Make Time For Regular Exercise
Aerobic exerciseactivity that raises your heart rate and makes you sweatis a hugely effective way to lift your mood, increase energy, sharpen focus, and relax both the mind and body. Rhythmic movementsuch as walking, running, dancing, drumming, etc.is especially soothing for the nervous system. For maximum stress relief, try to get at least 30 minutes of activity on most days. If its easier to fit into your schedule, break up the activity into two or three shorter segments.
And when stress is mounting at work, try to take a quick break and move away from the stressful situation. Take a stroll outside the workplace if possible. Physical movement can help you regain your balance.
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.
Stressful Situation Example 2
When I am in a stressful situation, I often stop to take a step back and allow myself some time to think, plan and prioritise. For example, if Ive got a lot of different University projects Im working on all at once, I become more efficient with my time. I break the big tasks up into separate, individual activities, working out which take the longest, which I can complete quite quickly, and which have the nearest deadlines. It then becomes more manageable and far less stressful.
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Describe A Stressful Situation And How You Handled It: What They Really Want To Know
Basically, the interviewer wants to see how you respond to potential challenges that all roles will have at some point or another. They want to also know that you expect there to be situations that are not easy.
Coming in with a prepared response is going to look far better than if you get stuck trying to think of what to say when they ask this. Find the most suitable response to your own experience in the answers below.
Handling Stress At Work
Colligan and Higgins describe workplace stress as the change in ones physical or mental state in response to workplaces that pose an appraised challenge or threat to that employee.
The key part of that definition is the concept of our body and mind reacting to a challenge or a threat. When I paused and thought about the tasks I gave staff or took on in a job, I realised that so often my body was reacting as if it was under threat.
The next time you are working on a task, pause for a moment and see if what you are doing feels like a threat or a challenge. Then, observe the way your body and mind feel. What one person sees as a challenge may actually be threatening to another.
The way we react to work stress also depends on our past experiences, beliefs and habits and will influence if we perceive it as a threat or a challenge.
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How Can I Overcome My Weaknesses
Build Good Coping Skills
How well or how poorly we get through a stressful situation depends a lot on us. How we deal with stressful situations makes all the difference.
Here are some steps you can take to cope with a stressful situation.
1. Understand the Situation
- Take some time to think about the situation you’re facing. Try to describe your situation in a sentence or two. What’s stressful about this situation for you right now? It can help to write down your thoughts. For example: My family just moved, so I switched to a new school in the middle of the year. The stressful parts are not knowing anyone, missing my old friends, and dealing with all new schoolwork.
- Notice and name the feelings you have about the situation. Accept your feelings it’s understandable to feel the way you feel, given your situation. It can help to write down your feelings, too. For example: I feel lonely and sad because of missing old friends and my old school. I’m mad that we had to move, especially now. I’m worried about keeping up in math and social studies. I feel left out because I’m the new kid. I guess anyone would feel this way if they were in my situation.
- Learn more. Learn all you can about the situation you’re dealing with. This might include reading about it, talking to others, or finding out what others in your situation have done and what to expect. Learning helps you feel more confident and prepared plus it reminds you that you’re not the only one who has gone through this.
3. Take Action
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Extra Tips For Answering Questions About Stress
Follow these tips to help you produce more effective answers:
Use the STAR method: this stands for Situation, Task, Approach and Result. This helps you provide a compelling and relatable answer to the hiring manager.
Incorporate your skills into your answer: expressly mentioning the skills you used to navigate stressful situations can improve your answer. These skills can be communication, conflict management, organization, or time management.
Choose your answer well: use examples that involved you in a minor way to avoid putting blame on yourself. Always provide answers to these questions since everyone encounters stress and stressful situations.
Prepare ahead: preparing ensures you’re confident and articulate. Practice by rehearsing with friends or family.
Example Answers: How Do You Handle Stress And Pressure
Now that you’ve got a good idea of how to respond to the classic How do you handle stress? interview question, let’s run through some sample answers.
Here’s your first example:
I was recently assigned a last-minute project. Instead of panicking, I took a few moments to outline a schedule and map out my game plan. Then I got to work. I made sure to communicate my progress with my manager so that they could stay in the loop. If any problems came up, I looped them in so we could troubleshoot and continue to make progress. I was able to complete the project on time, and the client was thrilled.
Here’s another example:
I don’t like to let stress take over a situation. Instead, I like to stay focused on the task at hand. For example, if a client isn’t happy with our product, instead of dwelling on it, I like to focus on proactively communicating with them. I like to get to the bottom of the issue, troubleshoot it, and then find a common ground that’ll allow us to move forward.
Here’s a final example:
I’ve found that a healthy amount of stress motivates me to stay on track and work as efficiently and effectively as possible. For example, deadlines are important to me. If my manager doesn’t give me deadlines, I set them for myself. That’s how I’m able to consistently turn in assignments on time.
Curious about how you should answer this and other common job interview questions? Get personalized advice from one of our professional interview coaches today!
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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.
Add Context To These Skills With A Relevant Impactful Example
Now that you know what soft skills you can highlight, start thinking about the times you’ve experienced stress or pressure at work. While you’re thinking through these examples even jotting them down on a piece of paper make sure you remember not to focus on situations where you were at fault.
