Who Else Can Help With Work Stress
The HSE supports anyone who is responsible for tackling work-related stress in an organisation.
That might be the person who has responsibility for human resources, a health and safety officer, trade union representatives or line managers.
The HSE believes good management practices can help reduce work-related stress. It offers a management standards approach to help employers take sensible and practical steps to minimise stress in the workplace.
Your GP can also help. Doctors aren’t experts in employment law, but they can help you analyse the situation and refer you to more specialised help if necessary.
Tip : Establish Boundaries
The American Psychological Association suggests that workers today need to establish boundaries. Especially in this digital age where we have 24-hour access to emails and phones on days and weekends, there is little opportunity to disconnect from work obligations.
Establishing clear boundaries means that you do not answer your phone or check emails after certain hours e.g 7pm and that you do not respond on weekends. Above all, being able to switch off during your annual leave and time off is essential to help you recharge.
Putting on the out of office and making clear boundaries with your staff and clients will help you reduce work stress.
Resist Trying To Be Perfect At Everything
Its not uncommon for the highest performers and hardest workers to be the ones that deal with the most stress.
Theres nothing wrong with giving a career you care about your all, however, be careful that youre not trying to be perfect at every aspect of your work.
Some self-awareness is really important here. Whether its realizing that theres simply some things youll never be perfect at or realizing theres people at your work that can do a better job than you can, learn to let go at your obsession with perfection.
Its not about becoming complacent or lazy. Its realizing when something is good enough for most people, or when the law of diminishing returns starts getting into play where working on something more becomes worth less and less of your time and energy. Especially your mental health.
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Take The Breaks You Are Given
Take your allotted breaks.
If thereâs a park or bit of nature nearby, go there. If your work environment is stressing you out, try to change your environment, either by going someplace else or by reading to get your mind in a different place.
You need a break, especially if youâre stressed. If management makes it difficult to take a break, press the issue. You have a legal right to breaks.
Reasons Of Stress At Work
Sometimes the stress at work, for a number of objective reasons, becomes permanent and tries to overcome us not by sudden attacks, but by a long agonizing siege. Situational practices do not help here, you have to work on such a problem from the inside, figuring out the causes of stress.
It is important to understand and realize that difficult situations that require prompt solutions are just a part of our life, a routine, a fluidity. This is not a tragedy, but rather a normal manifestation of any business process. There is no need to dwell on what is happening and take everything to heart. Direct your energies to the solution of specific problems.
The main reasons for constant stress at work are:
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Dont Sweat The Small Stuff
There comes a point at work, where you realize that the best approach not only to your own sanity, but for the sake of your coworkers, is to better pick your battles.
Its tempting, especially when youre new and eager to make your mark, to tackle every issue, conversation, project, and idea that comes your way.
Its tempting to try to give your attention and energy to as many things happening around the organization as possible.
However, youll find that this quickly begins to drain you.
The better approach is to focus on what you can have the most impact on but what also has the most impact on you, when it comes to dealing with stress at work.
Dont sweat the small stuff. Most things that happen, most issues, most conflict, and most challenges are ultimately not that big of a deal.
Unless your line of work is life or death, dont take it too seriously.
Make Food Choices That Keep You Going
Low blood sugar can cause anxiety and irritability, while eating too much can make you lethargic. A healthy diet can help you get through stressful work days. By eating small but frequent meals, you can help your body maintain an even blood sugar level, maintain your energy levels, stay focused and avoid mood swings.
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Strategically Using Learning At Work
What specifically can you do to increase learning when faced with stress at work?
First, start internally. Practice re-reframing stressful work challenges in your mind. When stress emerges, change the message you tell yourself from this is a stressful work assignment/situation to this is a challenging but rewarding opportunity to learn. Reframing stressful tasks as learning possibilities shifts your mindset and better prepares you to approach the task with an orientation toward growth and longer-term gains.
Second, work and learn with others. Instead of wrestling with a stressful challenge solely in your own head, try to get input from others. Getting out and discussing a stressor with your peers and colleagues might reveal hidden insights, either from their experience or from the questions and perspectives they raise.
Embracing learning can be a more active way to buffer yourself from negative effects of stress at work. At the same time, there is no need to wait for stress to arise before seeking learning opportunities. Even without pressing problems, engaging in learning as a central feature of your work life will help you build personal resources and equip you to be resilient and prepared in navigating future stress at work.
