Chronic stress is a phenomenon that Is inescapable today. 1 in 5 people report that work stress affects their quality of life in one way or another. This has severe repercussions on physical and mental health. What exactly is stress though? There are many types of stress, some of it is even good for you. Although the term is very often used in popular culture it has lost its true meaning. People often say I am “stressed” when they mean they are upset, anxious or worried about something. Stress in its most authentic form so to speak simply is a feeling of tension that causes a series of symptoms including headache, tightness in muscles, etc. If we want to control stress levels and make it advantageous we need to identify the individual causes of stress. For example, what is really causing you tension at work, is it the deadlines, your bosses unrealistic demands or is it your personal life that is interfering? Once you can answer this question it will be important to focus on getting control over the situation. Studies suggest that if you prepare yourself and mitigate risk this is likely to relieve anxiety and tension as there is psychological back up plan that will keep you prepared. Techniques that call your attention to focus also helps regain some control over stress. Examples of this include closing your eyes and focusing on your breath for 3 minutes, taking a stretch break, talking to a trusted coworker, getting up to make a cup of coffee are all ways to shift the focus of the negative stress to a more pleasurable situation. Stress is actually a series of symptoms caused by extraneous circumstances you feel you cannot control. If you manage to shift the focus of this to a more positive mindset it is possible to relieve this stress instantly. If you feel that chronic stress at work is affecting your state of wellbeing you must take action now. As a first step take time to talk these things out with your supervisor and discuss the concerns you may have. Seek advice from a qualified mental health professional if necessary or simply create a routine during and after work hours that supports overall wellbeing. Exercise, eating healthy, breathing exercises, spending time with people that care about you are known to be effective non-prescriptive ways to relieve stress and gain control of your life. Remember stress is not the enemy, your sense of perceiving stress and how you choose to deal with your circumstances is what determines the negative or positive symptoms that lead to chronic stress. The good news is, it is all in your head. The bad news is, it is all in your head. Working at controlling your perception of these situations is key to make stress your friend and achieve success in work, life and even love.