For example, avoid talking about the time you forgot you had a project due the next day. Or that time you took on way too many assignments and struggled to juggle them. These types of answers could portray job seekers as forgetful, unreliable, or overambitious. Additionally, consider coming up with two to three examples that fit the roles you’re interviewing for and their required skills.
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Come Up With Healthy Responses
When you are trying to fight workplace stress, dont indulge in unhealthy coping mechanisms like junk food or alcohol. Instead, you can try developing healthier habits that enable you to relieve stress and make you more active and productive.
Various types of exercise can help you beat stress. Trying yoga can help you center yourself and find peace. Any physical activity after work can be beneficial for you. Setting aside time for taking part in activities that can lift your mood can help you improve your performance at work.
Another healthy stress-reliever is getting enough sleep. A good night of sleep can improve your mood and enable you to give your best at work. You should work on maintaining healthy sleeping habits.
Write Down Your Stressors
Identifying and recording stressful situations can help you understand whats bothering you. Some of these can be subtle sources of tension, such as an uncomfortable workspace or a long commute.
Keep a journal for 1 week to track your stress triggers and your reactions to them. Make sure to include the people, places, and events that gave you a physical, mental, or emotional response.
As you write, ask yourself:
- How did this make me feel?
- What was my reaction?
- What are some ways of resolving it?
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Take One Step At A Time
When I was in graduate school studying for my Masters degree, I was often overwhelmed by the sheer amount of work to be done. When one research paper was complete, there was another one right around the corner. Then an examthen a group projectand so on. But the focus was not on the next paper or exam it was on finishing and just being done with it all.
It was a tremendously stressful time, and an advisor offered some advice: Remember this corny adage: How does a marathon runner finish a race? One mile at a time.
Sometimes we need a small shift in mindset. Too often, when faced with a difficult task we jump to the finish instead of facing one obstacle at a time. Its much easier to narrow our focus, complete one task, and then tackle the next one.
Solution: Focus Your Attention
If you know you have a lot of work on your plate, working with as little distraction as possible is key to meeting your deadlines. Turn off your notifications or those that are least important. You can also let coworkers know youre busy and need concentration to focus on your schedule. If your job doesnt involve scrolling through Twitter or Instagram , avoid internet distractions that will make your day longer.
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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.
Focus On The End Goals
Everyone has that moment when they work on a major project or assignment where its almost impossible to imagine ever being finished with it. Rather than see a deadline as something to panic about, look to it as a motivator. Tell your interviewer how focusing on reaching your end goals works to keep you motivated instead of feeling stressed out. If youre working with a team, you may even want to elaborate on your techniques for keeping everyone motivated and on task too.
At the end of the day, remember that most interview questions are not here to trick you but to look for honest and true answers. Companies seek out employees that can admit to their faults because everyone is human and makes mistakes. Next time you walk into an interview, be prepared to answer stressful questions and remember that its okay to talk about the struggles you have encountered in the workplace. This shows that you recognize you have areas to improve upon and offering insight into how you have begun this process is a great place to start.
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How Not To Answer How Do You Handle Stress And Pressure
Here are the big no-nos when it comes to answering how do you handle stress and pressure?
- Of course, dont say that you cannot handle stress and pressure. Youve basically taken yourself out of the game if you do this.
- Dont mention that the stressful situation made you stressed. Instead, talk about being in that energy of pressure and stress, and how youre able to remain unaffected.
- Be careful how you respond in terms of the particular role it is. If its a multi-tasking role, and you share that you have trouble juggling many tasks and that makes you stressed, youll not be seen as a fit candidate for the role.
When Is Workplace Stress Too Much
Stress isnt always bad. A little bit of stress can help you stay focused, energetic, and able to meet new challenges in the workplace. Its what keeps you on your toes during a presentation or alert to prevent accidents or costly mistakes. But in todays hectic world, the workplace too often seems like an emotional roller coaster. Long hours, tight deadlines, and ever-increasing demands can leave you feeling worried, drained, and overwhelmed. And when stress exceeds your ability to cope, it stops being helpful and starts causing damage to your mind and bodyas well as to your job satisfaction.
You cant control everything in your work environment, but that doesnt mean youre powerless, even when youre stuck in a difficult situation. If stress on the job is interfering with your work performance, health, or personal life, its time to take action. No matter what you do for a living, what your ambitions are, or how stressful your job is, there are plenty of things you can do to reduce your overall stress levels and regain a sense of control at work.
Common causes of workplace stress include:
- Fear of being laid off
- More overtime due to staff cutbacks
- Pressure to perform to meet rising expectations but with no increase in job satisfaction
- Pressure to work at optimum levelsall the time!
- Lack of control over how you do your work
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Other People Creating The Stress
When youre asked to describe a stressful situation and how you handled it, you could reflect on when it was about other people creating the stress.
Example 5: In my previous job, there was a difficult person in our team that seemed to get very agitated when things did not go her way and when she was faced with other opinions. She was stressed a lot of the time, as we all worked in a team and it required us to all be flexible.
For me, I handled this situation of working with her by doing only what I needed to in the professional sense in communicating with her, and when I did not need to be around her, I removed myself from her presence and spent more time working alongside positive and motivated people.
Example 6: I found that my last role had a few people working in the team who were always stressed for some reason or another, but what helps me personally stay grounded, and handle the stress that came up daily in this environment, was regular exercise outside of work.
This had such a big impact in the way that I showed up in this role as level-headed and positive in my energy, even if others around me werent.
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