Most people work a 40 hour week so we can estimate that we typically spend about 2,000 hours at work each year. And many people work even more than this. Yet we often don’t take the time to ensure that our job setting is a pleasant place to be. Our jobs are often very stressful and stress is a known trigger for many common ailments and diseases.
Many studies have been done on the relationship between job stress and a variety of ailments. Mood and sleep disturbances, upset stomach, headaches and disturbed relationships with family and friends are examples of stress related problems that are quick to develop.
Before you think about stress reduction, start by identifying the particular stresses in your work and the effect they have on you. What, specifically, is it about your work situation that makes you feel anxious, angry, frustrated, burned out, depressed, etc? Do you have a difficult boss or co-worker? Do you have too much work and not enough time to do it? When you come up with your list of stressors, address them one at a time.
Managing stress is a slow and measured process that should take place over time and not all at once. Take stock of the situation and make a note of the things that are causing you the most concern. Look at things that you can do, or ask for support that will ease the situation, no matter how small. Set some achievable goals towards removing the problem. Think back to some similar situations you have overcome and apply these lessons.
A common reaction to a stressful situation is to try to escape, at least temporarily, by taking a coffee break or a quick smoke. But this only adds to the toxins in your body and does not attempt to deal with the underlying causes. A more effective response is to confront the tasks that cause you stress. Develop healthy habits one day at a time. Take a short walk in the morning, eat regularly, take time over your meals, and keep in touch with your mind and body.
It can be very beneficial to change your own outlook and actions rather than trying to change others who you believe are the cause of your stress. No matter what the causes of your tension and stress are, there are many strategies you can use to help protect you against the ill effects of stress. We elaborate on a different strategy to relieve stress each month in this newsletter.
Implementing aromatherapy into your life can go a long way in easing your stress as well as the stress levels of others around you. One of the main attributes of pure essential oils is their ability to relieve stress with immediate positive benefits. Because of the emotional elements which are at play in stress-related conditions, the choice of essential oils depends largely on the causes of the problem and the temperament of each individual and how they respond under pressure. Only use oils that appeal to you. If you do not like the scent, it will not have the desired effect.
There are many ways to bring aromatherapy into the workplace. Diffusers heat essential oils and allows their molecules to be released into the atmosphere. Inhaling different essential oils can alter your mood, stimulate creativity, help concentration and rid an area of airborne viruses and bacteria. Scenting your office with Lavender essential oil is said to reduce computer errors at least 25%.
If you have to work in an air conditioned or stuffy building, using essential oils in a diffuser or spritzing a spritzer can really clear the air. Geranium, Lavender, Lemon, Peppermint and Rosemary are all excellent for a quick pick me up. Try Chamomile, Lavender or Sandalwood oil. All are thought to help combat stress and tension.
Here are a few more ideas to get you started.
If you can’t use a diffuser at work, simply put a drop of essential oil on a tissue and keep with you to sniff whenever you need to.
Put a few drops of your favorite essential oil on the cardboard tube inside a roll of toilet paper to fragrance the bathroom at work.
Let scent be your calling card. Simply add your favorite essential oils to cotton balls and place your business cards and the cotton balls in a box with a lid. Keep tightly closed for at least 1 week.
Mix 5 drops of Lavender (or your favorite oil) into about a teaspoon of Jojoba or Sweet Almond base oil. Dab on a cloth and wipe the surfaces of your desk and top of the computer. When the heat of the computer warms the oil there is a pleasant fresh fragrance wafting through the air.
There is help for your stress! Aromatherapy has been proven to be excellent for stress relief as well as increasing productivity and efficiency levels. The possibilities are only limited to your imagination.
Susan Stewart is co-founder of It’s My Nature, a home based US business providing Aromatherapy and Herbal Comforts.