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How to Reduce Stress at Work

Sometimes the biggest thing you produce at work is your own stress. Get rid of it with these stress-reducing methods.


  • TIP: Don't beat yourself up about your work: no one is perfect. Relax and enjoy the results.
  • Step 1: Laugh once in a while. Humor can generate healthy improvements in your body's functions and reduce damaging stress hormones responsible for obesity, heart disease, memory impairment, and other problems.
  • Step 2: Delegate tasks to share the workload, letting others handle repetitious tasks that don't require your expertise. Leave whatever you can't finish at the office when you go home and recharge -- it can wait till tomorrow.
  • FACT: In one hospital, the frequency of medication errors declined by 50 percent after the hospital implemented a stress-prevention program.
  • Step 3: Coach yourself with positive reinforcement. Extend the good vibrations to fellow workers, management, and supervisors who also deserve to be complimented for a job well done, a neat office, or conscientious work habits.
  • Step 4: Abstain from a habit of drinking after hours, which can make it harder to get a good night's sleep, reduce your efficiency, and raise stress even more as you fall behind.
  • Step 5: Clean up your work area as a way to clear your head and prioritize tasks.
  • Step 6: Set achievable goals instead of undermining your own efforts. Know your limits and be organized. Prioritize obligations, maintain accurate records, and track your progress. Under-promise and over-deliver.
  • TIP: Reframe challenges as opportunities connected to past successes.
  • Step 7: Exercise at your desk to release tension. Stretch, walk around, and get the endorphins going. Socialize more with colleagues, which can generate oxytocin, a chemical in the body that lowers blood pressure.
  • Step 8: Show up early to the workplace and give yourself time to lower your stress level before meetings or calls. Prepare for stressful situations. If all else fails, use the bathroom during the day to think, read, or compose yourself.

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