Wednesday, February 1, 2023

How To Handle Stress In The Workplace

Learn To Avoid Procrastination


Another way to take control of your stress is to stay on top of your priorities and avoid procrastinating.

Procrastination may harm your productivity and leave you scrambling to catch up. This can cause stress, which negatively affects your health and sleep quality .

A study in 140 medical students in China linked procrastination to increased stress levels. The study also associated procrastination and delayed stress reactions with more negative parenting styles, including punishment and rejection .

If you find yourself procrastinating regularly, it may be helpful to get in the habit of making a to-do list organized by priority. Give yourself realistic deadlines and work your way down the list.

Work on the things that need to get done today and give yourself chunks of uninterrupted time. Switching between tasks or multitasking can be stressful in itself.


If you find yourself regularly procrastinating, staying on top of your to-do list may help ward off related stress.

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Take Care Of Yourself

Setting aside time for self-care is a must if you regularly find yourself feeling overwhelmed by work. This means prioritizing sleep, setting aside time for fun, and making sure youre eating throughout the day.

Feel like you dont have the time? Keep in mind that youll likely be able to tackle work issues more effectively when your core needs are being met.

Spend Some Time Thinking About How You Approach Stress

Start by considering the following questions to help you plan a positive, interviewer-focused answer that shows youve thought about your relationship with stress:

  • What were the causes of the stressful situation?

  • If you contributed to creating a stressful situation, what could you have done differently to avoid it?

  • What was your reaction like?

  • How did you reduce or mitigate the stress?

  • If you could react to that situation again, what would you have done differently?

  • In what ways did stress help or hurt your work?

Related: 5 Questions To Ask Yourself Before an Interview

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How To Manage Stress According To Research

The American Psychological Association offers several research-based techniques for managing stress, at work and beyond:

Stress doesnt always need to be bad. By encountering stress and learning how to cope, we can grow and develop greater resilience to make future situations less difficult. Remember, âresilience is about managing emotions, not suppressing themâ .

Examples Of What Can Cause Stress Include:

How To Cope Up With Stress At Work Tips You Should Use
  • 1. Being Robbed, Mugged, Or Attacked
  • 2. Major Natural Disasters, Such As Earthquakes, That Can Damage Your Home Or Destroy It Altogether
  • 3. Losing Your Job
  • 4. Getting Into A Fight With Your Spouse Or Significant Other
  • 5. Getting Into A Car Accident, Which Can Cause Physical, Emotional, And Financial Stress

Certain Lifestyle Choices Can Also Contribute To Your Stress Levels. This Is Especially True If They Affect Your Overall Health Or If You Become Dependent On Unhealthy Coping Mechanisms. Lifestyle Choices That Can Increase Your Stress Include:

  • 1. Heavy Or Excessive Consumption Of Alcohol
  • 2. Spending Too Much Time Watching Television Or Playing Video Games
  • 3. Not Getting Enough Exercise
  • 4. Smoking Or Using Illegal Drugs
  • 5. Working At A High-pressure Job

Recommended Reading: How To Not Stress During Pregnancy

Tell Someone You Are Struggling With Stress

It helps to tell someone that youâre struggling with stress, whether thatâs a manager or a coworker. They may be able to help you, or point you to someone who can.

  • Consider outcomes youâd like to see. Before you go speak with a manager, have a few ideas of what a resolution would look like. You may get a chance to offer them as a solution.
  • Know the specific source of stress. If itâs a specific person, a shift, or tasks that are more than you can handle, be ready to coherently state your case. Itâs hard for a manager to hear âIâm stressed!â and know what to do to relieve it if they donât know the specific things causing it.
  • Be ready to discuss collateral effects. If you know others are similarly stressed, let your manager know. Not everyone has the courage to speak up, but if others remain stressed, it will seep into all workers.
  • Use blame free language. Be selective with the words you use, and avoid blaming others. Phrase things as they relate to you. For example âIâm struggling with meeting my sales goalsâ instead of âJames makes it impossible for me to meet my sales goals.â
  • Ask for specific solutions. If you just need to unload and have a counseling session, your manager may not be the best person to go to. But if youâre really looking for solutions, donât leave the meeting without having some specific things you can do or expect to help change the stressful situation youâre facing.
  • Can Workplace Stress Be Defined

    We hear a lot about stress, but what is it? As stated by the Canadian Mental Health Association:

    âStress is a reaction to a situation â it isn’t about the actual situation. We usually feel stressed when we think that the demands of the situation are greater than our resources to deal with that situation. For example, someone who feels comfortable speaking in public may not worry about giving a presentation, while someone who isn’t confident in their skills may feel a lot of stress about an upcoming presentation. Common sources of stress may include major life events, like moving or changing jobs. Long-term worries, like a long-term illness or parenting, can also feel stressful. Even daily hassles like dealing with traffic can be a source of stress.â

    From: âStressâ, Canadian Mental Health Association, 2018

    Workplace stress then is the harmful physical and emotional responses that can happen when there is a conflict between job demands on the employee and the amount of control an employee has over meeting these demands. In general, the combination of high demands in a job and a low amount of control over the situation can lead to stress.

