When you come home from a long day of work, it’s natural that you’d feel the need to lay in bed and hit the munchies. Feeling burnt out is common, and we’ve talked about how this might be a feeling you have when you think that work doesn’t serve a higher purpose for you. Now that we’ve talked about workplace stress, it’d only be apt to continue by enlightening you about the ways in which one can reduce it.
When you think that you’ve reached saturation, you often ponder over the possibility of having done better. The belief that one is dissatisfied with what they’re doing often leads to a displacement of emotions in other ways to deal with this feeling. You may have noticed that when you’re bummed out at the end of the day, you often take it out on your family or friends, leaving them aghast at your show of temper. This is only natural!
The emotions you feel about the work you’re doing and the belief that you’re not gaining what you want from it may lead you to lash out at the people you love. A study published in ‘Perceptual and Motor Skills’ states that exercise does reduce the intensity of aggressive or negative emotions. This could apply to the feelings felt as a result of one’s beliefs about the workplace as well.
It’s not only the emotional aspect of things that exercise and sleep can help. Dr. Mike Tarnopolsky, a metabolic neurologist, studied mice affected by a genetic disease causing premature aging. The mice were divided into a sedentary group, and another that was put through regular exercise. After five months, the sedentary mice had succumbed to the condition. Those put through exercise were almost identical compared to normal mice. This shows how regular exercise not only helps you displace your emotions, but also fight the changes that stress or physical infirmity could produce.
Let’s move on to discussing sleep. We’ve already spoken in depth about the circadian rhythm. We’re supposed to keep it in balance by setting a timeline for ourselves throughout the day. Regularizing our daily routine can lead to a more balanced emotional palette. Waking up at the same time daily is the key to setting the pace. Studies have shown that teenagers tend to get up later than adults. It doesn’t matter what time you get up though. It matters whether you’re getting up around the same time daily. This sets the pace for the rest of the day to be more balanced. When you’re going to sleep, make sure you put all your screens off an hour prior. This is imperative.
Scrolling through Instagram or reading that book you want to finish on your iPad can reduce the levels of melatonin due to light exposure. Melatonin is necessary to maintain the regularity of the circadian rhythm. If you’re looking at work related things on a screen before sleep that stress you out, it’s even worse. A study conducted at the Ohio State University Medical Center showed that mice, when exposed to dim light at night showed depressive tendencies a few weeks after. The reduction of melatonin sets the circadian rhythm off its regular path. This not only leads the body clock to go kaputt; it may also lead us to be grumpy through the daily grind.
From these arguments, it’s pretty clear that mere satisfaction with work is not the only way to reduce stress that one feels after a long day. Setting a regular pace to one’s day is always imperative to establish balance. Here’s some simple things that you should do to keep balanced through the rigors of work:
- Exercise (even a light walk or a swim is fine) regularly. Around 150 minutes a week is a healthy amount. Aaptiv is an application that can help you out with being regular!
- Sleep at a regular time daily. Use the ‘Sleep’ app on an Android phone to remind you that it’s time to hit the sheets.
- Switch off all your screens and keep them away from you before you go to sleep.
- Never snooze your alarm! A constant wake up time is the key to a balanced day!
We’ve helped a number of professionals deal with their workplace stress. Just take ABC for example; we’ve helped him deal with the stress he felt at work through Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Reframing your thoughts and emotions can really lead one to look at things in a different light, and this could be the key to dealing with the stresses we face!
An undergraduate in Psychology, Shantanu is an aspiring Educational Psychologist who will be pursuing his Master’s in 2018 at the Ohio State University. He is adept with psychometric and statistical research, and has honed his grasp over psychology through a 4 year undergraduate course in Liberal Education at FLAME University, Pune.