Start Your Day Off Right
After scrambling to get the kids fed and off to school, dodging traffic and combating road rage, and gulping down coffee in lieu of a healthy breakfast, many people arrive to work already stressed. This makes them more reactive to stress in the workplace.
You might be surprised by how affected by workplace stress you are when you have a stressful morning. When you start off the day with planning, good nutrition, and a positive attitude, you might find that the stress of your job rolls off your back more easily.
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:
Effects Of Job Stress
Seventy-two percent of people who have daily stress report that it interferes with their lives. Thirty percent of respondents say they have taken medication to manage their anxiety and related problems like nervousness and sleep disorders .
Job stress can lead to chronic health problems like cardiovascular disease, musculoskeletal disorders, and psychological disorders, according to The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health , a division of The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. If you catch symptoms early, you can resolve problems before they lead to more severe consequences.
NIOSH points out that some of the early warning signs to look for are job dissatisfaction, sleep disturbances, headache, trouble concentrating, a short temper, an upset stomach, and poor morale. Also be aware of a change in personal relationships, increased use of drugs or alcohol, and teeth grinding.
The ADAA’s Workplace Stress & Anxiety Disorders Survey found that workplace stress can also cause problems on the job. Individuals who suffer from it report problems with job performance, work quality, and relationships with coworkers and superiors.
Read Also: Does Stress Affect Erectile Dysfunction
Tip : Beat Workplace Stress By Reaching Out
Sometimes the best stress-reducer is simply sharing your stress with someone close to you. The act of talking it out and getting support and sympathyespecially face-to-facecan be a highly-effective way of blowing off steam and regaining your sense of calm. The other person doesnt have to fix your problems they just need to be a good listener.
Turn to co-workers for support. Having a solid support system at work can help buffer you from the negative effects of job stress. Just remember to listen to them and offer support when they are in need as well. If you dont have a close friend at work, you can take steps to be more social with your coworkers. When you take a break, for example, instead of directing your attention to your smartphone, try engaging your colleagues.
Lean on your friends and family members. As well as increasing social contact at work, having a strong network of supportive friends and family members is extremely important to managing stress in all areas of your life. On the flip side, the lonelier and more isolated you are, the greater your vulnerability to stress.
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.
Read Also: How Stress Affects The Brain
Start Embracing Stress Management At Work
In today’s rapidly changing world, more people than not are experiencing high levels of workplace stress.
Its crucial for every one of us to learn how to cope with bad stress and embrace good stress.
Learning how to manage stress at the workplace can help you identify your stress triggers. It also ensures you have the right tools to protect your mental and physical well-being for years even while you are under pressure.
A BetterUp coach can teach you life-changing stress management techniques. Contact us to learn how you can transform stress into something productive.
Use Quick Coping Strategies
In addition to tackling larger issues that are contributing to your work-related anxiety, it may also be helpful to practice quick-working coping strategies that you can use in moments when you begin to feel especially anxious. These in-the-moment strategies could include:
- Going outside for a few minutes
- Listening to a calming song
- Try visualization
- Watching a funny video
Grounding is another technique that can help positively shift your attention in the moment. Grounding involves using your senses to connect to your physical surroundings. This might involve:
- Holding on to a hot cup of tea or a cold glass of water
- Listening to sounds that you find calming
- Noticing specific things you can see in your environment
- Smelling a candle, perfume, or essential oil
- Tasting food with a strong flavor, like a lemon or lime
You May Like: How To Make Stress Go Away
Maintain A Healthy Work
Maintaining a healthy work-life balance can be tough. The balance we all crave is very different from one another, especially when were dealing with a heavy workload.
Work-life balance is about finding peace within yourself to be fully present, wherever you are, whether that be in the office or at home. Its about choosing what matters most and creating your own balanced life.
If you feel there is not enough balance, then it may be time to make a change.
Lack Of Social Contact
This can be true for both introverts and extroverts. For example, introverted people may find it hard to talk to people on the phone or through video chat while working at home. But, on the other hand, Extroverted workers miss out on the chance to have water cooler conversations that they may think are necessary to their growth in a company or career.
