Managing Stress at Workplace
Research has indicated that the percentage of Americans who are stressed at work is high—and it’s only getting higher. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, 29 to 40% of Americans report being “extremely stressed at work.” [A]STRESS…At Work: The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Work stress has significant health consequences that range from relatively benign (like getting more colds and flus) to potentially serious (such as heart disease and metabolic syndrome). [B]Li J, Loerbroks A, Bosma H, Angerer P. Work stress and cardiovascular disease: a life course perspective.
While stress at work is common, finding a low-stress job is hard (if not impossible). A more realistic approach is to adopt effective coping strategies to reduce stress at your current job. Here are some stress management techniques you can try if you are finding it hard to cope with work stress.
Common sources of stress at workplace
- Low salaries
- Excessive workloads
- Few opportunities for growth or advancement
- Work that isn’t engaging or challenging
- Lack of social support
- Not having enough control over job-related decisions
- Conflicting demands or unclear performance expectations
Work-related stress doesn’t just disappear when you head home for the day. When stress persists, it can take a toll on your health and well-being.
- Start your day off right
- Be clear on requirements
- Stay away from conflict
- Stay organized
- Be comfortable
- Forget multitasking
- Walk at lunch
- Keep perfectionism in check
- Listen to music on the drive home
Managing Stress at Workplace: 5 steps
1. Deal with stressors
Increased anxiety can kill your productivity and peace of mind for hours endlessly. The quickest way out is to name your feeling. Say it out aloud. What is it that you are feeling and who/what is the cause of it? [F]How do you handle workplace stress: The Economic Times
Add multiple feelings if there are different trigger points. If it doesn’t sound quite right, put a different label to it. You deal with stressors better when you know what it is you are dealing with. Your anxiety starts dropping and you can take action or ignore as required. It could be a great way of managing stress at workplace.
2. Discuss what you are going through
If you have a trusted friend who is willing to simply listen, you can discuss what you are going through or feeling. When you speak, you are able to separate facts from fiction and see things clearly.
You can even work with a professional counsellor, many companies have in-house counsellors to help employees navigate such storms of stress. Else, just pen down your thoughts for similar benefits. Journaling helps too.
3. Face it and come to terms
Often, the easiest way to get over your daily stress is to face it and come to terms with it in order to make peace with it. If your daily target of sales or service calls stresses you out, take on this task the first thing in the morning.
If you are stalling a client meet, schedule it immediately and get it out of the way. Uncertainty of future events and outcomes is easily and quickly resolved by taking action and putting the event into the past.
4. Come back to the here and now
Managing stress at workplace is not so easy at all. But your paralyzing anxiety either comes from past stories or future stress. A quick solution is to break the chain and return to the present. Describe your surroundings— sights you see, sounds you hear and movements.
Draw it, paint it, journal it or sing it. These simple acts get your mind into the present and breaks the negative cycle of thoughts. Repeat as you need.
5. Tackle physically and physiologically
Anxiety takes birth in the mind but can easily take over your body too. Physical and physiological reactions to stress are inherent and very common. So taking bodily actions can be useful to reset a chain of anxious thoughts, It could be a great step of managing stress at workplace.
Get out in the sun or get some air. Go for a run/jog, do some exercise. Wake up at a fixed time, irrespective of when you sleep. Watch light, cheerful or funny videos and listen to similar kind of music. Deep breathing is scientifically proven to be helpful too.
|A||STRESS…At Work: The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health|
|B||Li J, Loerbroks A, Bosma H, Angerer P. Work stress and cardiovascular disease: a life course perspective.|
|C||Coping with stress at work– American Psychological Association|
|D||Elizabeth Scott, MS, is a wellness coach specializing in stress management, and the author of “8 Keys to Stress Management“|
|E||How to handle stress at work: Harvard Health Publishing – Harvard University|
|F||How do you handle workplace stress: The Economic Times|