83% of US workers suffer from work-related stress, with 25% saying their job is the number one stressor in their lives. Stress in the workplace is extremely common and known to be a big challenge affecting employee engagement, productivity and the overall health of employees. While a certain level of stress is expected with any job, it is important to pick up strategies to reduce stress and create the best work environment possible. Everyone handles stress differently, but these six ideas could potentially lower stress levels and help employees to feel less anxious at work. 

Keep a positive mindset.  Instead of viewing stress from a filtered view where negative aspects of situations can be magnified, it is important to try viewing each instance objectively. This will help minimize the impact workplace stress has on mental health. Employees should practice positive self-talk and be open to learning from stressful situations instead of letting them add on to stress. Developing positive and healthy responses is a great way to overcome problems with stress at work. 

Focus on others. Volunteering, lending a helping hand, or even complimenting others is proven to increase happiness. Positive actions towards others at work such as showing gratitude for help, giving compliments on a job well done, or mentoring can minimize negative impacts on mental health.  

Take small breaks. To avoid stress and burnout, stop and take a couple of deep breaths to reset. Other helpful tactics include a quick walk around the building, meditation, or midday yoga to help refresh, recharge and lower stress levels.  

Create a schedule. Poor time management often leads to stress at work. A thoughtfully planned and structured day ensures that the right tasks are prioritized, and deadlines are met. It is also important to eliminate as many interruptions as possible. In addition, it is essential to establish boundaries to create a work-life balance. To some, this might mean making rules around when to check e-mails in the evening or answer the phone.  

Exercise, eat healthily and get plenty of sleep. These basics contribute to employee stress levels and have a huge impact on overall health. It is crucial to get some type of exercise during the week or every day if possible. Stress has a tendency to make individuals turn to unhealthy foods that can elevate blood pressure, raise cholesterol levels and more. It is important to choose healthy foods including plenty of fruits and vegetables with the right nutrients to boost the immune system and promote overall wellbeing. Lastly, reducing stress depends, in large part, on getting enough sleep. Make sure to get an adequate amount of rest each night for top performance the next day. 

Get support. Employee health is extremely important in the overall productivity, engagement and culture of a business. Explore any employer-sponsored wellness resources available or talk to your HR department to learn about getting help with mental health challenges. If overwhelming stress persists, it my be beneficial to speak with a therapist to help manage stress and unhealthy behaviors.  

Everyone deals with some type of stress at work. It is important to take the necessary steps to positively impact mental health and create a better work environment.