Provide Onsite Or Distance Counseling
Many companies have also begun providing counseling as a way for employees to help deal with stress in a recent study, almost half of workers felt they needed help in learning how to handle the stresses of their jobs. This strategyin or out of the office, in group settings or individuallycan help employees prepare for what stress will come their way.
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Tip : Break Bad Habits That Contribute To Workplace Stress
Many of us make job stress worse with negative thoughts and behavior. If you can turn these self-defeating habits around, youll find employer-imposed stress easier to handle.
Resist perfectionism. When you set unrealistic goals for yourself, youre setting yourself up to fall short. Aim to do your best no one can ask for more than that.
Flip your negative thinking. If you focus on the downside of every situation and interaction, youll find yourself drained of energy and motivation. Try to think positively about your work, avoid negative co-workers, and pat yourself on the back about small accomplishments, even if no one else does.
Dont try to control the uncontrollable. Many things at work are beyond our control, particularly the behavior of other people. Rather than stressing out over them, focus on the things you can control, such as the way you choose to react to problems.
Look for humor in the situation. When used appropriately, humor is a great way to relieve stress in the workplace. When you or those around you start taking work too seriously, find a way to lighten the mood by sharing a joke or funny story.
Clean up your act. If your desk or work space is a mess, file and throw away the clutter just knowing where everything is can save time and cut stress.
Be Clear On Requirements
A factor known to contribute to job burnout is unclear requirements for employees. If you dont know exactly what is expected of you, or if the requirements for your role keep changing with little notice, you might become extremely stressed.
If you find yourself never knowing if what you are doing is enough, it may help to have a talk with your supervisor. You can take the time to go over expectations and discuss strategies for meeting them. This can relieve stress for both of you!
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How To Identify Your Current Stress Levels
There are many warning signs that you’re experiencing high levels of workplace stress.
Physical symptoms include frequent headaches or muscle tension, persistent sleeplessness, and stomach upsets. You may also experience significant changes in your weight.
Psychologically, you may be irritable, depressed, and experience prolonged difficulty in concentrating. If continuous stress starts to cause burnout, you may also find that you lose interest in your work and hobbies, and become socially withdrawn.
to explore your current levels of long-term stress.
Stress is not the same as pressure.A manageable level of pressure can actually help you to perform at your best. However, if pressure increases to a point where you no longer feel in control, the result is stress. Unlike pressure, stress is never positive.
Listen To Music While You Work
One way of managing job stress is to listen to music while you work. Having background music can help you enjoy work a little bit more especially if you have a heavy workload causing your work related stress.
Listening to your favorite new songs when they come out every Friday can help the workday fly by. You can reduce stress by listening to positive songs that just make you so happy.
Not only is music good for your well being but its also good for your productivity.
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Take Time To Relax And Practice Self
Okay, you already know this blog is titled, How to cope with stress at work. But youll notice that a couple of these strategies actually happen outside of your workplace.
And thats because sometimes the training for the ability to cope at work comes from having prepared yourself before you even get to your job.
This includes the quality sleep and good nutrition I mentioned above. It also entails being physically fit. That doesnt mean you have to be able to run a marathon. It just means to factor in some physical activity into your daily routine.
During work, be vigilant about taking care of yourself mentally. Know when youre nearing your breaking point. Cushion your workday with breaks to allow yourself to regroup. Dont over-extend yourself with unrealistic deadlines.
And lastly, at the end of the day, unplug and have boundaries in place to protect your personal and private time.
Start Reducing Your Stress Today
Think about what stresses you out. Now, pick one of the tips to reduce stress that you can start doing right now. How will you do this? What time of day will you do this? Try this regularly for 3 weeks until it becomes a habit. Apply another tip when you are ready. Practise for 3 weeks until it also becomes a habit. Continue your new habits or try other stress reducers, until your stress is at the level you are comfortable with.
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To Cope With Stress Try Learning Something New
There are typically two ways people try to deal with work stress. One is to simply buckle down and power throughto focus on getting the stressful work done. Professional workers often have a bias for action and want to find a solution quickly. The other common tactic is to retreatto temporarily disconnect from work and get away from the stressful environment. Unfortunately, both of these approaches have pitfalls. Continuing to work while stressed and fatigue can tax us and lead to worse performance. And while a reprieve from work can offer temporary relief, it doesnt address the underlying issues causing the stress in the first place.
Research suggests a third option might be more effective at helping us manage stress and its effects: focusing on learning. This can mean picking up a new skill, gathering new information, or seeking out intellectual challenges. In two recent research projects, one with employees from a variety of industries and organizations, and the other with medical residents, researchers found evidence that engaging in learning activities can buffer workers from detrimental effects of stress including negative emotions, unethical behavior, and burnout.
