky feeling.

When you're struggling with anxiety, you get stressed, physically tense, your heart rate increases, your patience gets short, and physical ailments soon follows.

The whole intent of your fight-or-flight reflex is to move you quickly into decisive action from a dangerous situation.

RELATED: 4 Expert Tips On Overcoming Work Anxiety

So, if you're feeling anxiety about going to work everyday, here are 5 ways to feel better.

1. Cut back on the caffeine and increase your water consumption.

This is a tough one to swallow but try giving up caffeine, temporarily, until you can get your anxiousness about work under control.

Yes, caffeine has a ton of positive effects.

However, that one cup of java in the morning is compounded by all the other cups — combined with sodas and other caffeinated sources throughout the day — to put your caffeine consumption into dangerous overdrive, which can have a negative effect on the body.

For instance, drinking caffeine triggers the release of adrenaline. When caffeine puts your brain and body into this hyper-aroused state, your emotions overrun your behavior.

It also makes it harder for you to concentrate, disrupts the quality of your sleep, raises blood pressure, stimulates the heart, and produces rapid shallow breathing.

Have you ever noticed how your anxiety is often accompanied by a headache? A frequent cause of those headaches is not enough water — a hydration headache.

When the body is dehydrated, the brain can temporarily contract or shrink from fluid loss. Any type of headache can add to your anxiety and impact your performance and quality of work.

Also, remember that alcohol is both dehydrating and a depressant. So coping with anxiety about going to work everyday with alcohol can actually make things worse. 

2. Develop a calming routine or daily ritual prior to starting work each day

Many are coming around to understand the importance of taking care of your entire self, including your mental and spiritual self. A calming routine or a daily ritual prior to starting your workday can significantly decrease your anxiety.

Give yourself extra time each morning, even if it's just fifteen minutes. Whatever it is that brings you peace and calm, start making time to do it daily.

For me, it's walking my dog on the trail and doing Positive Intelligence (PQ) mental fitness reps.

For others, it might be meditation, reading scripture, or listening to an inspirational podcast. This is not just about reducing your anxiety; it's also about filling your self-care tank for the upcoming day.

3. Close out each day knowing what your next day is going to look like.

What a difference knowing what to expect the next day has on your daily stress and anxiety.

One of the best pieces of advice I ever received was to clear my desk each night and leave it with a clean list for the following day.

Before shutting down, go through what was accomplished and what was not, start a new list, and mentally prepare yourself for the next day.

Having done this, when you turn off your computer, flip the light switch, and close the door to your office behind you, it'll be easier for you to focus on your personal self and your family until you begin again the next day.

A word of advice: schedule your days to tackle the low-hanging fruit during your lowest energy hours. If that's first thing in the morning for you, then focus on those things that are most monotonous or draggy for you.

Save the more difficult or brain-draining tasks for when your energy is highest. Remember, you can manage your energy but never your time.

RELATED: 8 Ways To Immediately Stop Anxiety From Sucking The Life Out Of You

4. Exercise.

Are you tired of reading about this one yet? It sounds preachy, but there is a reason why everyone keeps suggesting exercise. It works. It helps. And it makes a difference.

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Regular exercise increases your endorphins, lowers heart rate, and increases your stamina — all great anxiety busters.

Regular exercise diverts you from your anxiety and decreases muscle tension thereby lowering your body’s contribution to feeling anxious. And that's not all.

It activates the areas of your brain responsible for executive function, thereby, getting you out of your amygdala!

Full disclosure, I was 48 years old when I began to take exercise seriously in my life. There's no age limit to begin.

5. Get to the root cause of your anxiety around your work.

Sometimes, the cause of your daily anxiety about going to work everyday isn’t so much about the work itself, and it's actually more about you. And that's OK. Sometimes, all the anxiety-busting tricks and tips in the world do not help.

In these instances, a more in-depth look at the potential cause is needed. Speak to a trusted confidant at work.

If that support isn’t available, work with a coach, trusted advisor, or mental health professional to really drill down and discover where the anxiety is coming from.

The long-term impact on your physical, mental, and spiritual well-being can be both life-changing and permanent — and not always in a good way!

Anxiety at work happens to everyone. With support and self-discovery, you may learn that the solution is a simple adjustment if you're willing to look for it.

Just know that choosing to do nothing can lead to serious damage to your physical health and mental well-being.

RELATED: 7 Ways To Cope If You Deal With The Constant Fear Of Losing Your Job

Rachelle Stone is a Burnout-Prevention Coach specializing in helping others in avoiding burnout by managing their stress and energy for expanded capacity, better relationships, and increased monetary success. Opt into Rachelle’s newsletter or, for more information about burnout coaching, visit her website.