Imagine being able to go to work in the morning, knowing that you won’t experience a single instance of stress for the whole day.
It seems like an impossible dream for most of us. We’re so used to the idea that to be productive, we need to be completely tense, that we have no idea that there’s another way of working.
You see, the basic problem goes something like this: we think that the best way to work is to focus and put in as much effort as we can. So we stress and strain, trying to eke as much performance out of our conscious minds as possible. For some of us, we don’t feel as though we’ve done a day’s work unless there’s tension throughout our entire bodies.
But when you think about it, this approach to work doesn’t actually make much sense. It seems strange that we rely so heavily on our conscious minds for work when so much of what we do well is unconscious.
Think about driving your car to the office. If you did it consciously, you’d be like you were when you were learning all over again. You would have to think about each change of gear and turn of the steering wheel.
But, amazingly, you don’t think about driving at all after a few years. It just becomes automatic. And, for many people, almost flawless.
Work, though, seems to occupy a different category in our minds. We think that if we do it automatically, we’re somehow being negligent or “cheating.”
This is total baloney! And it’s so easy to prove.
Think about any top artist, musician or writer. What do they all say about achieving peak performance? They all say that you need to get into the zone. You have to coax yourself into a mental state where you lose self-consciousness and focus entirely on the task at hand.
This sounds like a conscious effort. But it’s actually a process of “letting go.” You can’t force yourself into a state of flow any more than you can force yourself to go to the bathroom. And when it happens, the stress just melts away. All that exists is you and the task that you want to complete.
In this sense, therefore, working totally stress-free is possible. But you have to get into the zone. If you can manage it, you can often spend hours in the state, completely absorbed and fascinated by what you’re doing.
There are also many other ways you can work stress-free. Check them out below:
The threat of legal action can put a downer on your ability to enjoy your work. But you can actually get around this problem quite easily with liability insurance. You should already have this type of cover if you run a business or you’re self-employed. But if you don’t, that’s not a problem. Getting it is easy and something that you can do over the phone.
Once you have it, you can stop lying awake at night, worrying about getting a letter from someone’s lawyer, demanding money. In most cases, your premiums will cover any damages you need to pay.
Act, Don’t React
Stress usually happens when you are in a reactive mode. You continually feel like you’re “spinning plates,” and “putting out fires.”
The trick here is to change your approach to work. Instead of just dealing with problems as they come up, take proactive action to prevent them from happening in the first place.
Even if you only manage to control 25 percent of what happens in the office, that can make a big difference in your stress levels.
Breathe Deeply When You Feel The Stress Bite
Stress helped our ancestors escape dangerous predators on the savanna. But, for most of us, the sensation is actually an impediment to doing good work. It makes us less productive and more exhausted.
Fortunately, there’s a quick technique you can use to fight it, no matter what you’re doing: deep breathing.
It turns out that deep breathing activates the body’s parasympathetic nervous system, immediately putting you in a state of relaxation. Suddenly, you feel the tension leaving your stomach and head, and you feel lighter and more in control of the situation again.
Lastly, eating right can also help you with stress at work. Did you know that pro-inflammatory foods, like soda, doughnuts and meat, can cause inflammation in the brain? Well, they can. And this can lead to worsening mood states and even depression.
Eating healthily during the day can reduce stress levels and give you the peace of mind you need to perform.