May 10, 2021

Managing Workplace Stress

Managing Workplace Stress

Six ways to manage your stress at work

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Stress in the workplace is at an all-time high, thanks to COVID-19. From budget cuts to adjusting to being remote, to going back to the office after being remote, more and more people are stressed out, and it affects their mental health.

In episode 93 of the Mental Health Today Show, I talk about Managing Workplace Stress.

Managing deadlines, dealing with a difficult boss, juggling between working from home and helping your kids who are also remote, job layoffs, and worrying how to pay this month's rent or mortgage takes a toll on your mental health.

Stress affects sleep, mood, energy levels, and relationships, and can be harmful to your body.

A tiny place in our brains called the Amygdala activates our limbic system and creates a stress hormone called cortisol. But, when the cortisol levels are too high for too long, our body will feel the negative effects of stress.

Negative effects of stress = rapid heart rate, blood pressure increase, blood sugar rises, muscles tense up, pupils dilate, and perspiration increases.

 Three stages of the stress response:

  1. Activation: We first perceive a threat, and our Amygdala goes into a fight, flight, or freeze mode. 
  2. Reaction: Our body stays activated with a high level of metabolic levels in an effort to stay alert.
  3. Exhaustion: Prolong exposure to the stressor will eventually deplete our body's immune system.

Ways to Manage Workplace Stress:

  1. Take micro-breaks throughout the day.
  2. Do something you enjoy.
  3. Spend time with people who fill you up.
  4. Get a pet.
  5. Make intentional downtime for yourself.
  6. Practice controlled breathing. Close your lips, inhale deeply, hold your breath for 4 seconds, blow air out of your mouth for 5-8 seconds, repeat slowly 8 times. 

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I appreciate you,

John Cordray, Board Certified Counselor