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Fun And Creative Ways Of Coping With Stress At Work
Oh! You still create time to find this on the internet? Thats commendable! Isnt it? Im glad you are passionate about getting relief from the stress youre going through.
Stress and work seem inseparable. Sooner or later, the demands of work will pose some level of stress on you, even if you love what you do. And if you are currently working, you should be able to relate well to this.
Impromptu projects, unplanned meetings, close deadlines, customers trouble, and many more can easily contribute to extreme work stress.
With extreme work stress, happening again and again, many folks are thinking, Im stressed at work, should I quit?.
Well, my advice to you, if you are yet to do anything about the stress you are experiencing at your current job is, dont quit. Yes, dont consider quitting first. Finding a low-stress job is difficult . Therefore, quitting your job because of stress is not so much a good reason, which makes coping with stress at work a necessity.
Constant job stress can be overwhelming and dangerous to both physical and emotional health. Coping with stress at work will, therefore, not only help you achieve your goals at your job, but it will also benefit your health.
The demands of your work shouldnt endanger your well-being, job satisfaction, or productivity. So whatever the demands, you need to be aware of the fun and creative ways to reduce stress at work.
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Take Advantage Of The Employee Assistance Program
Depending on which place you work, you might have access to an employee assistance program to help you manage work stress. You can speak to counsellors for your personal life or work life, whichever needs the most support. By talking to someone youll be able to manage your physical and mental health. You might get advice about exercising more or trying cognitive behavioral therapy.
If a personal issue is seeping into your workplace, it may add workplace stress. Sometimes when were going through the stages of grief or dealing with a medical issue, our attitude at work begins to change. It can have negative effects on work related activities. Telling co-workers youre dealing with some personal issues without going into detail can help relieve some tension.
Tip : Learn How Managers Or Employers Can Reduce Stress In The Workplace
It is in a manager’s best interest to keep workplace stress to a minimum. Executives can act as positive role models, especially in times of high stress, by following the tips outlined in this article. If a respected manager can stay calm in stressful work situations, it is much easier for their employees to stay calm.
In addition, there are a number of organizational changes that managers and employers can make to reduce workplace stress, including:
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Talk To Someone Close
The power of venting should never be underestimated! Take some time to blow off steam, even when youre busy.
Feeling stressed? Prioritise meeting with someone close with the specific intention of sharing your situation. Not only does this provide you with emotional support, but talking to someone close can help put things in perspective and help you manage your stress.
Start The Day Out Right
This means to plan ahead, eat a healthy breakfast and leave in enough time to get to work comfortably on time. For some people, this can be quite a challenge. Whether they miscalculate how long it takes them to get ready to leave, or they just dont get up early enough, they have fallen into a habit of rushing out of the house, expecting to get every green light and find the closest parking space near the door.
And when of course, that doesnt happen because nobody on the road knows or cares that you left late, traffic lights arent timed for your poor judgment, and youre late, so you get to park in the back, youre going to start your workday already stressed before you even hang your jacket up. So how do you think youll react when your boss tosses you a curveball or the computer system crashes?
So if you are not in the habit, try starting your day with a little planning, good nutrition, and an optimistic attitude. And see if it doesnt help the workplace stress roll off your back more easily.
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What Is Work Stress
Before going into the fun and creative ways to reduce stress at work, lets discuss what work stress is and what it is not. But just before that, let me mention what stress is.
Stress is a feeling of emotional or physical tension. It is the result of emotional, physical, social, economic, or other factors that require a response to change.
Stress is your bodys reaction to demand. Hence, it is easy to get stressed by anything that makes you feel frustrated, angry, nervous, or constantly stretches you.
So, what is work stress?
Work stress refers to the harmful physical and emotional responses that occur when the requirements of the job do not match the capabilities, resources, or needs of the worker.
Work stress is not the same thing as a challenge. You must know how to differentiate both.
Challenge is a major ingredient for healthy and productive work. It energizes an employee psychologically and physically, providing the motivation to learn and master new skills.
However, some stress is permitted. But when it occurs in large amounts, ones mental and physical health can be affected negatively. One of the coping skills for work that employees must possess is the ability to deal with work stress because it can determine their success or failure in a role.
Thankfully, a lot of research has been done that, provides employers and leadership with a better understanding of work stress and how to prevent it. For employees, coping with stress at work is key.