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How to Deal with Workplace StressWorkplace stress can affect us all. Slack notifications, emails, phones buzzing off the hook, and a colleague stopping by for an urgent meeting are all enough to drive anyone up the wall.
The majority of us will experience work-related stress at a certain point in our lives.
Even if you enjoy your career and have a job you love, it can be difficult at times.
For example, social work can be an incredibly rewarding job that many people will love doing, but it can also be highly stressful.
Whatever job you have, you may feel pressured to meet deadlines or complete a complex situation.
Workplace stress may be overpowering and damaging to both mental and physical well-being if it becomes prolonged.
What Causes Stress?
In stressful conditions, the body’s fundamental fight-or-flight mechanism may cause a chemical reaction that inhibits the prefrontal cortex.
This is the portion of the brain that is in charge of logical reasoning, self-control, and judgment.
Recent research has shown that the number of Americans suffering from workplace stress is very high and continuing to rise.
According to a study by the American Institute of Stress, nearly 83 percent of the US workforce experience job-related stress, with 25 percent citing their work as the most stressful factor in their life.
Every day, almost one million Americans take off work due to stress.
76 percent of US workers say work stress has an impact on their personal interactions and affects relationships. While workplace stress is prevalent, securing a low-stress job isn’t easy, and could even be impossible.
Rather than searching for a rewarding and stress-free job – which probably doesn’t exist – learning coping mechanisms to reduce the stress of your current role is probably a better option.
What are the Causes of Workplace Stress?
- Poor Workplace Relationships
Employees who have poor working relationships may feel lonely and disconnected.
Troubles with colleagues might make people uneasy and hesitant to come to work.
In some work cultures, there will be non-welcoming groups called cliques which can also be stressful.
Employees who are not involved in social gatherings at work will have a negative impact on employee relations.
This hinders team members from developing a feeling of belonging and value.
- Long Working Hours And Heavy Workloads
Many professions have increased the demand for workers to put in much longer and tougher hours.
Businesses expect their staff to do a huge number of tasks in a short period of time.
High standards and hefty assignments can lead to severe employee stress and eventually lead to job burnout.
- Poor Working Conditions
Workplaces where harassment and discrimination occur are hotspots for stressed-out employees.
Members of the team in these circumstances may feel neglected and unappreciated and feeling powerless over how people are treated at the workplace can be unpleasant.
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The consequences of uncontrolled stress
Job pressure does not just evaporate once you leave the office for the day and get back home.
When stress becomes long-term, it can have a negative impact on your health and overall well-being.
Prolonged workplace stress can eventually lead to burnout, a psychological condition.
An exhausting work environment can cause headaches, stomach pains, sleep disruptions, irritability, and difficulty focusing.
Extended exposure to work-related pressures such as these can have an impact on one’s mental well-being.
Anxiety, sleeplessness, high blood pressure, and a poor immune system are all side effects.
It could also exacerbate health problems including anxiety and depression, being overweight, and cardiovascular diseases.
Extreme stress is typically dealt with in destructive ways, such as bad eating habits like overeating or consuming unhealthy foods, smoking, and even misusing alcohol and drugs.
All of these things are likely to make the situation worse.
The Benefits of WorkPlace Stress Management
Understanding how to deal with job stress is critical for maintaining your physical and mental health.
It also guarantees that you may work to your full potential without becoming exhausted.
Here are three potential benefits of workplace stress management:
- Improved Job Satisfaction
People who know how to deal with stress and pressure at work are more inclined to be content with their careers.
Employees who are satisfied with their jobs are more likely to stay with the company in the long run.
- Low Turnover Rate
Companies might incur significant costs as a result of a high turnover rate.
Workers who are satisfied with their work are considerably less likely to quit for better opportunities.
This will help to lower the employee turnover rate and its associated costs.
- Enhanced Work Quality
Workers who remain calm in the face of difficult situations are better able to interact with their bosses and colleagues.
They are also more inclined to create the best quality of work that fulfills the standards and expectations of their bosses.
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How Do You Combat Workplace Stress?
Here are 10 tips that will help you to handle stress right from the onset, so you need to handle chronic burnout conditions.
