The best way to reduce the stress in your life is to evaluate your environment.
Reconsider these five areas and see how you lessen the stress while you work.
Sounds: Too many background noises can contribute to the stress and tension of your day – in the office it might be ringing phones, workplace chatter, or copy machines. In your home it could be, television volume, computer games, or children playing. If the sounds at work or home are causing you stress, take control. Begin by turning down your own sounds and noises like cell phones, chatter and radios, and kindly ask others to do the same. I have a home office and right around 4 pm the noise level increases with ‘we’re home’ – managing my time around expected sounds helps me decrease stress.
Sights: Poor lighting can cause eye strain and increase fatigue. Better lighting can be an instant mood booster. Be sure your work environment has adequate lighting. Experiment with full spectrum bulbs at your desk or try working by a window, if possible. Also, try to get some daily exposure to the sun.
Surroundings: A cluttered, messy or disorganized work or home space can be stressful and distracting. Take the time to develop a system that works for you. Try to create a relaxing, inviting and pleasant vibe in both places. This will not only keep you calm, but will be welcoming and tranquil for any guests. My number one stress is clutter, too much ‘stuff” makes my mind spin ~ my inner organizer finds it difficult to concentrate.
Systems: We all know that systems and technology can make life easier, but often offer too many interruptions, information overload and stressful accessibility. Make sure to give yourself a technology break on a regular basis, take a walk outside, chat with a friends or co-worker or practice some quiet meditation. Log off and disconnect whenever possible ‘push away from the keyboard‘. Create a system or schedule for reading e-mail, responding to text messages and checking voice-mail to eliminate overload and response time stress.
Space: Find a space at home, work or in between where you can breathe deeply, meditate, visualize or practice other stress management techniques. Try it now: Inhale slowly to the count of six, hold for six and exhale for six. Spending time in nature, even looking at nature pictures, has been shown to reduce stress levels.