Search
Advice » In the Workplace» Work-Life Balance » Make Any Job Less Stressful
Make Any Job Less Stressful

Make Any Job Less Stressful

By Heather Boerner

Stress is inevitable. But the debilitating strain of chronic work stress is not, even if you're in an inherently stressful profession.

In fact, learning to manage your stress is likely to improve your career, according to career coach Julie Jansen, author of You Want Me to Work with Who? Eleven Keys to a Stress-Free, Satisfying and Successful Work Life -- No Matter Who You Work With.

"The No. 1 tip I give to people who want to get ahead at work is 'manage your stress,'" she says. "People who are stressed act out, and behaving badly can mean that when a promotion comes up, you'll be passed over."

Consider these tips for recognizing and managing work stress:

Become Mindful

"The most important thing [you] can do is have awareness of both what's causing the stress and how you're responding to it," says Dr. Steven Rolfe, principal of the Boswell Group, a business consultancy in New York City.

Focus on your stress response and pinpoint causes:

  • What activities, duties or people leave you feeling drained?
  • What or who causes your neck pain, headaches or racing heartbeat?
  • What tasks or situations do you avoid?
  • How do you talk to yourself about your stress? What stories do you tell?

Take Control

While you probably can't control layoffs or reorganizations, there are things you can control -- and you should focus on those, says Diane Lang, a health and wellness counselor in New York City.

"I had a client who couldn't leave her job at the moment because she was a single parent," she said. "So we made a list of everything she could control and worked on the list."

Such a list might include focusing on improving your own job performance and setting short- and long-term goals for changing jobs.

Breathe

"Don't hold your breath" is a cliche for a reason. When people are stressed, they literally forget to breathe, says Jeffrey Brantley, director of mindfulness-based stress reduction at Duke University's Center for Integrative Medicine and a co-author of Five Good Minutes at Work: 100 Mindfulness Practices to Help You Relieve Stress and Bring Your Best to Work.

Even taking a few minutes to breathe deeply can calm your body's stress-spurred flight-or-fight response.

First Things First

"You cannot get control of your stress without getting control of yourself physically," says Karissa Thacker, a Delaware-based management psychologist.

So go back to basics:

  • Sleep. Your body may need more rest to deal with the stress.
  • Avoid excess. "Stress is a physiological phenomenon that is immediately increased by lots of sugar or alcohol, which stress the system," says Thacker.
  • Move your body. You don't have to train for a marathon. Even taking the dog for a walk will help clear your mind.

Change Your Pattern

Try this: Talk to someone at work you haven't visited in awhile. Go out to lunch if you usually eat at your desk. Introduce yourself to someone new. Do something to interrupt the usual cycle of stress and anxiety.

"Humans are routinized creatures," Thacker says. "Upset the routine, and you will also unfreeze the thought and emotional patterns that are keeping you constantly worked up."

Latest Jobs

Posted: 10/01/2014
Harrisburg, PA, 17103
McKesson Pharmacy Systems and Automation
Posted: 10/01/2014
North Druid Hills, GA, 30329
McKesson Pharmacy Systems and Automation
Posted: 10/01/2014
Livonia, MI, 48150
ETAP
Posted: 10/01/2014
Irvine, CA, 92618

Want more personalized results?  Update Your Profile

 
 
 

Monster Communities

Teaching Community
Where teachers meet and learn.
ArtBistro
Create and connect.
Excelle
Networking for the career-minded woman.
Nursing Link
Where nurses call the shots.
More Monster Communities

Monster Partners

Scholarships
Scholarships, financial aid and more ways to pay for school.
Education.org
Find top campus and online degree programs.
Military.com
Military portal for the US Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard.
Financial Aid
Scholarships & financial aid.
Staffing for Government Jobs
Staffing and hiring solutions for federal government agency jobs.
More Monster Partners

Job Hunt Strategy

Six Ways to Make a Recruiter Hate You
If you want to blow your chances with recruiters -- and, by extension, with the companies they work for -- here are six perfect ways to do so.

Resumes & Cover Letters

Rev Up Your Resume to Relocate
Hoping to relocate? Get the ball rolling on landing the right job in the right location with these expert resume and cover letter tips.

Interviewing

100 Potential Interview Questions
Interview questions can run the gamut. You probably won't face all 100 of these, but you should still be prepared to answer at least some of them.

Salary & Benefits

10 Questions to Ask When Negotiating Salary
Most of us aren't natural negotiators, but asking these 10 questions during salary negotiations can help you get everything you deserve.

Employee Sourcing

Alt text
November Monster Employment Index Grows 13% Year-Over-Year, Tenth Consecutive Month of Positive Annual Growth.

For Seekers

Campus and Online Degrees
Advance your career and earn more with an online degree.
Free Salary Wizard
What are you worth? Find out and negotiate a better salary.
Research Careers
Get information on jobs and career paths to help guide your choices
Questions & Answers
Find answers to all your career related questions -- powered by Yahoo! Answers
Resume Distribution Service
Our distribution service puts your resume right in the hands of recruiters.
Resume Writing Services
Our experts will craft a keyword-rich resume that stands out in the crowd.
More Career Resources

For Employers

Career Ad Network
Target your job posting to more candidates on thousands of websites.
Hire Right Background Checks
Explore our background check packages to improve the quality of your hires.
Hiring Home Page
Find the best candidates for your business with Monster hiring solutions.
Job Postings
Find the right solution for your hiring needs. Starting at $99.
Power Resume Search
Monster's new search technology precisely matches people with your jobs.
Resource Center
Find staffing insights, labor trends, HR best practices and more.
Target Post
Connect with skilled, hourly and administrative candidates for only $99.

Social Media

Jobs on Twitter
Find jobs in your area and industry.
Monster Careers
Tune into our career advice and discussions tackling a wide range of topics and industries.
Monster Corporate & PR
Stay up-to-date on the latest news. Get the 'Who', 'What', 'When', and 'Why' on all things Monster related.
Monster Customer Service
Got a Monster question? We've got the answer. Whether you're a job seeker or employer, we can help you find the answers you need.
Monster for Employers
Find advice on hiring.
Follow Us
Check out our many pages and stay connected with the latest industry news, events, career advice and job openings.

Other Links

Monster Company Profiles
Explore companies and get information to guide your career decisions.
Compare Salaries
See how your pay stacks up to others in your field.
iPhone Application
Download the Monster app for iPhone and iPod touch.
Monster Job Seeker Blog
Monster Job Seeker Blog.
Monster Thinking Blog
Monster's Recruitment Trends Blog.
Jobs & Career Resources
Search Jobs:
For Employers: Post Jobs | Search Resumes | Advertise
About Monster | Work for Monster | Advertise with Us | AdChoices | Partner with Us | Investor Relations | Social Media
Terms of Use | Privacy Center | Accessibility Center | Help | Security | Contact Us | Sitemap | Mobile
©2014 Monster - All Rights Reserved U.S. Patents No. 5,832,497; 7,599,930 B1; 7,827,125 and 7,836,060 MWW - Looking for Monster Cable? - V: 2014.4.55.59-317
eTrustLogo