- Keep Track Of Your Triggers
Your attitude and temperament, previous experiences, and other distinguishing qualities all have an impact on how you react to and deal with stressful factors.
Events and circumstances that are upsetting to your coworkers may not disturb you at all.
Or you may be unusually sensitive to pressures that do not appear to trouble others.
Learning the triggers that make you uneasy and upset will put you in a better place to cope with workplace stress.
It could be a good idea to keep a journal or diary for a week or for two to track which circumstances cause you the greatest tension and how you deal with them.
Keep a journal of your emotions, thoughts, and observations about the surroundings, including the individuals and events associated, the physical location, and your reactions.
Did you use inappropriate words? Did you manage to take a break?
Keeping track of your responses to such events might assist you in identifying patterns between your pressures and your responses to them.
This should help you determine which options are ideal for you and how to adopt them in your everyday work life.
- Adopt Self-Care
Rather than striving to combat stress with junk food or drink, try to choose healthy options when you feel it rising.
Exercise is also an excellent stress reliever.
Yoga is a great option, but physical exercise is also great for relieving stress.
Schedule room for your passions and favorite activities as well.
Set up a time for the activities that make you happy, whether it’s reading a book, attending events, or socializing with friends.
Getting adequate good-quality sleeping hours is also essential for managing stress.
Develop good sleeping patterns by reducing caffeine intake, especially late in the day, and avoiding stimulating activities like television and computer use at night.
If you’ve been dealing with anxiety and chronic stressful conditions for a long time, your brain may be prone to jumping to conclusions and viewing every scenario from a negative perspective.
Rather than making snap judgments, consider separating yourself from your negative ideas and simply start observing things around you to get a good judgment.
- Understand your Job Requirements
Uncertainty around your job requirements are known to be linked to stress and burnout.
When you are unsure what is expected from you, or if the criteria for your work change frequently, it can lead to an increase in stress and worry.
If you’re always wondering whether what you’re doing is enough, it might be time to speak about this matter with your boss.
You can spend time going through expectations and discussing ways to meet them.
This can help both of you release tension and develop a better understanding.
“The more tranquil a man becomes, the greater is his success, his influence, his power for good. The calmness of mind is one of the beautiful jewels of wisdom.” —James Allen
Say NO to Multitasking
Multitasking was formerly lauded as an excellent strategy to maximize a person’s time and accomplish more in a single day.
However, people ultimately realized that if they held a cell phone to their ear while performing computations, their accuracy and speed – not to mention their sanity – will plummet.
It is OK to say no to things, or to ask for help, or to ask someone who might be better suited to help or take on the task.
The fact is trying to take on a lot of responsibilities might lead to a drop in the quality of your work.
Focusing on one activity at a time will allow you to work more effectively and precisely, even when you only have 30 or 40 minutes for individual tasks during the day.
You might have minimal to zero control over handling numerous projects simultaneously for your job, but devoting a little time to each activity will improve the quality of your final result and assist you in regulating your stress levels while at work.
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Turn Off and Check Out
It’s easy to feel pressured to be available around the clock in today’s digital world.
Staying available throughout the day can quickly exhaust you.
To reduce possible stress, it is critical to establish clear boundaries between your professional and personal lives.
That does not always mean skipping checking email from home in the evenings or not responding to the phone during mealtime. It is necessary to set aside time for socializing.
Although everyone has various preferences and tastes for how much they merge their work and personal lives, establishing certain strict boundaries between these worlds can help to reduce the possibility of poor work-life balance and the stress associated with it.
Making a list of priorities at the start of your working week by creating responsibilities and ranking them in order of significance could be a wise move.
Set aside time to focus on a particularly essential or challenging assignment without any interruptions. You will be entirely organized and tranquil if you improve your time management skills.
“Doing something that is productive is a great way to alleviate emotional stress. Get your mind doing something that is productive.” —Ziggy Marley
Take Time Off to Recover from Workplace Stress
We all need time to recharge our batteries and recover to our pre-stress level of performance in order to prevent the detrimental impacts of prolonged stress and job burnout.
This healing process necessitates switching off from your work mode by spending time not engaged in work-related activities or thinking about your job.
