How to Manage Stress in the Work Place

Workplace Wellbeing
March 15, 2022
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Stress in the workplace can be caused by a single large event or the accumulation of many small instances. For some of us, we internalize issues we face in the workplace and take them home with us day in and day out. We see these stressors in an amplified way, often times making them out to be bigger than they actually are.

Sometimes small changes can significantly impact how stressful your day-to-day work life is. This blog explores small positive changes that can have major impacts on your personal wellness or employee wellness in your company. 

What Causes Stress? 

In simplest terms, stress is your body’s response to external pressure. When faced with what seems to be massive challenges, our body releases stress hormones, triggering our “fight or flight” responses. Essentially, you can think of it as your mind being put on “red alert.”

In some ways, this can be a good thing. We sometimes need the extra bit of focus and adrenaline to take us through a difficult challenge at work or in our lives. If you’re in a dangerous situation, you’ll be pretty grateful for your body’s stress reaction!

However, no single person can exist under “red alert” conditions all the time. Your mind and body don’t do well with the alarm bells constantly ringing either. Stress can physically manifest in elevated blood pressure, lack of ability to sleep, and increased appetite. These are beneficial reactions to get you through a survival situation but detrimental to your average health.

The mental signs of stress can be more insidious, including hyper-focusing on the object of stress and enhanced anger, anxiety, and fear levels. The physical and mental components can often create a dangerous “feedback loop,” where bad eating and sleeping habits only cause more stress and worry. 

Small Changes to Reduce Stress

As you can tell, stress affects every part of your life, from your physical to mental capacity to function. It’s assumed that you need to undergo massive changes in your life in order to deal with the adverse effects of your life stressors. However, you can experience significant improvements in your stress levels with relatively minor changes.

Small Exercise Breaks

We know that exercise can help reduce our stress and improve our overall health. For many of us, exercise is an effective source of stress all on its own. We feel bad if we can’t schedule a significant workout session every day, if we miss a session or don’t perform as we anticipated. You should be approaching exercise not only as a chunk of time in the gym but as any active and intentional movement. 

Even just a quick 20-minute walk during your lunch break is a great way to help combat stress. Activity and fresh air go a long way to making us feel better. Looking away from the computer screen and stepping away from the project at hand will allow you to come back with fresh eyes and a clear head. This is why you see so many corporate wellness programs including an on-site gym or workout equipment. 


Every day starts and ends with sleep. It’s amazing how minor adjustments to your sleep schedule can have major effects on your wellbeing. Catching just an extra hour of sleep can make you feel significantly better the next morning. If you have trouble falling asleep at a decent time, try to unwind an hour before heading to bed. Stop screen time, put your phone on silent mode and, have a non-caffeinated tea. Set your body and mind up for a successful and calm recovery sleep.

A lot of employers today are more open to the idea of flexible work hours. Except for team or client meetings, perhaps you’re more productive in the evening time. There’s never harm in speaking to your employer about switching up your work hours from 9-5 to 10-6. 


When you’re stressed, there’s an instinctive desire to isolate yourself. You may feel ashamed by the idea that you “don’t have it together.” Or you may find social interaction becomes exhausting. If you work from home or work independently, you simply may not need to speak to another person. You don’t even realize how minimal your human interactions are. However, our social connections are what ground us. This is why so many corporate wellness programs include team bonding activities as a core component. 

Wellness Techniques 

You can use plenty of wellness techniques throughout the day that doesn’t need to take up a lot of your time. These could include journaling to meditation, or even yoga. A few minutes a day are all that’s needed to take the edge off your stress. Choose something that feels right for you. While silent reflection may work for some, perhaps having your morning coffee and reading a few pages of your favorite book is what you find calming.

If you’re looking to improve employee wellness and cut down on stress in your workplace, check out our corporate wellness programs. Small amounts of time, effort, and kindness can go a long way. 

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