How to Reduce Stress and Work Better

Want to work better and harder?

Try Tai Chi, meditation, or yoga or other stress-reduction techniques.

That’s what Mayo Clinic researchers suggest after they examined the relationship between stress levels and quality of life at a work site wellness center.

The researchers, led by Matthew M. Clark, a clinical psychologist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, conducted a survey of more than 13,000 employees joining a wellness center, asking them about stress, health behaviors, and quality of life.

A total of 2,147 of these employees reported having high stress levels, according to a study in the September/October issue of the American Journal of Health Promotion.

Those under high stress had statistically significant lower quality of life, more fatigue, and poorer health compared with employees with low stress levels.

They were also more likely to have high blood pressure, high blood sugar, high cholesterol, and to be overweight.

The study showed the biggest differences between stressed and non-stressed respondents were in fatigue levels after a regular night’s sleep and in current quality of life.

The researchers concluded that tailored stress-reduction programs would be beneficial for these employees.

Mindfulness exercises, which include Tai Chi, meditation, and yoga, can increase positivity, said Margaret Moore, MBA, founder of Wellcoaches Corporation, at a Harvard-based academic conference on coaching that she co-directed last year.

“Positive emotions matter,” said Moore.

“They lead to flow experiences.”

Positivity makes you thrive and uncover your strengths and talents, she said.

Corporate wellness programs typically focus on physical fitness and weight loss initially, but personal wellness coaches also address other domains of wellness, including stress management, work/life balance, spirituality, and resilience.

Your boss may ask about your productivity and how you are adding to the bottom line.

A return on investment of wellness is tougher to calculate.

But reducing stress may help boost your health and resiliency, and therefore make you a better worker.

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