That’s why it’s vital to unplug in a timely manner, in a method that suits your requirements and tastes. Just a few minutes of private time throughout the course of a hectic day could help avoid exhaustion.
Don’t squander your vacation days. Take some time off when feasible to rest and relax so you can come back to work feeling revitalized and prepared to perform to your full potential.
When you can’t take time to unwind, try shutting off your phone and putting your focus on nonwork pursuits for a few minutes.
However, you must take a break if you feel that your workload is becoming too heavy for you to bear and you require to replenish your batteries.
Steer Clear Of The Office Rumor Mill
Workplace conflict has a negative impact on your physical and mental well-being.
A dispute among colleagues might be hard to avoid, so try to prevent it to the greatest extent possible at work.
Try not to gossip, don’t loudly announce too many of your own religious and political beliefs, and be wary of colorful office comedy like playing what you think are “hilarious” practical jokes.
If it turns out one of your coworkers is inclined to gossip, the best option is to either reduce interaction with them or make it clear you don’t want to take part in office tittle-tattle.
And if there’s an obvious conflict between two other members of your team, it’s best to avoid being seen as “taking sides” and either maintain a professional relationship with both of them, or, if that’s not possible, minimize your interactions with them and stick to work talk.
Some tactics for keeping out of the conflict include emphasizing the positive aspects of people, skipping the conversation, or moving the topic to something different.
But if you do get involved in a conflict, be certain you know how to manage it properly.
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Talk to Your boss about Workplace Stress
Employee health has been related to workplace productivity, thus your manager has the incentive to foster a working environment that encourages employee well-being.
Begin by engaging in an open conversation with your boss.
It’s a not a great idea to go in with a big list of grievances.
A better plan would be to go in with the aim of making a plan to deal with your stress issues so you can thrive in your position and benefit the company at the same time.
The conversation could lead to you identifying ways to improve your skillset and learning more about how to manage your time better.
You can also learn more about what schemes the company may have to help you deal with stress.
The aim of the meeting should be to:
- Understand what is expected of you
- Identify the resources you need for your work
- Learn which co-workers can help you on more complicated projects
- How to make your workspace more comfortable
Unfortunately, in some cases you might feel your boss isn’t the right person to talk to.
If this is the case, it’s best to try to speak to someone in the HR department.
They are trained professionals who can guide you through and give you advice on how best to cope.
Away from the workplace, speaking to friends and family can also provide useful insights.
Avoid Being a Perfectionist
Seeking perfection is both good and bad.
It’s good because it means you set very high standards and will strive to meet them.
But it’s also bad as you put extreme demands on yourself which could left to burnout and stress.
Being a high-performer can boost your self-esteem, but also there is little benefit to going through the same report over and over again to try to perfect it.
Being a perfectionist may also have a detrimental effect on those around you.
Some workplaces are fast-paced environments where you simply won’t have the time to produce a perfect piece of work.
Sometimes it’s OK to say “that’s as good as it can be”
You may hold your high expectations in control by avoiding personalizing failures when you make an error and concentrating on the effort you have put into a task.
You may discover your performances improve and that you are less stressed out at work.
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Seek Professional Help
You don’t have to be suffering from a mental condition to seek treatment.
Being swamped at work is a completely reasonable cause to obtain more support and assistance.
Even after venting to family and friends and discussing the problem with your boss, who offered solutions, you may still feel frustrated by job stress.
In such instances, you could consult a therapist, who can assist you in better managing stress and changing harmful behavior.
Speaking with a psychologist can assist you in better recognizing the roots of your job stress and devising strategies to deal with them.
They can also assist you in developing de-stressing and self-care practices.
More people are facing high levels of occupational stress in today’s rapidly changing work environment.
It is critical for every one of us to understand how to deal with negative stress and welcome positive stress. Knowing how to handle workplace stress might assist you in identifying your stress triggers.
This also guarantees you possess the necessary tools to safeguard your physical and emotional well-being for years, regardless of being under stress.
You must concentrate on yourself and take breaks as necessary.
Valuing employee health is also important for businesses since it may aid increase productivity and performance. You may reduce some of the factors that cause you to feel overwhelmed at work by recognizing what causes your stress, practicing relaxation methods, and being able to manage time.