Resolve Issues Before They Become Crises
Its human nature to avoid unpleasant topics and circumstances, but if you’re concerned about a brewing situation, whether it’s at work or at home, address it early to keep it from becoming more serious, harder to solve, and more stressful for you. Problems are always easier to handle before they develop into full-blown calamities.
Everyone feels stress it’s impossible to avoid it all the time. But it is possible to keep stress under control by setting realistic expectations of yourself, learning how to keep problems in perspective, and enjoying relaxing breaks from the daily demands of life.
Learn more in the Everyday Health Healthy Living Center.
What Is Workplace Stress
Workplace stress refers to the emotional and physical responses that occur as a result of a combination of factors or a single event at your job. These stressors are often directly related to your work environment, coworkers and/or professional expectations. Most people experience work-related stress in the form of tension or anxiety at some point in time, regardless of their industry or career.
What Happens To My Body When I Experience Stress
People react differently to stress. Some common symptoms of stress include sleeping problems, sweating or a change in appetite.6,7
Symptoms like these are triggered by a rush of stress hormones in your body which, when released, allow you to deal with pressures or threats. This is known as the ‘fight or flight’ response.
Hormones called adrenaline and noradrenaline raise your blood pressure, increase your heart rate and increase the rate at which you perspire. This prepares your body for an emergency response.8 These hormones can also reduce blood flow to your skin and reduce your stomach activity. Cortisol, another stress hormone, releases fat and sugar into your system to boost your energy.9
As a result, you may experience headaches, muscle tension, pain, nausea, indigestion and dizziness. You may also breathe more quickly, have palpitations or suffer from various aches and pains. In the long-term, you may be putting yourself at risk from heart attacks and stroke.10
Read Also: How To Relax In Stressful Situations
Ways To Prevent Stress Buildup
There’s no avoiding the stress of everyday life. Schoolwork, responsibilities at home, busy schedules, other people’s expectations, disappointments, deadlines, social drama: all of these can create tension.
Everyday stressors have a way of piling up if we don’t keep them in check. Adding these 5 simple actions to your regular routine can help you avoid that “bogged down by stress” feeling. The key word is “routine.” You need to make sure you keep doing these to enjoy the benefits:
1. Balance responsibilities with activities you enjoy . It’s all about balance: all work and no play is bad. But if your schedule is so crammed with activities that there’s no time for homework, that’ll stress you out too.
2. Manage responsibilities. Use a calendar or planning app to keep track of assignments, chores, practices, and other obligations. Of course, planning is no good if you don’t actually do what you plan: Managing stress also means regular studying, keeping on top of assignments, and overcoming procrastination. Take time to reflect a bit every day and think about how things are going. What do you need to work on? Do? Make time for?
5. Make time to exercise every day. It’s hard to feel anxious when you’re taking deep breaths on a run, feeling the rush of a downhill bike ride, or playing a pickup game with friends. Exercise doesn’t just take our mind off of stress it releases chemicals in our brains that make us feel better.
What Can Prolonged Stress Lead To
Stress is a natural reaction to many situations in life, such as work, family, relationships and money problems.
We mentioned earlier on that a moderate amount of stress can help us perform better in challenging situations,34 but too much or prolonged stress can lead to physical problems. This can include lower immunity levels,35 digestive and intestinal difficulties, e.g. irritable bowel syndrome ,36 or mental health problems such as depression.3 This means it is important to manage your stress and keep it at a healthy level to prevent long-term damage to your body and mind.
You May Like: What Is The Best Strategy For Managing Stress
Develop A Positive Self
The way you talk to yourself matters. Harsh self-criticism, self-doubt, and catastrophic predictions aren’t helpful. If you’re constantly thinking things like, “I don’t have time for this,” and “I can’t stand this,” you’ll stress yourself out.
It’s important to learn to talk to yourself in a more realistic, compassionate manner. When you call yourself names or doubt your ability to succeed, reply with a kinder inner dialogue.
Positive self-talk can help you develop a healthier outlook. And an optimistic and compassionate conversation can help you manage your emotions and take positive action.
Tip : Identify The Sources Of Stress In Your Life
Stress management starts with identifying the sources of stress in your life. This isnt as straightforward as it sounds. While its easy to identify major stressors such as changing jobs, moving, or going through a divorce, pinpointing the sources of chronic stress can be more complicated. Its all too easy to overlook how your own thoughts, feelings, and behaviors contribute to your everyday stress levels.
Sure, you may know that youre constantly worried about work deadlines, but maybe its your procrastination, rather than the actual job demands, that is causing the stress.
