The surprising cure for job stress: Schedule one more meeting. The current daily avalanche of headlines about layoffs, mergers, plant closings, and jobs being exported to countries halfway around the world can give even rock-solid employees job jitters. What to do if you’re on edge? You can’t change what researchers call “collective uncertainty about the future,” but you can book a meeting with your supervisor to discuss the company’s goals and define your role in achieving them. Research shows that clearly defined goals make workers happier and healthier.
Then, run. Not from your job, but for the financial health of your company (and for your own health). See, gym-goers perform better at work than sedentary people. And when one study looked at entrepreneurs — people under extreme stress and time constraints — it was clear that those who took the time away from their business to run regularly were not only better at attaining personal satisfaction, but also had significant improvement in sales over companies managed by nonrunners.
Why does that work? Physically active people process data faster, and they’re more likely to have less stress or to handle it better than chair-bound types. Workouts help your mind relax, so it’s a better incubator for new ideas and solutions. As one study subject said, “Running gives me a body that performs better at everything that I must do during the day.” Even if your job is secure, why pass up the chance to be at the top of your game all day long?