    Stress in the workplace can have many origins or come from one single event. It can impact on both employees and employers alike. It is generally believed that some stress is okay but when stress occurs in amounts that you cannot handle, both mental and physical changes may occur.

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    Box : Principles Of Preventing Work Stress In Scandinavia

    • Working conditions are adapted to people’s differing physical and mental aptitudes

    • Employee is given the opportunity to participate in the design of his/her own work situation, and in the processes of change and development affecting his/her work

    • Technology, work organisation, and job content are designed so that the employee is not exposed to physical or mental strains that may lead to illness or accidents. Forms of remuneration and the distribution of working hours are taken into account

    • Closely controlled or restricted work is avoided or limited

    • Work should provide opportunities for variety, social contact, and cooperation as well as coherence between different working operations

    • Working conditions should provide opportunities for personal and vocational development, as well as for self determination and professional responsibility

    Assessing the risk of stress within the workplace must take into account:

    • the likelihood and the extent of ill health which could occur as a result of exposure to a particular hazard

    • the extent to which an individual is exposed to the hazard

    • the number of employees exposed to the hazard.

    Ways Employers Can Manage Stress At Work 2022

    The cost of workplace stress — and how to reduce it | Rob Cooke
    • 21

    Most of the stress we experience comes from our jobs and worksites. Stressed workers are more likely to smoke, drink, be inactive, eat poorly, have relationship issues, and get sick more often. All of this means decreased productivity. Thankfully, employers can help to manage stress at work.

    Job stress costs billions of dollars every year because it leads to more absenteeism, medical expenses, and workers compensation claims.

    Here is a comprehensive list of the main causes of worksite stress and a corresponding list of successful and creative ways to help employers reduce stress at work and help employees manage stress.

    Worksites and wellness programs that have good control of stress at work have healthier, more productive employees. They also have lower health care costs.

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    Offer Mental And Physical Health Benefits

    If your employees are feeling profound effects of stress, its likely that their mental and physical health will suffer as well. Providing a safety net to address those problems will help the overall health of your employees and of your organization.

    According to a study conducted by Justworks, 41% of small- to medium-sized employers provide their employees access to benefits. Although offering access to a benefits package can feel expensive at first, it has plenty of returns.

    Employees with access to health insurance will perform better and be more loyal to the company, as well. According a study by Aflac, 26% of small business employees would move to a larger company for better benefits offerings.

    Ways To Cope With Chronic Stress

    âIts key to recognize stressful situations as they occur because it allows you to focus on managing how you react,â Dr. Stoll says. âWe all need to know when to close our eyes and take a deep breath when we feel tension rising.â

    Use these tips to prevent or reduce chronic stress.

    1. Re-balance Work and Home

    All work and no play? If youre spending too much time at the office, intentionally put more dates in your calendar to enjoy time for fun, either alone or with others.

    2. Build in Regular Exercise

    Moving your body on a regular basis balances the nervous system and increases blood circulation, helping to flush out stress hormones. Even a daily 20-minute walk makes a difference.

    3. Eat Well and Limit Alcohol and Stimulants

    Alcohol, nicotine and caffeine may temporarily relieve stress but have negative health impacts and can make stress worse in the long run. Well-nourished bodies cope better, so start with a good breakfast, add more organic fruits and vegetables, avoid processed foods and sugar, and drink more water.

    4. Connect with Supportive People

    Talking face to face with another person releases hormones that reduce stress. Lean on those good listeners in your life.

    5. Carve out Hobby Time

    Do you enjoy gardening, reading, listening to music or some other creative pursuit? Engage in activities that bring you pleasure and joy research shows that reduces stress by almost half and lowers your heart rate, too.

    6. Practice Meditation, Stress Reduction or Yoga

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    Bonus: Kick Your Bad Habits

    Managing stress at work is partially about your mindset. Your outlook can have a huge impact on your ability to cope with everyday stressors. Keep them in check so they dont become major sources of negative stress. Here are a few tips to change your mindset by break the bad habits that are holding you back:

    • Stay positive.
    • One way to do this is to express gratitude. Its surprising how much different your outlook is when you make a point to recognize the people and things in your life that youre lucky to have.
  • Resist perfectionism.
  • Dont fear mistakes, learn from them. The desire to be perfect can make your stress spike and your self-worth plummet. Recognize that failures dont define you, theyre just opportunities for learning and growth.
  • Focus on what you can control.
  • Much of the anxiety we experience is over the uncertainty caused by things outside our control. The best way to combat that is to only focus on the things we can control like our effort, our attitude, and how we treat people rather than the outcomes we cant.
  • Coping With Stress At Work

    15 Super Ways to Handle Stress at Workplace

    Working hard should not be confused with overworking at the expense of relationships and physical health.

