That bottomless pile of paperwork leers at you from across your desk like some perverted monster. You’ve been buried from the neck down since morning from all those spreadsheets you’ve been trying to finish. Somewhere between Form 71-A and Chart 25-C, your boss screams that he needs to see the MOA because he’s leaving the office in five minutes to close the deal that you have been negotiating for the last seven months. If you don’t give it, you’re fired. As you prepare to print the 72-page document, your PC suddenly makes a weird humming noise and your screen goes blank.

My friend, if, in that situation, you don’t feel the tiniest bit of stress, it may only mean that you must be:

  1. RoboCop
  2. A Super Saiyan
  3. Chuck Norris
  4. Dead

Stress is actually a natural, healthy reaction to the everyday pressures of life. It helps us become alert and it gives us that extra burst of energy needed to accomplish our demanding tasks.

However, stress can also wreak havoc on your work and life if you can’t handle it properly. It’ll make you lose focus on your tasks, cry like a baby, wet your pants, and give you a stroke. I shall start by telling you how NOT to deal with stress:

  • Overeating – it may be cool to eat a whole box of donuts, but once you get stressed again, don’t come to me when you get that heart attack you’ve been asking for all this time.
  • Thumb sucking – Maybe I’ll give you a point or two for retardness, but do you really want to look like you want to give a blowjob to the first person you can lay your hands on?
  • Smoking weed – I know you try to sneak in a smoke every now and then, but really, do it later. This guy was so stressed by his job that he actually did this one. His ass is so fired.
  • Killing your boss – I know it’s satisfying, but you must remember that your boss is the spawn of Satan and he will rise from the dead to eat your flesh and rape your ass. With a pitchfork.

To deal with stress, you must take a five-minute breather every now and then. You might want to place a soothing picture on your desk, something (or someone) you’d want to focus on so that you’d forget, even momentarily, your work. I call it focusing. However, I wouldn’t recommend those hardcore photos of Ran Asakawa (NSFW) you’ve been keeping around. You’d just get stressed out again, albeit for a totally different reason.

If focusing isn’t enough for you, you may want to try closing your eyes, breathe deeply, and imagine that you are the tallest tree in a calm and serene forest. Now put the Barbara Streisand CD in your disk drive for ambience. Listen to her soothing voice. Feel the manliness, I mean, stress draining out of you. Remember, you are a tall and ancient Barbara Streisand-loving tree, imposing your shadow over the forest. You are strong. You are mighty. Breathe in. breathe out.

Now imagine a man with a chainsaw cutting you up into toothpicks.

Isn’t that relaxing?

If all else fails, you can also take a power nap. Researchers say that a twenty-minute nap at work will be more than enough to invigorate you. When your boss wakes you up, you’ll be filled with enough energy to look for another job.

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