Rely On A Strong Support Network
Keep in touch with trusted friends and family members to help cope with stressful work situations.
If youre struggling with an especially challenging work week, try asking parent friends if they can help out with carpooling your kids to school on certain days.
Having people you can rely on during the tough times can alleviate some of the built-up tension.
How To Use Chunking
The next time you are trying to remember items from a list, start by forming them into groups. If you are working with a list of vocabulary words, for example, you might create small groups of words that are similar or related to one another. A shopping list might be broken down into smaller grouping based on whether the items on the list are vegetables, fruits, dairy, or grains.
Chunking can be used as an everyday memory enhancer, but researchers have also found that you can improve your ability to effectively chunk information.
Bor relates the story of one participant in a memory experiment who challenged himself to improve the number of items he could remember. While he was initially able to remember seven items, he increased this to 80 units of information over the course of 20 months. He devoted an hour a day, approximately four days a week to this task.
While you might not be able to devote such intense concentration to improving your memory, there are things that you can do to make the most of your brain’s natural tendency to seek patterns and group information.
Effects Of Uncontrolled Stress
Work-related stress doesnt just disappear when you head home for the day. When stress persists, it can take a toll on your health and well-being.
A stressful work environment can contribute to problems such as headache, stomachache, sleep disturbances, short temper, and difficulty concentrating. Chronic stress can result in anxiety, insomnia, high blood pressure, and a weakened immune system. It can also contribute to health conditions such as depression, obesity, and heart disease. Compounding the problem, people who experience excessive stress often deal with it in unhealthy ways, such as overeating, eating unhealthy foods, smoking cigarettes, or abusing drugs and alcohol.
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Reframe Your Workplace Stress As Something More Positive
While the tips above can help de-stress your workday, getting rid of stress entirely is pretty much impossible. Everyone is triggered by different aspects of workplace stress. And striving for a completely stress-free life is stressful in itself.
But does that mean that we should just accept the anxiety of the modern workplace? I dont think so. In fact, there are a few exercises you can use to help transform the stress youre feeling into something less impactful and potentially even helpful.
Talk It Out With Peers
Most likely, at least some of your peers are feeling overwhelmed with work as well. Teams should be able to lean on one another and ask for advice. Get insights from your colleagues on how they handle their workload. It also may be helpful to ask, These things are on my plate. How would you tackle them? They may have some useful answers.
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Dealing With Worries And Negative Thoughts
Engage in activities
When you notice that you are experiencing hypothetical worries, try practicing mindfulness or engaging in another activity so your attention is focused on what you are currently doing.
If your worries are practical, implement problem-solving to produce a solution.
This problem-solving is a 7 step process:
Challenge your thinking
If you notice that you are experiencing negative automatic thoughts, try challenging these by looking at the evidence for and against the thought. A good way to do this is by asking “If my friend said this to me about himself, what would I say?”.
Weigh up the evidence and create a more balanced thought. This doesn’t mean the new thought has to be really positive – it must be formulated using the evidence.
Why Do Certain Situations Cause Stress And Anxiety
Stress differs between people – a situation may be significantly more stressful for one person compared to another person who may find it easier to deal with. Different factors affect how stressful you will find something:
- How you perceive a situation can determine your stress and anxiety levels. For example, if an employee was asked to go to their boss’ office they might think “Oh no, I’ve done something wrong, she’s going to shout at me.” Their stress levels would be high. On the other hand, another person may think “I wonder what this is about, can’t be anything too serious.” So this person’s stress levels would be low.
- If you have lots of deadlines approaching you are likely to feel more stressed.
- Less experience of dealing with a particular demand can increase anxiety levels as you will feel less confident.
- The more support you are receiving, from work and also socially, can help ease stress.
- People differ in how emotionally resilient they are to stressful situations – some people may be able to adapt quicker to adversity than others.
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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.
Practice Good Task Management
Well, knowing how to manage your time well is one key factor nailed. But have you been managing your tasks well? As opposed to simply going down a list, perhaps a couple of changes can help you manage your workload better and increase your productivity.
Tackling the most important things first will help ensure that you arent scrambling to complete your work when unexpected situations present themselves.
If you find yourself procrastinating on larger tasks, you can break your work into small chunks so that they appear less overwhelming.
Most importantly, never hesitate to ask for help. Delegate your tasks if needed. You dont have to do everything by yourself.
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Get In Touch With Your Feelings
An important component of conflict resolution involves only youknowing how you feel and why you feel that way. It may seem that your feelings should already be obvious to you, but this isnt always the case. Sometimes you feel angry or resentful, but dont know why. Other times, you feel that the other person isnt doing what they should, but you arent aware of exactly what you want from them, or if its even reasonable.
Journaling can be an effective way to get in touch with your own feelings, thoughts, and expectations so you are better able to communicate them to the other person. Sometimes this process brings up some pretty heavy issues, and psychotherapy can be helpful.
How Can We Handle Stress In Healthy Ways
Stress serves an important purposeit enables us to respond quickly to threats and avoid danger. However, lengthy exposure to stress may lead to mental health difficulties or increased physical health problems. A large body of research suggests that increased stress levels interfere with your ability to deal with physical illness. While no one can avoid all stress, you can work to handle it in healthy ways that increase your potential to recover.
There are several other methods you can use to relax or reduce stress, including:
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You Have Trouble Concentrating
Stress and a lack of relaxation can lead to an inability to concentrate, making day-to-day tasks and meetings difficult.
The irony of stress is that its often self-defeating. Having a lot of things on your plate can make you feel stressed, triggering an increase in adrenaline levels and heart rate. These changes can increase your concentration, helping you deal with the challenges at hand.
