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4 Tips to Overcome Stress and Improve Work Performance

Climbing to the Top GraphicThe talent industry can be a highly stressful environment to work in due to volatile conditions and high expectations to secure the best talent. All those involved in the talent delivery process – including hiring managers, sales managers, account managers and recruiters - experience high levels of stress. According to the 2020 Recruiter Nation survey by Jobvite, stress levels at work have increased by 61% for recruiters since the onset of the pandemic.

In today’s market, it’s more important than ever before to attract and retain top talent to keep up with businesses ever- changing demands. Talent acquisition professionals need to make sure they are identifying and attracting qualified candidates for their company and consistently hitting their metrics. But factors outside of their control can prevent them from achieving their goals, like scarcity of talent, talent ghosting, cancelled meetings, rejected offers, complex hiring processes, etc. Working among these conditions can lead to incapacitating stress and burnout. The good news is that there are simple ways to overcome the tension that we all face.

The Detrimental Effects of Stress 

When you experience high levels of stress, your body produces a prolonged fight or flight response. Your body stays in high gear during extreme tension, causing adrenaline and cortisol to course through the body. This creates a multitude of health problems for our mind and body over time. Stress also negatively impacts work performance due to reduced productivity, decreased motivation, and difficulty concentrating which can ultimately result in detrimental mistakes and the inability to perform.

Say Goodbye to Chronic Stress

Fortunately, our body's vagus nerve system acts to counterbalance the fight or flight response and transition the mind and body into a state of relaxation. Stimulating our vagus nerve system produces powerful health benefits including the reduction of stress, anxiety, and depression. The most effective ways to stimulate the vagus nerve include deep breathing, meditation and some other simple ways including spending time in nature, singing and even laughter!

As a certified Yoga instructor and certified in Restorative Yoga, Meditation, Shiatsu Massage, and Myofascial Release, I use several techniques to relieve the stress that is often associated with working in the Staffing and Recruiting industry. Below are my insights as a Staffing professional for coping with stress.

4 tips to overcome the harmful effects of stress and to improve work performance 

These are the best practices to stimulate your vagus nerve to overcome feelings of stress and promote relaxation throughout your mind and body.

Breathe It out 4-7-8

To practice this mindful breathing exercise, close your lips and inhale through your nose for a count of 4, hold your breath for a count of 7, and exhale completely through your mouth making a whoosh sound for a count of 8. This method of deep, slow breathing will cause a relaxation response throughout your mind and body that eliminates the pressure response you were previously experiencing. For best practice tips on this technique, read this wellness article to optimize your experience.

Don't Hesitate to Meditate 

Meditation is another way to stimulate the vagus nerve. Meditation can be practiced daily as a means of building stress resilience, or it can be practiced as needed for a quick-fix to help reverse your body’s stress response and induce relaxation. To get your meditation journey started, it’s best to engage in a guided meditation to help you learn the best practices to ensure your stress dissipates; then you can branch out to meditating on your own once you’re confident in your ability. Check out this article for mediation starter tips.

Laughter:  The Best Medicine 

Sometimes reducing your worries can be as simple as connecting with your peers for a good laugh during the day. Getting to know people at work on a more personal level creates a greater sense of belonging. Your colleagues will appreciate the connection point and benefit as well. Taking some time to have a conversation and a good laugh gives your mind a rest from your job duties and gives your vagus nerve a charge

Step Away from the Computer and Into Nature 

Let’s face it – sitting at your desk all day, staring at a screen and making phone calls is not a healthy way to spend your entire day. So walk away from your office space every once in a while to move your body and rid it of stress in the process. Simply walking around your neighborhood to take in nature, get some exercise and fresh air can make a world of difference for your mental and physical health while stimulating your vagus nerve. Your work output will be better once you sit back down at your desk with a renewed focus.

The Staffing and Recruiting industry is filled with highs and lows; while it can be a very rewarding career, a lot of stress is often stirred up during the journey to achieving major milestones. High stress while you’re working will inhibit your ability to efficiently complete your job duties and achieve results. But with the helpful tips mentioned above, you’ll be able to manage stress in a healthy way, enjoy your work more and perform at higher levels. With reduced stress, you’ll have better decision making abilities, be higher functioning, and deal with challenges and overload with less angst and greater ease!

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