Recommended Reading: What To Do To Prevent Stress
Employees Need Sufficient Physical Space To Do Their Jobs
Employees working in a comfortable space feel more in control of their situation, thus reducing work related stress. It is important that they have enough space to easily complete their assignments, especially in times of high stress.
Do This: Make it possible for each employee to have a space of their own that is adequate for them to do their work. Allow them to make the space their own so they feel comfortable there.
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.
Read Also: What Vitamin Helps With Stress And Anxiety
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!
Work In Blocks Of Time
To keep your energy up to produce your best results its essential to take regular breaks.
I use the 60-60-30 method myself and teach it to my coaching clients. Work on a project for a sustained period of 50 minutes and then take a 10-minute break. This could be taking a walk, having a healthy snack, or just having a conversation with someone.
Then, I continue to work on the project for a further 50 minutes, followed by another 10-minute break.
Finally, I take a complete 30-minute break to unplug from the work. This could be time for a proper lunch, a quick bit of exercise, reading, or having a walk.
You May Like: How To Manage Stress Headaches
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.
Avoid Irregular Work Schedules As Much As Possible
Salaried workers donât have to deal with varying work schedules, but hourly employees do. And itâs a huge stressor. Almost 30% of workers with irregular schedules report having serious work and family conflicts over the issue.
Random shift changes, on-call work schedules can all lead to stress, because workers are constantly in limbo when it comes to balance between work and life. They never know when theyâll need to work with much advance, and itâs difficult for them to make personal plans or even decompress when they could be called to work at any moment.
Try to create schedules that your employees can âbankâ on. Make sudden changes as rare as possible. Make it possible for your employees to rely on a steady schedule enough that they can arrange a solid personal life around their work schedule. This will help them return to work refreshed.
Read Also: What Stress Does To Your Brain
What Is Workplace Anxiety
Workplace anxiety involves feeling stressed, nervous, uneasy, or tense about work, which could include anxiety about job performance, interactions with co-workers, or even public speaking.
Workplace anxiety is commonaround 40% of Americans report feeling stressed during their workday. While a little bit of work-related stress is normal, excess anxiety may negatively affect your overall health and well-being and cause problems both in your personal and professional life if you’re not able to address it.
What Not To Say
Dont mention an issue you created. Avoid mentioning a time when you put yourself in a needlessly stressful situation. You don’t want to come across as someone who causes workplace stress.
Dont say that you were really stressed. You shouldnt focus too much on how stressed out you felt. While you should certainly admit that stress happens, try to emphasize how you dealt with the stress rather than how much it bothered you.
Also Check: How To Get Rid Of Anger And Stress
Stay Off Of Social Media As Much As Possible During Work
Constant connection and the interruption of technology can increase your stress levels.
Social media, for example, can make you aware of stressful events happening to other people or in other places. They might not have any bearing on your life, but you allow yourself to feel stressed about them anyway. Itâs called the cost of caring.
As an interruption, social media and text messages can also add to stress. University of California Irvine found that employees who received a lot of emails were more stressed. They stayed in a âhigh alertâ mode all the time. Being constantly connected and going back and forth in response on social media or via text messages does the same thing. Additionally, it distracts you and slows you down and you end up feeling stress as you rush to catch up with the work you didnât do because you were busy on your phone.
Stay off social media and mobile devices as much as possible when on the job. The last thing you need is drama via social media or text messaging while youâre trying to get your work done.
Get Advice From The Verywell Mind Podcast
Hosted by Editor-in-Chief and therapist Amy Morin, LCSW, this episode of The Verywell Mind Podcast shares the value of listening to others, featuring psychiatrist Mark Goulston.
Unfortunately, active listening is a skill that not everybody knows, and its common for people to think theyre listening, while in their heads theyre actually formulating their next response, thinking to themselves how wrong the other person is, or doing things other than trying to understand the other persons perspective. Its also common to be so defensive and entrenched in your own perspective that you literally cant hear the other persons point of view.
