Chronic stress is the worst. It kills our productivity, limits our ability to think creatively, and wreaks havoc throughout our bodies. To help keep minor stressors - like an "URGENT" email from a supervisor - from turning into chronic stress, I employ a few stretching and breathing techniques throughout my day. These stretches can all be done at your desk, in your work attire, anytime you need to hit the reset button on your stress response.
While reading through some research on workplace stress and its effects on health, I came across an alarming comparison. The effect of workplace stress on health is as large as the effect of secondhand smoke on health. That’s right folks, your workplace could be as toxic for your health as sitting in a bar full of tobacco smoke every night. Scary, right?
It sounds so simple, but when you think about it, doesn't it also feel familiar? Most of us spend our work lives in a constant state of overwhelm. There will always be more work to do than there are hours in the week. We are expected (or expect ourselves) to be on and available all the time, reacting to whatever is happening in the moment.