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How to Fight Computer Stress


Ways to Relax at Work

Computer stress exists. Seriously!

It can cause real problems, which can be more or less serious. The most obvious is a decrease in the productivity of those affected; they, immersed in frustration and anxiety, decrease their performance. But not only that, computer stress can lead to serious health problems, and some cases of heart attacks have even been reported.

Are you already taking this more seriously? In this article we are going to know what computer stress is and some ideas to avoid it.

What is computer stress?

Computer stress is the feeling of anxiety and discomfort that the user of a computer system suffers when the computer system does not work or does so in a way that is different from his or her expectations.

It is quite simple to list some examples of situations that can cause computer stress: Internet connections that fail or are too slow, a computer that takes a long time to start up, software incompatibilities that cause errors or force you to look for alternatives, tedious program installations, operating systems that crash, programs that take an eternity to run….

I’m sure that in your work or in your daily life you have experienced this kind of situation and have generated different doses of anxiety. Within the range of emotions that can be caused it is true that there are people who can take it easy and philosophically, but it is also a reality that other users are very affected and can suffer great frustration, especially if these kinds of problems prevent them from carrying out important and/or urgent tasks.

If, in addition, we are faced with the fact that the use of information technology is increasingly present in our lives, we can understand that the phenomenon of computer stress can affect more people every day, becoming a more relevant problem than it seems.

And now the question is…. How can we avoid it?

7 ideas to avoid computer stress

1. Rest if you feel like it

Taking a few minutes to rest may be enough to relieve stress. A walk in the park or a chat with a colleague by the coffee maker can provide you with enough relaxation doses to get the tension to relax. But remember, if you use these breaks to check your mobile phone, you probably won’t get the effect you want…

2. Reduce the brightness of the screen

You may not feel it that way, but excessive screen brightness can cause stress and eyestrain. You need a more moderate glow that resembles natural light; you’ll be taking care of your eyes and preventing stress.

3. Use relaxation techniques

Certain techniques used in other situations can also be useful in fighting computer stress. Breathing control, physical exercise, or maintaining a good diet are healthy practices at any time and may also help you with this kind of stress.

In any case, remember that if the computer stress that affects you is intense, you should go to health professionals who can help you, don’t overlook it! In some cases, this may be a major problem.

4. Go outside

Schedule a few minutes during the day to take in some fresh air. Just being outside works wonders for reducing stress and has countless other benefits. 

5. Give your hands a massage

Lotioning up your hands for a stress-relieving massage will make your skin feel good and relieve tension in your joints and ligaments. 

5. Oil up. 

Or rather keep oils at your desk. Aromatherapy has been shown to decrease stress levels. 

6. Jam out.

 Listening to music can help diminish stress, so listen to your favorite tunes during the workday — using earbuds, of course, not speakers. 

7. Eat an orange. 

An orange a day keeps the stress away. Did you know a dose of Vitamin C can help to reduce stress? So break out this citrusy favorite and peel away.




When I am coaching clients around unwanted eating, we often discover stress as the reason. A lot of people are feeling stressed right now. Stress about the pandemic and their health, or the health of their loved ones.

Many feel stressed around the holidays: about not being with their family, or about being with their family. I’m sure you have your own list.

Stress Is Normal

First of all, stress is not the enemy. Too much on-going stress is not healthy, but it can be a useful emotion essential for our survival. Your basic stress response is trying to keep you alive and is a warning signal that something may be wrong or dangerous.

Our instinctive reaction is to try to get rid of the stress as quickly as possible. This reaction has caused many of us to create unwanted habits. A drink or a snack often eases the stress temporarily. It soothes and distracts us in the moment. Each time we get that temporary relief we strengthen the habit.

What Can We Do About Stress Instead?

You might expect me to start giving you other, more healthy distractions to temporarily reduce your feelings of stress. I do love deep breathing, walks, and warm baths myself. But that is not what we are doing today.

Those type of distractions can be helpful, but they don’t always work. Today we are discussing the skill of reducing your desire to get rid of the feelings of stress. Wait, what?