Don’t Miss: Can Stress Make You Tired All The Time
Be Proactive About Your Job And Your Workplace Duties
When we feel uncertain, helpless, or out of control, our stress levels are the highest. Here are some things you can do to regain a sense of control over your job and career.
Talk to your employer about workplace stressors. Healthy and happy employees are more productive, so your employer has an incentive to tackle workplace stress whenever possible. Rather than rattling off a list of complaints, let your employer know about specific conditions that are impacting your work performance.
Clarify your job description. Ask your supervisor for an updated description of your job duties and responsibilities. You may find that some of the tasks that have piled up are not included in your job description, and you can gain a little leverage by pointing out that youve been putting in work over and above the parameters of your job.
Request a transfer. If your workplace is large enough, you might be able to escape a toxic environment by transferring to another department.
Ask for new duties. If youve been doing the exact same work for a long time, ask to try something new: a different grade level, a different sales territory, a different machine.
Take time off. If burnout seems inevitable, take a complete break from work. Go on vacation, use up your sick days, ask for a temporary leave-of-absenceanything to remove yourself from the situation. Use the time away to recharge your batteries and gain perspective.
Employees Need Realistic Opportunities To Grow Advance And Be Promoted
Employees need opportunities to advance and grow. If employees do not see these opportunities, their morale and performance may suffer.
Do This: Recognize and reward employees appropriately when they perform well. When there is an organized system for recognition and advancement, employees will see that their efforts will be noticed. Provide opportunities for career advancement and employees will rise to the challenge.
You May Like: How Can Exercise Help With Stress
Work Shifts Need To Be Reasonable
Too many hours of demanding work will wear down and exhaust employees. Everyone needs time away from work to rest, recharge, and take care of other duties. A work/life balance helps maintain physical and emotional health and improves productivity. It also helps employees to manage stress.
Do This: Limit work shifts 10 hours or less and make sure employees have adequate time to rest before their next shift. This will improve morale and productivity, and reduce the risk of work injuries.
Work Stress Management Techniques
Weve all heard the scary statistics about the seemingly ever-growing levels of stress in our modern workplaces, but how can we learn to manage it? Here we explore some of the causes and offer some techniques for management of stress at work.
Weve all heard the scary statistics about the seemingly ever-growing levels of stress in our modern workplaces, but how can we learn to manage it?
Here we explore some of the causes and offer some techniques for management of stress at work.
The good news is that there are ways you can stay on top of things and keep your emotional well-being in check . Some of the causes of work stress are well-known and common to all types of stress, some others may come as a surprise.
- The old chestnut too much work, not enough time
- Working consistently long hours to cope with demands
- Being paid a low salary and / or not being recognised for effort
- No light at the end of the tunnel lack of opportunity to grow skills or progress in your career
- Feeling powerless to improve the situation, especially a lack of control, input or influence over decisions made that effect you
- Unclear expectations of quality or output
- Not being given the tools you need to win be that equipment, skills, staff or budget
- Trouble with co workers failing to get along, bullying, personality clashes
- Unsafe environment, either physically or emotionally youre exposed to damaging surrounds
- Lack of support from your colleagues or management.
Also Check: What Are Symptoms Of Post Traumatic Stress
Allow For Flexible Hours And Remote Working
You hired your employees because you have confidence in their ability to do their jobs well and in a timely mannerso let them prove it. Your office shouldnt feel like a cell, but rather a place that facilitates getting a job done. Let your employees know that their job is defined by the quality and timeliness of their work, not when they punch the clock.
Allow your employees to work remotely, and give flexibility for start and end times. This freedom is great for office morale, and the policy shows employees that you trust them enough not to babysit.
Stretching In Front Of Your Pc
When we are stressed, we tend to lean forward in order to focus our attention on what we do. This makes the small muscles of the throat and back to work overtime. For a quick relief, cross your fingers behind your neck and push your shoulders backwards so that they come closer. Then leave your head to fall forward and your chin to touch your sternum. Bring your elbows in front and join them. Push your hands down for a few seconds and then relax. Repeat the same exercise 6-8 times every time you feel tension.
Also Check: Can Stress Cause Weight Loss