How to reduce stress at work

9 Nov
by Suzie Business Owner & Senior HRBP

As November 2nd, 2016, was National Stress Awareness Day! To show our support at Up&Up HR we have put together a list of top tips that we believe will help reduce unnecessary stress in your workplace.

What is Stress?

Stress can be described as:

“A primary physical response. When stressed, the body thinks it is under attack and switches to ‘fight or flight’ mode, releasing a complex mix of hormones and chemicals such as adrenaline, cortisol and norepinephrine to prepare the body for physical action. This causes a number of reactions, from blood being diverted to muscles, to shutting down unnecessary bodily functions such as digestion.”

Stress at Work

It has been reported that more than 40% of adults say a stressful day at work can leave them lying awake at night.

Within a working environment it is often normal to experience stress. However, excessive workplace stress can not only, have an adverse effect on your productivity and performance, but will also impact your own physical health.

By addressing aspects within a job that may be causing excessive stress can ultimately help you to feel happier and healthier in the workplace.

Top Tips to Reduce Stress

Take a break

In work it is essential that you take time out during the day. Although, within the culture we live in, taking an hour long lunch would be frowned upon, it is actually necessary for managing stress. In fact, breaks are not only great for rest and health reasons, it is also stated that people do their best ‘thinking’ when not working, proving breaks aid creativity.

Organisation is key

When you begin to feel stressed within a working situation, there are steps you can take to regain control. Creating a schedule will help you to focus your mind, it will give you a clear indication of what tasks you have and the time in which you have to complete them.

Instead of trying to juggle everything at once, focus on completing one task at a time, this will help you to focus your mind on each task, minimise stress and will lead to increased productivity.

It’s important to prioritise tasks from most important to least, even if you have a task you don’t enjoy as much, completing it early will give you a sense of accomplishment, and you’ll finish the day feeling more confident and upbeat.

Eat well

Your diet choices can have an adverse affect on how you feel at work. A badly balanced diet will stress your system. High sugar and carb foods can lead to an afternoon ‘carb crash’ leaving you feeling bloated and low on energy, avoid this by eating smaller healthier choices, more often.

It’s not just what you eat that can affect your stress levels, high caffeine and alcohol levels can adversely affect your mood and should be consumed in moderation.

Sleep well

It has been reported that high levels of anxiety and stress can lead to insomnia, however, a lack of sleep will lead to more stress! It is therefore, crucial to improve your sleeping pattern – you can do this by:

  • Ensuring you get 8 hours of sleep a night
  • Taking time to destress before you go to sleep
  • Avoiding heavy activity just before bed
  • Avoiding looking at computer or phone screens up to an hour before sleep.  


Exercise is a great way of relieving stress and anxiety, it also increases your overall health and well-being. During physical activity your body releases happy chemicals called endorphins. All forms of exercise release endorphins – so don’t think in order to feel better you need to complete a marathon! Exercise such as yoga, pilates and even going for a long walk will help to release endorphins and relieve stress.

Create positive working relationships

Creating relationships with colleagues is a great way to help you enjoy work even more and reduce stress levels. When you find yourself in a stressful situation, confiding in friends will help to relieve stress. Talking to someone in a similar situation will allow them to easily understand why you’re stressed and come up with alternative ways to reduce stress levels. Your colleagues may also help to take some stress away by helping to complete some of the tasks you find stressful.

Stressed about HR? We can help…

At Up & Up HR we ensure a positive, consistent approach to HR management. Gradually, in stages, we improve the competence, performance, metrics and engagement of your people, reinforced by regular auditing. Find out more or call us today on: 0113 386 9270.

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