Making Friends with Stress

Maybe the concept of ‘being friends with stress’ is a stretch for you. How about co-existing with stress? Let’s look at co-existing with stress like co-existing with an annoying neighbor.

Imagine thinking, “Oh hey, here you are again, annoying neighbor, okay. I’m really not going to engage with you, I know I can’t get rid of you, so let’s co-exist as best we can.

Let’s continue to explore the irritating neighbor analogy. Picture yourself outside, working in your yard, and your very annoying neighbor comes over and starts talking about his stamp collection, and you just want to keep planting your flowers.

Of course, you could scream at him, “Stop talking!” You could run inside, faking an emergency and quit doing what you really want to do. Or you could just keep planting and let your neighbor babble on. It is, what it is. Nothing has gone wrong, this is part of the deal, living on this street.

Now, imagine yourself accepting stress as part of life, we don’t love it, we are glad when it is not around. But when it shows up, we could just say, “Hey there, I knew you would be back, I’m not going to do anything about you, I’m just going to keep planting my flowers.”

Why Do This?

I do work with my clients to reduce and eliminate stress by exploring the root causes, but we all seem to create new stress for ourselves on a regular basis. It is important to know how to have stressful feelings without running for a snack or drink to get rid of them.

Stress on Top of Stress

Sometimes we think that things have gone terribly wrong when stress appears. We add anxiety on top of our stress when we think, “I shouldn’t be stressed, why is this happening?” By simply acknowledging that stress is a perfectly normal feeling that happens to everyone, we can avoid intensifying it.

Know this

I want you to know that nothing is wrong with you if you have stressful feelings and can’t always get rid of them. You can feel stress and do nothing about it.

Learning to accept feelings of stress and anxiety, without fighting them, is a valuable skill that can keep us from turning to food or drinks to soothe ourselves.

If you would like more help to work through your stressful feelings post in the comments below

Causes of Stress

Causes of Stress

Everyone has different stress triggers. Work stress tops the list, according to surveys. Forty percent of U.S. workers admit to experiencing office stress, and one-quarter say work is the biggest source of stress in their lives.

Causes of work stress include:

  • Being unhappy in your job
  • Having a heavy workload or too much responsibility
  • Working long hours
  • Having poor management, unclear expectations of your work, or no say in the decision-making process
  • Working under dangerous conditions
  • Being insecure about your chance for advancement or risk of termination
  • Having to give speeches in front of colleagues
  • Facing discrimination or harassment at work, especially if your company isn’t supportive

Life stresses can also have a big impact. Examples of life stresses are:

  • The death of a loved one
  • Divorce
  • Loss of a job
  • Increase in financial obligations
  • Getting married
  • Moving to a new home
  • Chronic illness or injury
  • Emotional problems (depressionanxiety, anger, grief, guilt, low self-esteem)
  • Taking care of an elderly or sick family member
  • Traumatic event, such as a natural disaster, theft, rape, or violence against you or a loved one

Sometimes the stress comes from inside, rather than outside. You can stress yourself out just by worrying about things. All of these factors can lead to stress:

  • Fear and uncertainty. When you regularly hear about the threat of terrorist attacks, global warming, and toxic chemicals on the news, it can cause you to feel stressed, especially because you feel like you have no control over those events. And even though disasters are typically very rare events, their vivid coverage in the media may make them seem as if they are more likely to occur than they really are. Fears can also hit closer to home, such as being worried that you won’t finish a project at work or won’t have enough money to pay your bills this month.
  • Attitudes and perceptions. How you view the world or a particular situation can determine whether it causes stress. For example, if your television set is stolen and you take the attitude, “It’s OK, my insurance company will pay for a new one,” you’ll be far less stressed than if you think, “My TV is gone and I’ll never get it back! What if the thieves come back to my house to steal again?” Similarly, people who feel like they’re doing a good job at work will be less stressed out by a big upcoming project than those who worry that they are incompetent.
  • Unrealistic expectations. No one is perfect. If you expect to do everything right all the time, you’re destined to feel stressed when things don’t go as expected.
  • Change. Any major life change can be stressful — even a happy event like a wedding or a job promotion. More unpleasant events, such as a divorce, major financial setback, or death in the family can be significant sources of stress.

