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Stress-busters: 13 tips to overcome stress at work

April 27, 2006
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May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and the National Mental Health Association has developed some mental health tips to help all Americans, including workers, manage life’s day-by-day demands. Stress at work can lead to missed deadlines, trouble concentrating, reduced productivity and increased sick days, says NMHA (

NMHA offers the following recommendations to help people better manage stress:

Treat your body right. Eating right and exercising can increase your tolerance to stress.

Set realistic goals. Do what’s possible and carry on.

Set and re-set your priorities. Take care of important and difficult tasks first, and eliminate non-essential tasks.

Take one task at a time. Divide large projects into smaller tasks; make “to do” lists.

Take five. Taking a short break can help slow down your mind long enough to improve your ability to deal with stress later.

Learn to relax or meditate. Just 10 to 20 minutes of quiet reflection or meditation can bring relief from chronic stress.

Give yourself a break. No one is perfect. Striving to be the best in everything will lead to worry, anxiety and failure.

Learn to say “no.” Slow down and be honest about what you can comfortably do.

Be flexible. Make allowances for other people’s opinions and be prepared to compromise.

Avoid excessive competition. Excessive competition can be dangerous emotionally and physically — not to mention damaging to your job.

Manage your anger. Retreat before you lose control. Allow time to cool down. You’ll be better equipped to handle the problem constructively later.

Be honest with colleagues. Make it plain you feel you’re in a bind. Don’t just complain — make practical suggestions for improvement.

Talk it out with a loved one. Talking it out can help you see things more clearly, release negative feelings and get emotional support.


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