Work Stress and the Journey into Work
Work stress can often begin even before you have arrived at work.
The daily journey into work can in itself get your day off to a stressful start.
Learning to prepare ourselves for our journeys and any unforeseen stressful situations that may arise will help get your working day off to a much better start.
Don't let your commute increase your work stress
Traveling by Car
One of the biggest problems of driving to work during the rush hour (or is it hours), is the threat of being stuck in a traffic jam.
There are two issues with a traffic jam that make us react in a stressful way to it. Firstly there is no way of knowing how long you will be stuck in the jam and this means that you are no longer in control.
The second is the inability to get out of the jam, so out of your natural fight or flight reaction you only have fight and this causes road rage.
Unfortunately road rage is not only dangerous to others but also to you. You could end up in a fight with someone else or at the very least you will be raising your blood pressure and making yourself feel uptight and angry. This is no way to start your day.
Tips for Beating Road Rage Stress
- Set off on your journey at least fifteen minutes earlier than normal. That way if you are caught in a jam you will feel less stressed and worried about being late for work.
- Play soothing music instead of listening to the morning radio, which often is shouting at you to wake up.
- Have comedy tapes in the car, a good laugh or even a smile on your face will decrease the stress response.
- Practice relations breathing exercises to clam you both physically and mentally. You will arrive at work relaxed and alert ready to take on the day.
Traveling By Train
Traveling by train or tube can be just as stressful but for different reasons. Personal space is often nonexistent on the crowded morning train and this in itself can make you feel uncomfortable and agitated.
You may also have to stand all the way and this will mean that you arrive at work tired rather than ready to take on the day. Unfortunately there is not much that can be done if the train is your only way into work. However you could consider trying these tips to avoid this work stress:
- Getting an earlier train to see if it is not so crowded
- Find out if it is possible to work from home or have flexible hours so that you do not have to be on the train during rush hours.
- Practice meditation with your eyes closed, this can help to transport you away from the current uncomfortable situation.
- Listen to relaxing music on ear phones.
Many people have to travel by air for their job and although the journey itself may be more comfortable that the train it has other ill effects that causes work stress. Jet lag is the main problem; it causes poor concentration, tiredness, irritability and even digestive problems.
There are a few stress relief tips that can help reduce these work stress ill effects:
- Try to fly in the most comfortable seats you can afford. More space and comfort will allow you to rest during the journey.
- Choose eastward flights early in the morning so you arrive in daylight and westward trips so that you arrive in darkness.
- Do not be tempted to sleep before night time, keep yourself awake until the appropriate time. Your body clock will adjust sooner. This is especially true if you are being flown across the world. If you have business in Australia and are flying into Sydney, or headed to Tokyo for a conference, you will want to plan ahead of time the best way to adjust to their time while you are there.
- Don’t drink caffeine or alcohol during the flight but do drink plenty of water.
- Make sure you get up and stretch your legs during the flight every hour and doing some small but gentle body stretches will help keep your body relaxed.
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