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by Emily Wiegand | November 09, 2023


Given the countless Zooms, heavy workloads, and constant deadlines, it comes as no surprise that 83 percent of U.S. workers suffer from workplace stress. If you’re among the vast majority of the stressed out, here’s how to eliminate some of that tension by using the Mayo Clinic’s 4 A’s of Stress Relief.

1. Avoid 

One way to eliminate stress is avoiding something that’s causing you anxiety. For example, if crowded social settings spark your nervousness the most, then leverage your boundary-setting skills and limit your attendance at non-required work events, such as happy hours. Or, if your biggest concern is a meeting invite coming through when your inbox is full and your to-do list is never-ending, then use a calendar block to allow yourself time to work and avoid any distractions. It’s important, though, to be careful not to take this concept too far and become avoidant of important job responsibilities. Not every single stressor can be eliminated, but for those we can’t avoid, we have some other options. 

2. Alter

Instead of completely saying ‘no’ to a situation that raises your heart rate, think of ways you can change the circumstances to fit your needs better. Altering situations that cause unnecessary strain can include moving your one-on -one meeting with your boss from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m., giving you more time to feel prepared instead of rushing first thing in the morning. You can also change your environment to be more calming. This can include decluttering your desk, asking to move to a different office that’s further away from your toxic coworker, or even asking to work remotely. This method won’t be applicable to every case, but for those that can’t be changed, there is still hope.

3. Accept 

For those stressors that can’t be avoided or altered, we have to accept and embrace them for what they are. When an important deliverable needs to be done by the end of the week, you have to accept that accomplishing the project on time isn’t negotiable. While you have to face the situation head on, it’s important to remember that your feelings about it are still valid. This is why Mayo Clinic suggests talking to someone in these cases. You could express to a close friend how overwhelmed you are with work; by doing so, you won’t have to suffer in silence.

4. Adapt 

The final method for handling stress is adapting your mindset, instead of the situation itself. Sometimes the biggest pressure isn’t actually the project or occasion but the expectations we put on ourselves to execute it perfectly. Breaking down tendencies of perfectionism and learning how to overcome imposter syndrome is one way you can adapt to better deal with strenuous events. Even a simple mindset shift of reminding yourself ‘you can do hard things’ can boost your confidence and lessen your stress around a situation. 

Stress management is not ‘one-size-fits-all,’ but by using these four methods you can learn how to cope with and even overcome workplace pressure with ease.