Essential Steps for Coping With Stress at Work
- May 31, 2014
Stress at work is a usual affair that occurs when the demands placed exceeds the ability to cope with it. In this competitive world, the rising demand for higher performance in all corporate sectors is inevitable. This often becomes the cause of stress and pressure causing nervous breakdown. Professionals need to balance their work and pressure level for optimum health and enhanced performance level. Researchers have shown that too much of stress can contribute to the growth of major illnesses like depression, heart disease and obesity.
When stress becomes a problem that affectsthe ability to carry out work with efficiency then seeking for options to reduce them is essential.
Identifying the Causes of Stress in Office
Survey reports suggest that nearly 65% of professionals suffer from stress problem at work that hampers their performance level and even their daily life schedule. There are several work related issues to handle, competitiveness, performance expectations, challenges and others that give rise to the stress level. To sort them out with effective solutions it’s first necessary to identify the causes of stress that are known as stressors.
There are two categories of stressors:
External stressors: These relate to thephysical conditions such as stressful psychological environments like working in tough and challenging conditions and abusive relationships
Internal stressors: These relate tophysical ailments such as psychological problems like worrying about something.
It can thus, be said that work can be both external and internal stressors.
Some of the typical causes of work related stress can be:
- Feeling uninvolved or ignored in office matters or responsibilities
- Not able to handle job responsibilities or failure of remaining up to date with the company matters
- Bullied or being harassed by seniors or managers
- Constant unreasonable or difficult performance demands
- Role conflict
- lack of job security
- long working hours
- Fear of being fired or laid off
- Excess work load
- Constant pressure for higher performance results
- Long working hours causing to remain away from family and disrupting life-balance
- Lack of recognition and low appraisals
- Conflict among staff members and office politics
- Overtime for work load and deadlines
- Low job satisfaction
- Unprofessional organizational culture
- Unethical organizational culture
Symptoms of Work-Related Stress
Keep a watch on the signs and symptoms of work related stress that can take varied forms:
Physical symptoms include:
- Muscular tension
- Heart palpitations
- Sleeping difficulties, such as insomnia
- Gastrointestinal upsets, such as diarrhea or constipation
- Dermatological disorders
Psychological symptoms include:
- Feelings of being overwhelmed and unable to cope
- Cognitive difficulties, such as a reduced ability to concentrate or make decisions
Behavioral symptoms include:
- An increase in sick days or absenteeism
- Diminished creativity and initiative
- A drop in work performance
- Problems with interpersonal relationships
- Mood swings and irritability
- Lower tolerance of frustration and impatience
Ways to Deal with Stress Level at Work
Stress at work is faced by all professionals. While a little stress proves useful in taking up the challenges of work life and meeting the deadlines, too much of pressure can hamper the performance level and becomes difficult to cope up with the pressures of the work. So, if you feel overwhelmed by the stressors, look out for ways to overcome them before you get paralyzed.
Manage your work: Identify and monitor the stressors in your work. Plan and schedule your work as per the priority list and the time factor. Pre arrange your work to get rid of stressful situations. Moreover, try keeping things organized that helps to ease your work and look for them when required.
- Clean your drawer and desk by sorting and labeling things
- Keep your essential items on the desk and rest inside to locate them when needed
- Name or tag your files and folders as per the work assigned
- Create a separate drawer for personal paperwork, items, etc.
- Use post it to mark the folder or essential to remember
- Always keep buffer times to deal with unexpected and emergency tasks
- Include time for own relaxation and comfort.
Get a support network – A strong social network acts as a bufferagainst the stressors of work. A strong and supportive association of family, friends, colleagues and others all help to relieve your stress level. Stress can cloud your judgment level preventing you from perceiving things on a neutral note. Talking to them, sending emails, sharing issues and consulting with them can alleviate your anxiety by offering solutions that are key answers to your issues.
Smile and laugh. Brains are interconnected with our emotions as well as facial expressions. Too much of pressure or low feelings affect the brain and gets reflected on the face, causing further unhappiness. Laughing, remaining happy and contented with little achievements in life makes you feel positive and relieves you of your tensions. It thus, boosts your stamina to work harder.
Relax: It is important to take out sufficient time for yourself. Devote quality time by relaxing, reading, listening to music, watching movies, engaging in art or other hobbies, travelling and others that soothes your nerves and relaxes you from the daily hassles of life.
A healthy lifestyle: A healthy and well maintained lifestyleproves beneficial; to combat with the day to day challenges of life.A nutritious diet is essential for maintaining good health and proper weight. Remaining fit and in shape fosters confidence and positivity.Avoid smoking and too much of drinking.
Exercise regularly: As per researchers exercising on a daily basis is essential for a fit body. Physical exercise metabolizes the excessive stress hormones restoringthe human body and mind to a more relaxed and calmer state. A 20-minute walking, running, swimming or dancing session also proves to be effective for several hours.
Sleep Well: Lack of sleep is a significant cause of stress. A good sleep at night helps you to tackle the stress of the day easily. If you are tired, it causes sleepiness, sluggishness, impatience and agitated that impedes your work and performance. Most adults need 7-9 hours of sleep per night. Practice having good sleep along with stress relieving tactics that helps in getting rid of stress. This makes feeling fresh the next day.
Say No: Be assertive and learn to just say, “No” occasionally. This helps to meet your needs and deliver work on time. Too much work pressure hinders the performance level. Hence, occasional refusal reflects your forward nature. Never take a backseat, instead deal with problems head on.
Have sense of control: It is easier to take stress in your stride with full confidence in yourself and abilities. If a stressful situation occurs do not rush into conflicts or arguments. Strive for a win-win situation and try to sort our issues that to make both ends meet
Accept limitations: Learn to accept failures or certain things that you cannot change keep you happy and contended. Always changing a difficult situation as per your preference is not possible.
Learn to forgive and forget: Accept the fact that we reside in an imperfect world and people around you are prone to making mistakes. Do not bottle up your anger and resentments, just let them go. This will free you from negative energy. Forgive and forget things and move on.
We often do have control over the stress and choices in our lives. It sometimes takes a little practice and effort to overcome the hassles of life. Get enrolled in yoga classes, laughter clubs or some grooming courses that boost you up and encourages to face the challenges of the workplace in the most pleasant and optimistic way.
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