Stress can be a major problem in the workplace and in most cases it can be taken outside of work as well. It can have a detrimental affect not only on your health, but those who work around you as well as your social life. Being able to manage it can be a tricky task, especially if you feel so overwhelmed by the problem.
CBT is a form of therapy that can be used to analyse negative situations and turning those damaging thoughts brought on by bad situations and turning them into positive thoughts to help you overcome them. For instance, you may feel your colleagues dislike from either not responding to a good morning or giving you some criticism on work.
CBT serves to analyse the situation and while it cannot change it, it can help you see it better and challenge the thoughts stemming from it. However, colleague reactions are not the only factor that can cause a down spiral of negative thoughts; the amount of work can also add to this.
To help manage stress at work, here are a few CBT tips to improve it.
– Prioritise tasks
We all have those moments where the pile of work starts to build up and it begins to feel like we’re drowning. The first task is to prioritise the important tasks by writing a list of 10-15 items that you need to accomplish by the end of the day. List them in order of importance and if you find you may not get to the end of the list, realise those tasks cannot be done at the close of the day and they might be unimportant. Cross them off and let go.
– Take a break
As the problems mount, you can get yourself caught in that whirlwind of worry and self-doubt with stressful thoughts. If you find yourself panicking, step away from your desk and take a break. Either twice a day or as often as every 45 minutes go find a quiet space to engage in calming exercises such as deep breathing or listening to soothing music. This can be extremely beneficial. Once feeling calm again, you can return to the task at hand with strength and positivity.
– Stop catastrophising
At one point or another we have all been guilty of conjuring up a doomsday scenario everytime there is a slip up or downfall. This can increase the stress that we are going through when a project is not working as planned. These thoughts however sometimes are not justified by the situation. If you start thinking that your project is going to fail and that you will get fired (you know where this is going), stop and think “What is the probability of something truly bad happening here?” Once you have assessed the likelihood of the scenario, you can allow yourself to think if the chances of it happening are one in ten, so do you really want to waste your time on it? You may find that instead of dwelling on it, you can actually work towards improving the situation.
– Take charge
When you start to get yourself worked up in a situation where we cannot control something, you can help your stress levels by reminding yourself that you can control it. Decide what actions you can take to improve a particular situation. They can be large of small, but doing so will allow you to focus on reminding yourself that you do have the power to change the outcome.
These tips may be simple, but they can be really beneficial in improving a stressful situation in the office environment. Your employer can also offer support by having a member of staff with life coaching skills, trained to administer CBT techniques from qualified professionals; it can contribute towards having a mentally healthier workplace.
By Harry Price
Harry Price rarely sits still for more than 5 minutes. He loves walking his dogs, playing football, and attending his local rock climbing club.