To identify your true sources of stress, look closely at your habits, attitude, and excuses:
- Do you explain away stress as temporary even though you cant remember the last time you took a breather?
- Do you define stress as an integral part of your work or home life or as a part of your personality ?
- Do you blame your stress on other people or outside events, or view it as entirely normal and unexceptional?
Until you accept responsibility for the role you play in creating or maintaining it, your stress level will remain outside your control.
Start a stress journal
A stress journal can help you identify the regular stressors in your life and the way you deal with them. Each time you feel stressed, keep track of it in your journal or use a stress tracker on your phone. Keeping a daily log will enable you to see patterns and common themes. Write down:
Read Also: Can You Get Acne From Stress
How To Manage And Reduce Stress
Here, we would like to start, by giving you an introduction to what stress is, what the signs of stress are, what simple steps you can take when feeling stressed and provide practical advice for preventing it, to show why we are passionate about moving towards a less stressed nation.
Tip : Practice The 4 As Of Stress Management
While stress is an automatic response from your nervous system, some stressors arise at predictable times: your commute to work, a meeting with your boss, or family gatherings, for example. When handling such predictable stressors, you can either change the situation or change your reaction. When deciding which option to choose in any given scenario, its helpful to think of the four As: avoid, alter, adapt, or accept.
Don’t Miss: Can Stress Cause High Eosinophils
How Can Stress Be Managed
There are various ways in which we can learn to manage our stress better and lessen the negative health consequences of chronic stress. Steps include:
Although we may have become tired of hearing terms like maintaining balance in our lives, this remains an important factor in managing stress. All of us need to try and balance the number of challenges we face with rest and relaxation to try and be in our optimum zone.
Part of maintaining balance is having a balanced daily routine, which includes getting enough sleep each night .
Exercise has a multitude of beneficial effects on the body and the brain.
Exercise can help in the management of stress by improving hypothalamic pituitary adrenal axis regulation , increasing brain neurotransmitters that assist with improving our mood and anxiety levels, and stimulating the growth of new brain cells.
Following a healthy, balanced diet
A healthy, balanced diet can help you to prevent and manage stress. Healthier options to include in your diet are vegetables, fruit, legumes, whole-grain foods, and mono- and polyunsaturated fats.
Its also important to try and eat a variety of nutritious foods, as different foods contain different nutrients.
Limit your intake of substances
One aspect of managing stress involves decreasing your use of caffeine, nicotine, alcohol, unnecessary medication, and drugs.
The steps involved in problem solving are as follows:
Ways To Manage Stress
Because reacting in the moment can often create more stress, its important to pause and take a minute to engage in gentle self care and take the space you need to gain better understanding and perspective before taking action. Taking the space and time you need to understand what is happening makes it more likely that you will find healthy solutions and also helps you understand yourself and your patterns better both of which will help the next time! So while the following list includes some effective techniques, its important to find those that work best for you and your unique situation. And of course, if you find that your stress levels are accelerating or out of control, we recommend you get help immediately.
Don’t Miss: How Can Stress Affect Your Period
Removing Or Reducing The Causes Of Stress
It is important to identify what makes you stressed, then take steps to avoid it or reduce the feelings of stress.
Everyone is different. What one person finds stressful, another wont. It depends on your personality, cultural background, past experiences, stage of life and what support you have around you.
Some common causes of stress include:
- family or relationship breakdowns
- death of a loved one
- experiencing a traumatic event, including physical or emotional abuse
- losing a job
- having a baby
- money problems
Many things that cause stress can be changed, but others are beyond our control. Work out what you can control and take steps to make a change.
For example, if you are one of the many Australians who is stressed by financial issues, setting up a budget or consulting a financial adviser may help.
If the stressor is work, it may be possible to change your work hours or job duties. If the problem is relationships, take the time to resolve conflicts.
It can help to talk to a friend, doctor or counsellor about removing the causes of stress. Dont be afraid to ask for support.
Spend Time With Those Closest To You
When you are stressed you might also have feelings of isolation and loneliness. One of the most effective strategies for reducing stress is to simply spend time with your friends and family.
When youre spending time with those closest to you, you would normally be a pretty relaxed, calm and comfortable state. The other added benefit is that you can talk through your problem or situation with someone you trust and who can provide another perspective. Your friends and family are there to be able to support you through stressful periods. Dont be afraid to lean on them when you need them. Im sure you would return the favour. Working with others is much better than working alone.
