A Practical Guide to Being a Stressbuster
Struggling how to put The Seven Stress Busters into action? Read this.
Nine successful professionals give us an insight into what they do when faced with stress and how they tackle tension in the office.
Take a look at these practical ideas and imagine what a transformed commute or client meeting could look like.
God wants us to flourish at work and not flounder.
FIND YOUR RHYTHM
The comparison trap can make us more stressed. It is important to find your own rhythm.
Chris: Going out to the movies takes my mind off things. Getting out of the city, visiting the countryside really refreshes me.
Phil: I run at lunchtime. Play squash in the evening.
Jonathan: I row. As part of this I train every day. Within reason, staying healthy isn't rocket science, there just aren't any short cuts, and most people want a short cut.
Bim: I find solitude and cooking beneficial when I'm stressed.
Matt: I jog because I travel a lot and it’s something I can do anywhere.
Action: Find your own way to relax or exercise and do it regularly.
TACKLE IT IN A TEAM
The workplace can be lonely. It is important to get a team around you to take on stress.
Jo: Reading the bible with other people really helps me.
Phil: Work in teams so no one person feels like they are either on their own, or shouldering all the burden. Team bonding days are great. You can understand people’s wider lives and perspectives. It’s the fastest way to understand where people’s emotional centres are.
Matt: I pray with my wife before work.
Adam: Get yourself involved with an older or more experienced Christian to learn about yourself – getting a mentor can be really helpful.
Action: Identify your team. Start the conversation about stress with them here and set ways to tackle it.
EAT WELL / SLEEP WELL
It sounds simple but it is the bedrock to a healthy mind and body.
Samuel: Keep the diet as balanced as possible and allow enough time to get some quality sleep.
Bim: Lots of fruits – vegetables – fibre!
Adam: I have found I don’t operate well when I have not slept enough, when I am only eating one kind of food (only carbs, or doughnuts) and when my diet becomes boring and uninspiring and samey.
Action: Sketch out a food plan for the upcoming week: keep it balanced and varied. Buy a cookbook.
Tension can be easily ignored. It is crucial to learn how to deal with criticism and confrontation in the office.
Adam: I try to combat stress immediately – removing the stress or getting to the root of it and dealing with that.
Matt: I try to remain objective at these times and remove the emotion from what I’m being told. I try to strip out the aggression and personal criticism.
Jonathan: My response to people is within my control. As such, if people act in a critical, aggressive way, it is a choice to either respond in kind, or 'in the opposite spirit'. Also, know when to let go.
Action: Have the difficult conversation you have been avoiding, taking on board what has been said.
Go deeper; start the God at Work Conversation on Stress
How you react to stress or tension could revolutionise the outcome of your day.
Adam: I choose to hang around with positive people.
Jo: I kept a list of all the things I was thankful for in a day – that was fantastic for remembering the good. I am really intentional about celebrating ‘wins’, both at home with my family and also at work with my colleagues.
Chris: Life should actually be full of more joy than negativity. Get people around you to catch you when you’re being negative, help you talk more positively and have fun.
Jonathan: I've made a conscious decision to find joy in small and simple things.
Phil: I try and hit people with an overwhelmingly positive start to every meeting and outlook to every situation.
Action: Write 'choose joy' on a sticky note and put in next to your alarm clock – (make it a conscious choice in the morning.) Keep a journal or a note on your phone about things you are thankful for.
REFRESH YOUR MEMORY
Stress can makes us lose perspective. In tense times it is important to see what God says about the situation.
Samuel: I read the Psalms in the Bible.
Bim: I meditate on the promises in scripture. I remind myself always that as a child of God I am able to overcome the challenges I encounter.
Matt: There is a couple of key verses I often call to mind. It brings me reassurance it’s not all “on me” but in His hands.
Action: Take time to read the bible during the day. Learn a verse of scripture by heart.
TAKE A BREAK
Stress can keep us locked up inside and feeling like there is no escape. Take a break and get fresh perspective to tackle the tension.
Sam: Get fresh air.
Jonathan: I try to do at least one of these a day - read, play sport, go for a walk, spend time with family and friends.
Matt: I often make a phone call to friends/family to catch up. Just spending fifteen minutes chatting to parents/grandparents/friends can be very refreshing and helps you to get perspective.
Action: When you plan your week, carve out a specific time for a break.
Talking about stress must be followed by tackling it. Share this article with two friends today and get active with dealing with stress.
What was your most useful tip? Tweet us @godatwork and let us know.
Find more practical steps you can take right now with the Seven Stress Busters.
Go deeper and start the God at Work Conversation on Stress.