5 Tips to Handle Emotions and Stress at Work

Juggling work, relationships, kids, and other responsibilities often can lead to stress and emotional turmoil. We’ve all been there! There is a deadline at work, but you have a million things to do at home and suddenly you feel the tears welling up.

The pressure can become too much, but we are taught to hide our emotions in the workplace. Society runs on efficiency, and a lot of people think that If you are experiencing emotions at work then you are no longer efficient, and therefore invaluable. This narrative is just not true!

There are ways to become friends with your emotions so you can have a hold over them, and not let them have a hold over you.

Tip # 1 Speak to Someone Regularly

It helps to have someone hold space for us to be able to talk out and process our emotions. Hiring a therapist or a life coach is a great way to process your emotions in a safe place. When you consistently let out your emotions in a safe space, it creates emotional health and awareness. When feelings of stress and overwhelm at work creep up, you are more equipped to let the feelings rise and wash away, without becoming upset or lashing out at a coworker. You are also practicing getting them out, which prevents you from bottling emotions inside and exploding on the easiest target.

Tip #2 Work out Before you go to Work

If you notice yourself getting stressed and emotional at work without being able to control it, a good way to take control is to exercise before work. If you begin work early this could be a challenge, however, it will give you time to de-stress and work some energy through your body before you begin your day. Scientists at the Anxiety and Depression Association of America have found that regular participation in aerobic exercise has been shown to decrease overall levels of tension, elevate and stabilize mood, improve sleep, and improve self-esteem. Even five minutes of aerobic exercise can stimulate anti-anxiety effects. This means that even a 5 minute work out before you head to work can do wonders to manage your emotions during work.

Tip #3 Find a Quiet Spot in the Office, or Somewhere Close By

When you feel emotions rising and you know it’s not appropriate to share, find a quiet place away from the commotion, or find a favorite coffee shop close by. Creating a sanctuary at your job can work wonders for emotional health and stress. Find a safe place to remove yourself from the situation, grab some water and recenter yourself. When you remove yourself from the stressful situation to recalibrate you take back your power.

Tip #4 Learn more about Emotional Intelligence

When we learn more about emotional intelligence and personal development we begin to discover where we still have unresolved trauma and places where growth is necessary. Begin listening to Ted Talks and reading books on stress and emotional intelligence. There is a lot of material out there designed to help you gain control back and work through things you may be suppressing.

Tip #5 Let go of the Shame

If you are totally stressed and feel like an emotional wreck at work, don’t make it worse by shaming yourself. That’s the worst thing you could do because you are already feeling stressed and overwhelmed. You don’t need to put any blame on yourself for having emotions because they are totally natural! Everyone processes things in their own way, don’t be so hard on yourself. Remember that if you are going through a rough time, everyone else can relate. You are not alone, and shaming yourself into believing there is something wrong with you is completely unnecessary.

Hopefully, with this information, you can continue to bring your best self to your daily life in the workplace. If you do get emotional or stressed, you have a toolbox you can pull from to refocus and take control. 

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