How to Reduce Workplace Stress

According to Workplace Confidential: The Real Story Behind Stress, Skills, and Success in America, from Udemy, 52% of full-time employees feel more stressed today than they did last year. However, you can reduce workplace stress.

The study reports workplace stress is higher than it’s ever been in America, with 60% of workers saying they’re stressed all or most of the time at work—mostly because they’re afraid of losing their jobs to new technologies. Many also believe they’re not qualified to keep up with their changing job responsibilities. Millennials and Gen Z are the most stressed at work, with 64% feeling stressed all or most of the time at work.

So, with this much stress—is it possible to be happy at work your workplace? The American Psychological Association suggests you first figure out what exactly is stressing you out at work. You can track your stressors by keeping a journal or just taking notes for a few weeks, noting when you get angry or feel sad, and what triggered those feelings. If you notice a pattern, try to avoid those situations in the future.

Andrew Luttrell, Ph.D., a Professor of Social Psychology at the College of Wooster in Ohio and Udemy instructor says you can be happy at work. He suggests:

1. Getting to know your coworkers. The people you work with don’t have to be your new best friends, but studies show the more we connect with people in our lives, the happier we are. One study showed simply having small conversations during the day with your coworkers will make you happier.

2. Be thankful. Research shows simply writing down five things you’re thankful for that happened to you the previous week creates a large increase in happiness over time. Dr. Luttrell suggests you “practice gratitude at the end of each week”.

3. Be kind. Dr. Luttrell says new research in psychology indicates the act of helping other people can actually make us happier. In an experiment, part of a class of students were told to do something nice for another person at least three times a week. After just a few weeks of being helpful, the students started to feel happier in general. And they developed a better sense of community. So, helping your coworkers, even in small ways, can give you a greater sense of fulfillment yourself.

I’m a big believer that snacking at work can make you happier, too. In fact, a survey from Peapod, showed businesses that provided free office snacks have happier workers. In fact, 66% of employees who work in offices that are always stocked with free food and beverages are “extremely or very happy” with their current jobs. If your boss won’t supply the treats, try taking turns with your fellow workers bringing in treats or having pot luck lunches. You’ll all be happier on the job.
If none of these suggestions work, learning to relax might help. Millions of people swear that practicing meditation, yoga or just exercising a little bit every day, can make you feel better about your life—on and off the job.

Rieva Lesonsky is an entrepreneur, best-selling author and self-educated health nut. Follow her @Rieva.

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