You probably handle work stress by buckling down and powering through. Which will probably not help relieve your anxiety as you won’t feel that you are getting something valuable out of the process.

Instead, try reframing the stressful situation as a learning opportunity. Learning something new won’t only add to your skill set and knowledge, but it will also help you develop feelings of competency and growth, which can alleviate feelings of stress.

The easiest way to do that is to learn with and from others. For example, rather than just wrestling with a challenge in your head, get input from colleagues. Discussing a stressful situation with them can reveal hidden insights, either from their backgrounds or from the questions and perspectives they’ll offer. And don’t think of learning as an additional layer of work; think of it as a positive outcome of getting the hard work done. Framing learning as a form of respite can make it more appealing and more likely to create a positive, enjoyable experience. Definitely something to try as we approach the end of year rush!

For more on this, read “To Cope with Stress, Try Learning Something New,” by Chen Zhang et al.

BCW Sports practice is the sport unit of global advisory firm Burson-Marsteller. We provide strategy and communication advice for sport clients around the world. For more information: