Let’s face it: work without stress is a hobby. It’s the stress that makes it work. Stress at work comes at you from all sides. Co-workers that annoy you. Management that puts impossible deadlines and workloads on you. Family stresses that you carry to work with you from home. All of this in a troubled economy and the threat of job loss hanging over your head. This article will show you some steps to eliminate as much of that stress as possible.

The key word is eliminate. See, the advice that is killing you about stress is all that advice about how you should handle stress. Take deep breaths. Meditate and go to your happy place. Exercise and eat better. All of this is good advice. But, guess what? The stress is still there! And now, you’ve lost more time to deal with it, because you’ve spent time dealing with your feelings.

Let’s take a different path. What if you eliminated the stress? What if you attacked the stress as hard as it was attacking you, and made it walk away with its tail between its legs? Would you need to take deep breaths and meditate at your desk then? Or would you put this behind you and move on to the next task, refreshed and confident?

Here are 5 ways to turn that stress into just another task to finish:
1. Define the stressor as a problem to be solved. Your body reacts to stress with the “fight or flight” reaction. But your body reacts to puzzles with anticipation and confidence. Lay the stressful situation out as a puzzle, and come up with a solution.
2. Write your solution down as a step-by-step plan. Not only does this relieve the stress of the unknown next step. It also allows you to turn away the stress of interruptions by pointing to your plan and telling the interruption that it doesn’t fit in. If the interruption is a manager, simply hand the plan to him or her, direct that person to your immediate supervisor, and tell them to duke it out over what your priorities are.
3. Learn to delegate. There are tasks that other people can do better and faster than you can. Recruit them to help you. Delegate does not always mean send it to someone below you on the corporate chart. It can also mean send it out, to the next office or overseas or to a freelancer.
4. Meditate the right way. Samurai warriors of Japan meditated, but they did not use scented candles and New Age music. They meditated to focus their skills and senses, because they were going into combat with other samurai who wanted to kill them. Their methods allowed them to meditate inside a brass bowl being beaten by 12 hammers. If your meditation technique is doing anything else, then it is only making you feel good.
5. Keep yourself in shape. You do not have to be an Olympic athlete. On the other hand, you cannot get tired walking from your desk to the printer. Sometimes the most physically tiring activity is focused research and contemplation of a difficult situation. If your thoughts are interrupted by wondering when the next donut run is, or how all ou want to do is get home and watch some idiotic reality show – you need to get into fighting shape.

Stress at work is attacking you. It wants to wear your systems – physical, emotional and mental – down and eventually kill you. Why would you respond to this as if stress were just a minor annoyance? You should be hitting it back, just as hard and in just as many ways as it is attacking you.

There is a way to relieve the stress in the workplace that is screwing up your life. The first step is to look at how you handle stress. Identify the areas that are not working for you specifically. It does not matter that your doctor recommends more exercise if your time commitments do not permit this. It does not matter if your friend recommends yoga if you are too out of shape to even bend over. Find out what is not working for you, then either develop your plan to fill in the gaps, or find a comprehensive stress management program that can help you do this. Because the alternative is that slow erosion over time from the stress that you are not managing correctly.

Author's Bio: 

Rick Carter created STRESS JUDO COACHING, aggressive stress management coaching for maximum personal effectiveness, based on his 17+ years of experienced in the courtroom and 25+ years of experience in the dojo (martial arts school). Rick is a certified coach and attorney licensed in 3 states. If you want to develop the mindset of a black belt martial artist toward stressful situations, go to STRESS JUDO COACHING.