Seven essential steps to letting go of work stress

I recently saw this article which has some really useful tips on letting go of work stress, so I thought I'd share it here with you. 
You can read the full article here

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Any movement will make a positive difference to your mental health.

1. Recognise when you are stressed

The first step toward letting go of stress is to know that you are carrying it.  Pay attention to how you feel and learn to read the signals that you are allowing work to wind you up or wear you down.  Learn to recognise when your body is telling you to take a break and recharge your battery.  Look for the signs of stress reflected in your mood and behaviour. 

2. Choose your thoughts

Be mindful of what you are thinking, both while at work and after you have left for the day. Stop the thoughts that pop into your mind about work issues that will be waiting for you tomorrow.  While it's natural for your mind to wander back to work issues from time to time, catch yourself getting caught up and choose a different thought. Choose to see your circumstances in a positive light and avoid the draining impacts pessimistic thinking can have. 

3. Focus on what you can control

For many of us, stress is exacerbated by feeling out of control or helpless. The reality is many things in our working lives are outside of our control. This is especially true of how other people choose to feel or behave. Focus on the things you can control such as your own thoughts, feelings and actions.

4. Take time out

When stress is mounting, try to take a quick break and move away from the situation. Take a stroll outside if possible, spend a few minutes clearing your mind in a breakout room or have a brief chat with a colleague.  Physical movement, fresh air, sunshine and laughter are just some of the ways you can quickly reduce stress before it sets in and affects your psyche and day. 

5. Begin to unwind at the end of your workday

Take steps to unwind from your day at work before you get home. For some people listening to music or talkback radio can be a great way to disconnect from the events of their day. Take a few moments before you leave work to write a list of things you can worry about tomorrow.  Writing things down can be a useful way of putting them out of your mind while you take a break. 

6. Beware the pitfalls of perfectionism

No matter how hard you try, you are unlikely to ever be perfect at everything you do. Take accountability for the standard of your contribution, but accept also that you will make mistakes and some outcomes will fall short of your expectations.  Accept that aiming for your best is all anyone can expect from you.

7. Get moving

Exercise is a great stress reliever.  Whether on a Dance Floor or a treadmill at the gym, doing sit-ups in your lounge room, or doing some gardening, any movement will make a positive difference to your mental health.  Look for ways you enjoy being active.  It's OK if you're not a fan of donning the Lycra and getting out on your bike.  Spend time expending energy in ways you will find most rewarding.  Even light exercise such as taking a stroll around the block at the end of your day will help relieve stress.