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Learn how to manage stress with coping techniques

Learn how to manage stress with coping techniquesImage Credit: Supplied

Effective stress management in the workplace is important for overall health. Interestingly, in 2011 and 2012, 428,000 people in the UK reported work-related stress at a degree they believed was making them sick, which was 40% of all work-related illnesses. But there are some long-term coping techniques you can use.

• Understand yourself - When stressed at work, retain a large degree of self-control by understanding yourself and improving your emotional intelligence. Identify the root of the stress, recognise your stress response and if there is a specific problem, try to resolve it in the best way possible. There is no ''one size fits all'' model here, but you might want to ask a trusted friend, colleague or coach for guidance.

• Hobbies - Often believed to be activities for people with lots of time on their hands; however, people with stressful lives can benefit greatly from having something they enjoy doing to relax. A hobby does not have to be expensive; it could be as simple as reading. The Telegraph mentioned that reading for six minutes alone relaxes the muscles and helps you unwind.

• Fitness and diet - A balanced diet prevents nutritional deficiencies that can affect mental functioning. Exercise is a fantastic mood elevator that stimulates the release of endorphins, the body's natural ''feel good'' chemicals. Exercise at least three to four times a week and gradually build a routine. This elevates mood and improves memory and motor skill coordination.

• Sleep - Adults must have between seven and nine hours of sleep per night. If you are sleep deficient, you are less likely to effectively regulate emotions and behaviour and, therefore, more likely to feel stressed or depressed. Research shows that people with less than five hours of sleep per night feel sadder, stressed, angry and mentally exhausted. Those with complete sleep are generally in the best mood at all times.

Handy Hints:

• Keep a food journal to keep track of what you are eating

• Exercise helps elevate one's mood and improve memory

• Reduce stress by getting at least seven to nine hours of sleep

Why you need to shift the focus of your thoughts and actions

Source: Nicola Turner, Special to Jobs & Careers

The writer is Organisational Psychologist, HRI&C