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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Monday, March 6, 2006

Don't let workplace stress overwhelm you

(Wilmington, Del.) News Journal

The reality of a stress-filled workplace is becoming more common across the nation. Doctors say you'll always feel stress in the workplace, but it is possible to manage it.

Dr. Michael Baime, director of the Penn Program for Stress Management at the University of Pennsylvania Health System, said truly knowing how your body operates is vital to keeping your cool.

Taking a walk or taking a few deep breaths may help initially, but these activities aren't effective long-term solutions because you have to return to the stressful situation, Baime said.

Baime said it helps to figure out why something that relaxes you makes you feel that way. Is it because your mind is clear or you're mentally in a happier place?

Whatever the reason, try to put yourself there when you feel the pressure is going to overwhelm you.

Employers play a key role in how their workers feel.

Having exercise areas or soothing colors in the office can bring down the stress levels, Rabin said. But the mentality of the company plays a bigger role. Workers should feel like they are a part of the workplace and aren't "simply there to collect a paycheck."

"The worst thing is people come to work and feel nobody cares about them," Rabin said.

Happier workers usually are more productive and have fewer absences from work, he said.