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As of 2016, 77% of Americans say that money and work are the leading causes of stress in their lives, which takes a toll on business owners everywhere, as well as their employees.

This results in an annual cost of over $300 billion paid out by US companies for stress-related health care and missed work, which is especially detrimental because of the continuously rising costs of health care. It ends up being part of a vicious cycle, one where stress begins to affect your entire life, making you feel unhappy and unmotivated, which can be detrimental to company morale and affect your personal life.

So how can you take on the causes of your stress and learn to manage or eliminate them?

On November 2nd of every year, America celebrates National Stress Awareness Day, a holiday which promotes the understanding of stress factors in our everyday lives and how to handle them.

What Is National Stress Awareness Day?

National Stress Awareness Day was originally established in 1998 by the International Stress Management Association. It was created as a day to bring attention to the way stress affects us and those around us, as well as some helpful ways to cope with the avoidable and unavoidable stresses in our lives, such as work, relationships, diet and overall health.

So what can we do to relieve ourselves of excessive pressure and anxiety? And what can you do as an employer to help your employees manage their workplace stress in a healthy way?

Here are some great tips the International Stress Management Association promotes as ways to reduce stress.

1. Time Management

Sit down and prioritize all of the things you have to do during any given day or week in order of importance. This will allow you to systematically work through your list more efficiently.

If you’re a business owner or employer, understand that your employees have a lot on their plates. Help them to set a schedule if they need guidance. Make sure you’re delegating tasks efficiently and not just to the same one or two people.

2. Change Your Lifestyle

When you feel better physically, you will also feel better mentally. A great way to deal with stress is to make sure you’re staying hydrated, eating well, and exercising regularly. Exercising is a proven way to release endorphins that put you in a better frame of mind and make you physically feel great.

3. Know Your Limits

As a business owner, this is especially important. Don’t take on more than you can handle. You have to be able to delegate tasks when you can, as well as say no when you’ve already got too much on your plate.

4. Identify What Is Causing The Stress

Take some time to figure out why you’re stressed. Do you have a big deadline coming up? Are you in an emotionally exhausting relationship? Are you worried about things that may never happen?

Consider what might be bothering you and work toward fixing the problem or accepting the things you cannot change.

5. Relax

Studies show that if you regularly take short breaks, you will work more efficiently and with a clearer mind. As a company owner, encourage your employees to get up and stretch for five minutes or do a lap around the building to get some fresh air. They will return energized and ready to start working again.

6. Socialize

Meeting up with friends occasionally is a great way to de-stress. You’ll be able to relax and talk (maybe even about what is the cause of your stress). Often when getting together with friends, you’ll have a good laugh, which is shown to help boost your immune system, one of the things affected by over-stressing.

Offer company-sanctioned outings or “team bonding” events to let your employees relax a little bit and get to know their coworkers and superiors in a way that will allow them to feel comfortable enough to reach out for help if they have a problem and maybe minimize some future stress.

7. Work On Positive Thought

Before you automatically assume the outcome will be the worst possible case, consider what you can do to make it better. If you spend a lot of time overthinking and internalizing a problem, you’ll find that you may have blown it out of proportion.

If you need some help shining a positive light on the situation, try talking it over with a colleague or friend and see if that helps to change your thoughts.

8. Avoid Stimulants As A Coping Mechanism

Nicotine and caffeine are both stimulants that hype you up and exacerbate the stress you are already feeling. Additionally, alcohol is a depressant, which can make any negative thoughts even worse, adding to your stress in a different way.

Ultimately, stress is an unavoidable part of our lives. But the results of stress, like increased blood pressure, a declining immune system, heart attacks, strokes, and depression, can all be avoided by learning stress management. This will end up benefiting you and your employees mentally and physically, as well as help reduce costly charges to your business and its group health insurance plan.

So take a deep, calming breath and celebrate National Stress Awareness Day 2016 with us at!