    Coping with stress at work.

    Everyone who has ever held a job has, at some point, felt the pressure of work-related stress. Any job can have stressful elements, even if you love what you do. In the short-term, you may experience pressure to meet a deadline or to fulfill a challenging obligation. But when work stress becomes chronic, it can be overwhelmingand harmful to both physical and emotional health.

    Unfortunately, such long-term stress is all too common. In fact, has consistently found that work is cited as a significant source of stress by a majority of Americans. You cant always avoid the tensions that occur on the job. Yet you can take steps to manage work-related stress.

    Also Check: What Does Stress Do To The Body

    The Cost Of Workplace Stress

    Workplace stress costs individuals and organisations. According to one estimate, the annual cost of work stress to Australian organisations is an incredible $10 billion. According to the Victorian Government BetterHealth website, work-related stress is the second most common compensated illness/injury in Australia, after musculoskeletal disorders. Indeed, it is thought that 3.2 days per worker are lost each year through workplace stress.

    People suffering from the effects of stress are unmotivated and burnt out, and therefore less productive than those who are happy. So what can be done about it?

    Managing Stress In The Workplace: 12 Stress Management Tips For Managers

    Your body naturally reacts with stress when you face a challenging or demanding situation. This natural reaction can happen a lot at work, especially if you work in a fast-paced, demanding field. Sometimes stress pushes you to work harder, but other times it has a negative effect. When employers effectively manage stressful situations, it sets a positive example for the rest of their team and promotes mental health in the workplace. Thats why its important to research techniques and practice strategies for managing stress in the workplace.

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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.

    Stay Away From Conflict

    The Workplace Stress Solution

    Interpersonal conflict takes a toll on your physical and emotional health. Conflict among co-workers can be difficult to escape, so its a good idea to avoid conflict at work as much as you can.

    Dont gossip, dont share too many of your personal opinions about religion and politics, and steer clear of “colorful” office humor.

    When possible, try to avoid people who dont work well with others. If conflict finds you anyway, make sure you know how to handle it appropriately.

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    Have The Right Tools For The Job

    Some of our workplace stress is caused by other people, or circumstances outside of our control. But often our frustrations come from not having the right tools and resources at hand to do our job properly or efficiently. Think: do you have the right tools for whats being asked of you? If not, what do you need? Is it more soft skills training, for example, so you can better manage your direct reports? Do you need different software, to automate more tasks for you? For HR professionals, this could be modern HR software such as Ciphr HR. Payroll managers who are struggling with monthly errors might want to seek a different payroll supplier, such as Ciphr Payroll.

    Tip : Manage Your Time Better

    Poor time management can cause a lot of stress. When youre stretched too thin and running behind, its hard to stay calm and focused. Plus, youll be tempted to avoid or cut back on all the healthy things you should be doing to keep stress in check, like socializing and getting enough sleep. The good news: there are things you can do to achieve a healthier work-life balance.

    Dont over-commit yourself. Avoid scheduling things back-to-back or trying to fit too much into one day. All too often, we underestimate how long things will take.

    Prioritize tasks. Make a list of tasks you have to do, and tackle them in order of importance. Do the high-priority items first. If you have something particularly unpleasant or stressful to do, get it over with early. The rest of your day will be more pleasant as a result.

    Break projects into small steps. If a large project seems overwhelming, make a step-by-step plan. Focus on one manageable step at a time, rather than taking on everything at once.

    Delegate responsibility. You dont have to do it all yourself, whether at home, school, or on the job. If other people can take care of the task, why not let them? Let go of the desire to control or oversee every little step. Youll be letting go of unnecessary stress in the process.

    Also Check: What To Do To Reduce Stress

    Read Also: How To Relax Mind From Stress

    Ways To Combat Workplace Stress

    An employee facing workplace stress

    Recent research has proved that there is a high percentage of Americans who feel workplace stress, and this percentage is only getting higher with timea survey conducted with more than 2000 full-time employees in the U.S. between the ages 18-79 showed that more than half of the people find themselves in stressful situations at work 60% of the time.

    Work stress can cause various health complications. These health consequences can be minor, like becoming more susceptible to colds and flu, to more serious such as metabolic syndrome and heart disease. Constant stress at the workplace should not be ignored for an extended period.

    It is challenging, if not impossible, to find a job that is not stressful in any way. The better option is to adopt coping mechanisms that can help with workplace stress. You can be facing pressure regarding various aspects of your work. Maybe you have to deal with a toxic coworker or keeping up with deadlines is causing anxiety.

    Some of the everyday causes of stress at the workplace include:

    • Excessive workload
    • Work isnt challenging or exciting
    • Fewer opportunities for growth
    • Not being given enough control over work-related decisions
    • Lack of support from colleagues and superiors
    • Unclear or conflicting demands and performance expectations

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