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Some stress is necessary to help you meet life’s challenges.
Your brain is wired in such a way that until you feel some sort of pressure, you are slow to take action to achieve a desired goal. Research from UC Berkeley in the US found that the onset of stress entices the brain to grow new cells responsible for improved memory. However, this effect is only seen when stress is intermittent.
When stress becomes prolonged, it suppresses the brain’s ability to develop these important new cells.Intermittent stressful events increase your performance by keeping the brain more alert. The best performers at work use strategies to lower their stress levels and ensure their stress is not prolonged.
Here are a few ways you can employ strategies to deal with stress brought about by people you encounter at work.
Say No.Research from the University of California shows that the more difficulty you have with saying no, the more likely you are to experience stress. ‘No’ is a powerful weapon in the battle against stress.
Don’t be afraid to wield it. Avoid phrases like, ‘I don’t think I can’ or ‘I’m not certain’. Saying no gives you the time and opportunity to fulfil your existing objectives.
‘What if’ might never be. What others do at work is pretty much out of your control, unless of course, you’re their boss. Endlessly questioning what would have happened if things had gone your way simply raises your stress levels. Spend less time worrying about what could have been if person X hadn’t been involved, and more time on what you can do to achieve the best outcome for the organisation and yourself.
Know when to disconnect.When you’re constantly tracking someone at work, you expose yourself to a barrage of stressors. Turn your focus away from them and concentrate on what you need to do. If you’re seriously worried about the negative repercussions of their actions on your work, talk to a manager.
Be mindful, be positive. Mindfulness is a simple form of meditation that can help you control your own thoughts and behaviour. People who practice mindfulness are more focused and perform better. Being mindful means reflecting on your actions and not jumping from one thing to the next without thinking it through.
Positivity is power. The more you ruminate on negative thoughts, the more power you give them. Most of our negative thoughts are just that – thoughts, not facts. Focus on the positive. When your work colleague gets right, make sure you recognise it. A simple ‘thank you’ could do your relationship the world of good.