Don’t Miss: How Does Samsung Galaxy Watch Measure Stress
Overview Of Stress Management At Workplace
The world has become very fast-paced on todays date. Everything must be done fast. This has made life very stressful, both on the personal and professional front. On the personal front, one has to manage his/her family and relationships, and on the professional front, one must manage work, staff, and clients. Hence, striking a work-life balance has become very difficult. This leads to immense stress in an individual and affects his/her health. Stress is a state of emotional or physical conflict. It arises from any instance or incident that makes you feel frustrated and angry and leads to developing anxiety.
Stress is your bodys reaction to a challenge or demand. It drains you both physically and emotionally. Stress levels are generally high at the workplace and hence, need to be managed. Occupational stress develops when things do not turn out as they are expected to be. Occupational stress can increase when employees do not get full-fledged support from seniors and peers or feel as if they cannot get control over their work. In this topic, we are going to learn about Stress Management at the Workplace and different Ways to Handle Stress at Workplace.
Effective resume making, job hunting, campus recruitment training & others
Major Causes Of Workplace Stress
Read Also: Can Stress Affect Eye Pressure
Mental And Emotional Signs
Stress can also affect how you think and feel, making it tough to get through your normal responsibilities and make rational decisions. In some cases, this kind of stress can impact behavior in other ways, and some people turn to drugs, alcohol, tobacco, or other harmful substances to cope with their feelings.
Excessive stress may also affect your appetite, causing you to eat more or less than usual, and it may affect or eliminate your motivation to exercise and stay fit. Additionally, the feelings you get when youâre stressed may make you feel like withdrawing from friends and family and isolating yourself.
Some of the psychological and emotional signs that youâre stressed out include:
What Can I Do When I Feel Overwhelmed
We all feel overwhelmed from time to time thats normal. While its virtually impossible to eliminate times when events conspire and the bodys stress response is triggered, there are ways that you can quickly reverse your bodys reaction to stress, buffering the damage to your health and keeping your thinking clear, so you can more effectively deal with whats going on in the moment.
Read Also: Is Hair Loss From Stress Permanent
Remember To Seek Help And Support When You Need It
Remember, that it is okay to ask for professional help. If you feel that you are struggling to manage on your own, then you can reach out. It is important to know that you can get help as soon as possible, and that you deserve to get better.
The first person to approach is your family doctor. He or she should be able to give advice about treatment, and may refer you to another local professional. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Mindfulness based approaches are known to help reduce stress. There are also a number of voluntary organisations which can help you to tackle the causes of stress and advise you about ways to get better.
Anxiety UK runs a helpline staffed by volunteers with personal experience of anxiety from 9:30-5:30, Monday to Friday. Call 08444 775 774.
Citizens Advice provides free, independent and confidential advice for a range of problems as well as providing information on your rights and responsibilities.
StepChange provides help and information for people dealing with a range of debt problems. Freephone 0800 138 1111.
Mind provides information on a range of mental health topics to support people in their own area from 9.00am to 6.00pm, Monday to Friday. Call 0300 123 3393 or email .
Rethink Advice and Information Service
Rethink provide specific solution-based guidance – 0300 5000927 Fax: 020 7820 1149 email .
Specialist mental health services
Identify The Source Of Stress In Your Life
The first thing you need to understand is what are the sources of your stress? Is it your work? Is it a relationship? Is it that you drank too much? Is it a looming deadline? Is it uncertainty around the future?
Gaining clarity on the source of stress will then help you work out how to manage it. This is where you can pick any of the below strategies to eliminate the stress in your life.
Recommended Reading: What Are The Signs Of Stress
Eliminate Stressors When You Can
You may not be able to completely eliminate stress from your life or even the biggest stressors, but there are areas where you can minimize it and get it to a manageable level.
Any stress that you can cut out can minimize your overall stress load. For example, ending even one toxic relationship can help you more effectively deal with other stress you experience because you may feel less overwhelmed.
Discovering a wide variety of stress management techniques, and then choosing a mix that fits your needs, can be a key strategy for effective stress relief.
There are a number of common questions that you might ask about stress and stress management.
What Are The Behavioural And Emotional Effects Of Stress
When you are stressed you may experience many different feelings, including anxiety, irritability or low self-esteem, which can lead to becoming withdrawn, indecisive and tearful.13
You may experience periods of constant worry, racing thoughts, or repeatedly go over the same things in your head. You may experience changes in your behaviour. You may lose your temper more easily, act irrationally or become more verbally or physically aggressive.14 These feelings can feed on each other and produce physical symptoms, which can make you feel even worse. For example, extreme anxiety can make you feel so unwell, that you then worry you have a serious physical condition.
Also Check: How To Manage Stress During Pregnancy