From: Harvard Business Review

To Cope with Stress, Try Learning Something New

Stressed. Anxious. Exhausted. Drained. This is how many employees feel at work due to stressors like longer work hours, more-frequent hassles, the need to do more with fewer resources, and so on. Such work stress has been shown to induce anxiety and anger, unethical behavior, poor decision making, and chronic exhaustion and burnout — all of which impair personal and organizational performance.

There are typically two ways people try to deal with this stress. One is to simply “buckle down and power through” — to focus on getting the stressful work done. Professional workers often have a “bias for action” and want to find a solution quickly; and they pride themselves on being tough people who can keep working despite feeling stressed and fatigued.

The other common tactic is to retreat — to temporarily disconnect from work and get away from the stressful environment. Research on workday breaks has grown rapidly in the past few years, finding that relaxing and engaging breaks can improve emotions and boost energy at work. This helps explain why “relaxation facilities,” such as nap rooms, workout equipment, and entertainment zones are becoming popular offerings at companies in knowledge-intensive industries.

Read the whole story: Harvard Business Review

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