An air traffic controller's job is difficult and can be quite tense, but with the help of a few stress-relieving techniques, you will find you can be a happier person in the work place and in life. These techniques have been broken down into three categories: stress relief at home, relaxation techniques for your work break, and stress management while working.

Manage Stress at Home

If you're stressed out at home, you are only going to carry that bad blood with you to work. Here are some tips for living easy:

  • Exercise regularly - Let your body work out the stress. Try exercising for at least 30 minutes a day, three times a week. If you can, try to get outside. There's nothing like a power walk through nature's playground to set a mind at ease.
  • Eat well - If your body is getting all the nutrients it needs, you will be less prone to tension. You should also try to make your meals something to look forward to. A healthy meal doesn't mean a flavorless one. If you knew you were coming home to a tasty sensation, your day might be a little bit better.
  • Take a bath - This tip has two parts. First, a relaxing bubble bath with soothing scents like eucalyptus will have you relaxing in no time. However, you might want to opt for an Epsom salt bath. Taken at room temperature, it will float your body into a calming state of relaxation.
  • Try out Yoga or Tai Chi - Both are known to center the mind and body. Some schools offer classes outside, which could prove even more soothing.

Control Stress during a Work Break

You may find yourself starting to feel the drain of stress creep up on you while at work. When this happens, try some of these techniques on your break.

  • Progressive muscle relaxation - This technique focuses on the tensing and relaxing of muscle groups. To execute, close your eyes and tense up a muscle group (your legs for instance) for ten seconds, then release the tension for 20 seconds. Then, move on to another muscle group.
  • Meditation - This may sound like a crazy thing to do on your work break, but it doesn't have to feel silly. All it's really about is isolating your mind for a few minutes. So, if you can, find a quiet space, close your eyes, and concentrate on your breathing for a few minutes. If this is too time consuming for your break, then try it at home.
  • Self massage - Stress will build tension in the muscles, so a little self-conducted neck rub might make all the difference in the middle of a stressful workday.
  • Listen to soothing music - Bring your iPod to work with you. When you take your break, listen to a song that has a slow rhythmic beat you can roll with. It will make all the difference.

Manage Stress on the Air Traffic Controller Job

Since you must be assertive and on the ball during your actual work time, the stress management techniques are limited to things that will not distract you. Here are a few techniques that will help relieve stress, while not taking away attention that should be devoted to your work.

  • Stay positive - If you train yourself to think positively, soon it will become natural and the positive energy that radiates off of you could transform your environment to a happier work place.
  • Treat yourself - Indulge in something small. Make Mondays special coffee day where you splurge on the flavored latte instead of your normal brew. If each day had something special about it, then you would always have something to ease your tension.
  • Deep breathing - If during work, you find you are having a hard time coping, a few deep breaths might do the trick. Be sure you breathe from your stomach.
  • Enjoy a cup of tea - Many teas are made specifically for stress relief. Make tea to-go in the morning or grab one at a local cafe. That way, when the day catches up with you, you will have a soothing drink to fall back on.

Stress can be difficult to deal with, especially with such an important and difficult job as an air traffic controller. If you incorporate even one of these tips into your daily life, relaxation should come more easily leaving you with a lasting sense of calm and happiness.