Your stress level will differ based on your personality and how you respond to situations. Some people let everything roll off their back. To them, work stresses and life stresses are just minor bumps in the road. Others literally worry themselves sick.


The lockdown is having an increasingly negative effect on our mental health and the World Health Organisation has acknowledged that it’s causing our stress levels to soar. While we can’t predict what will happen in the long term, there are strategies we can employ in the short term that can help us to cope with anxiety triggered by the Coronavirus pandemic, as psychotherapist Jenni Cawley explains.

Focus on what you can control, not what you can’t
With so much ambiguity right now, we’re all managing a state of overwhelm, with most of us just winging it to be honest. The important thing is not to be too hard on ourselves and focus on the small ways we can take back control. We can still control what happens within our domestic world – from continuing to update our calendar with digital ‘events’ to carving out a new daily routine.

This sense of structure can also help if, like many of us, you’re losing sense of time. Try to get up, go to bed and eat at roughly the same time. If you’re in quarantine alone, you can easily lose those markers in the day, so things like setting wake-up alarms and listening to the radio can really help. It’s also important to actively distinguish the weekends from the weekdays. You can do this with the clothes you wear, the foods you eat, and clearly differentiating between work time and relaxation time, rather than letting the boundaries blur.

All this can help make our days a bit more predictable during this unpredictable time.

Stay connected to your support network
As humans, we desperately need to connect with each other. This means we need to be smart with the way we communicate right now. The value of hearing someone’s voice and seeing their facial expressions is beneficial to our nervous systems, and while we can’t see each other face to face, video chats and phone calls are more powerful than you’d think.

To really combat loneliness, however, I think it’s really important to connect with just one person sometimes and have a meaningful conversation. As part of this, you could try book ending your day by touching base with a friend or family member first thing and last thing in the day.

Self-edit your news and media
It’s no surprise that our anxiety during the Coronavirus pandemic has driven our increased media consumption. A third of us are reading more newspaper content, 48% are watching more live TV and 40% are using social media more. But all this information can often just leave us feeling more overwhelmed.

Combat this by editing your news channels, switching off live alerts and sticking to a few trusted sources. Also, avoid reading the news late at night and set dedicated offline time – otherwise your stress hormones such as cortisol will spike after reading and keep you awake. A lot of us are also having vivid or upsetting dreams, and it’s important to remember that this is just our unconscious trying to process what’s going on.

Reshape your social media feed
There’s a lot of idealism and heroism out there at the moment, and we’re in danger of measuring ourselves against this – ‘am I being as good as everyone else?’ It can be demotivating, so try not to compare yourself. While I’d recommend limiting your time on social media, it can also be helpful to reshape and curate your feed to facilitate a more compassionate self view.

From positive mental health figures to the Vitality at Home wellness series on Instagram – there are plenty of helpful accounts out there. Similarly, if you find yourself feeling a bit off centre, plug into a podcast. I’ve been listening to Brené Brown’s Unlocking Us podcast, which focuses on the things that make us human and has helped me feel more connected to a community.

Focus on the tangible
One thing I suggest to clients is drawing a spidergram of your community and the groups that you’re part of – from local to work to family. Looking through old photos and surrounding yourself with the physical representations of your memories can be really helpful for reminding us that we’re part of something bigger than this space we’re in right now.

Talk to yourself (yes, really)
Finally, check in with yourself whenever you can. I find the shower or even the toilet is the best time for this! Stop and ask yourself: what’s one word that describes how I feel right now. Pay close attention. This will prevent us from falling into a purely reactive state and help us bring a consciousness to our present moment.

If you feel the panic rising, focus on some grounding activities such as a guided meditation, a short workout or a head-clearing walk. If you find yourself ruminating at 3am, rather than being hard on yourself, accept that this kind of thing will happen right now. Try to manage your own expectations and just allow yourself to feel whatever it is you’re feeling.

Was this helpful? Why not take a look at our other Relax or Vitality at Home blogs to help you and your family stay healthy and happy at home through the pandemic.

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