Ways to cope with stress in high-pressure jobs or situations

15 Apr 2019

Restless nights, sick stomach, sweaty palms, hyperventilation - does your job make you feel like you are riding an extreme roller coaster ride?

Fret not. You might not be able to change the situation, but you can change the way you cope with it.

Here are some tips to deal with stressful jobs and situations:

1. Plan it out

English business magnate and founder of Virgin group Richard Branson, 68, has a life time of successes and failures.

The billionaire said that when he was starting his business, he got anxious worrying about his next steps and the things that could happen.

Branson said the best thing to do is have a cup of tea and think about the source of your stress, then write down practical steps to solve the problem or manage the situation.

Instead of trying to do a million things at once, try to focus on one thing at a time.

2. Journaling and reflection

Neurosurgeon Henry Marsh, 69, shared that writing a daily diary is helpful in noting down similar situations, and how to amend and prevent them.

This constant reviewing can help to streamline work processes and stop similar mis-steps from happening.

3. Exercise

Exercising is a way for the brain to relax and allows your creativity and mental focus to kick in.

British politician Jess Philips and DJ Clara Amfo lauded the benefits of exercise in an article about combatting stress in The Guardian. They said it helped them to sleep and mood elevation.

Some examples can be going to the gym, walking, boxing or swimming.

4. Rest and meditation

Meditation and mindfulness are two popular ways young people are using to cope with stress.

Doctor Megan Jones Bell, chief science officer for meditation app Headspace, told New York Times that there is strong research that meditation can improve mental health.

It helps us to be more present, see ourselves and others from a new perspective, and approach the situation in a more engaged and peaceful way.

5. Let it go and focus on the positive

We all make mistakes, and sometimes our errors can cause us grief and anxiety.

Learn to understand the value and importance of your work. The mistake might have been made, but put your energy and focus on the solution.

Don’t let an error derail your focus and confidence.

A way to make that mistake seem smaller is to focus on the things that you have done right or steps that your team have achieved thus far.

6. Say No

For fear of seeing incapable or worried over performance appraisal, sometimes we might get ourselves into a pickle when we overload or overpromise.

One way to combat this stressful situation is to manage expectations, communicate frequently, and say no if necessary.

If your boss has set impossible targets, feedback to them the reasons why it is not feasible and propose an alternative instead.

Voice out the limitations or hinders that could be stopping you from fulfilling your work obligations.

It is important to identify why you are feeling stressed and saying no is one way to stop it.

Main image from Pexels

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