However, too much stress can make it hard for you to concentrate.
I Have Heard Stress Can Be Both Good And Bad Is This True
Stress is the body’s response to real or perceived threats. Today most of our problems cannot be solved with a fight or flight response. We have to work through our problems and find constructive solutions.
Stress is about reactions people have to the situations they face. These reactions are not the same from person to person. Some stress is expected and can be a positive force in our lives. In fact, it is often what provides us with the energy and motivation to meet our daily challenges both at home and at the workplace. This type of stress response is what helps you âriseâ to a challenge and meet your goals such as deadlines, sales or production targets, or finding new clients. Some people would not consider this challenge a type of stress because, having met the challenge, we are satisfied and happy.
Feelings of negative stress usually increase when people believe the demands of a situation are greater than their ability to deal with it. Stress may prevent them from being productive. In some cases, people avoid dealing with a problem entirely, which may make the situation worse and increase stress to them and others around them.
When under a lot of stress, some may find it hard to concentrate, make decisions, and feel confident. Many people experience physical sensations like sweating, a racing heart, or tense muscles.
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Incorporate Other Memory Strategies
For example, you might use mnemonics as a way to chunk different units of information. If you are going to the grocery store and need bananas, eggs, nectarines, and tea, you can create a word out of the first letters of each item you need: BENT. Once you remember the keyword, you will then be better able to recall the items represented by each letter of the acronym.
Tip : Reduce Stress At Work By Breaking Bad Habits
As you learn to manage your stress at work and improve your work relationships, you will have more control over your ability to think clearly and act appropriately. You will be able to break habits that increase your stress at work – and you will even be able to change negative mindsets about things that only increase your stress.
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Know The Difference Between Good Stress And Bad Stress
Not all stress is bad, and not all stress can be avoided.
Good stress motivates you. Deadlines, tests, or being asked to speak in front of other people â these are all situations that create stress, but they are also what motivates us. Good stress tends to be short-term and can even enhance or improve brain function. When the pressure is on, the brain sharpens up.
Bad stress, however, is chronic. It harms your health, slows you down, and can even start to inhibit thinking.
Essentially, stress uses your fight-or-flight response. Good stress gives you time to recover from that response, but bad stress locks you into it and wears you down. Itâs important to know the difference between good and bad stress so you know which is the problem and which is actually helping you.
Learn To Identify Signs Of Stress
You might not even know youâre feeling stressed. Sounds strange, but itâs possible. Even if you donât know the true level of stress youâre feeling, your body does. The damage that stress does happens whether you are aware itâs bad or not.
There are several signs that stress might be affecting you:
- Feeling anxious, grumpy, or depressed.
- Feeling apathy or disinterest in your job.
- Feeling overwhelming dread about your job.
- Difficulty getting a good nightâs sleep.
- General fatigue and tiredness.
- Socially withdrawing from others .
- Using alcohol, drugs, or other destructive coping mechanisms.
If you see a pattern like this list in your life, you need to take action.
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Do You Know Your Stress Level
Check your stress level by rating each situation. Go with your first reaction.
Always 4 Usually 3 Sometimes 2 Never 1
Try these strategies to limit stress in your life:
- Take one thing at a time and one day at a time. Theres a limit to how much you can do. Set priorities. When you have many tasks and responsibilities, concentrate on the one thing you need to do now and put the others aside until later.
- Practise positive self-talk. Rephrase negative thoughts in positive ways. For example, say:
- I succeed at many things instead of I’m a failure.
- Im doing my best to prepare instead of I will never be ready in time.
- I handle myself with confidence instead of Im going to fall apart.
Listen To Music On The Drive Home
Listening to music offers many benefits and can be an effective way to relieve stress before, during, and after work. Playing an uplifting song while you make breakfast can help you start the day off feeling better prepared to interact with the people in your life. Likewise, combating the stress of a long day with your favorite music on the drive home can help you wind down and feel less stressed when you get there.
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How Employees Can Deal With Stress At Work
Some symptoms that will tell if you are going through anxiety at workplace are physical and include pains, head and stomach aches, fatigue, eating and sleeping disorders. Other signs are cognitive and include for example, a difficulty to concentrate or make decisions, think or remember things. Finally, you may suffer from emotional symptoms such as feeling sad, tense or angry.
If you have detected some of the mentioned signs you may be suffering from work stress. Luckily, there are techniques and actions you can take to reduce it. The American Psychological Association proposes some:
Track your stressors: Keep a diary where you can identify what situations causing you stress, what you feel and how you react to them. This can help you find patterns in the causes and your reactions.
Develop healthy responses: Try to make healthy choices when you feel the tension grows. Some options are physical activity, time to hobbies, reading, going to concerts or playing with your family. Achieving good sleep quality also helps manage stress try to limit caffeine and minimize stimulating activities at night.
Establish boundaries: Set schedules to carry out work tasks at home, such as limiting time for emails or moments to answer the phone.
Time to disconnect: To avoid burnout, it is important that you take rest and relaxation times to return to your pre-stress functioning levels.
Relax: Apply relaxation techniques, such as meditation, deep breathing or mindfulness.
How To Manage Work Stress
Good stress management in the workplace is critical to your overall health.
Life coach Suzy Greaves says one of the key skills to managing workplace stress is knowing how to say no.
“Im constantly challenging clients who say they have no choice but to overwork,” she says. “I coach people to become empowered and believe they have a choice.”
She explains that saying yes can win you brownie points in the short term, but if you take on too much and fail to deliver, it can be a disastrous long-term strategy.
“Have confidence in your no when you think it’s the right decision, even though it may not be the most popular one,” she says. “In the long term, your ability to say no will be one of your most valuable attributes.”
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