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?
Speak To Your Manager
Not everyone feels comfortable doing this, but speaking to your manager or supervisor about your anxiety may help. They may be able to offer you accommodations to help you do your job more effectively.
Some people may not want to disclose their anxiety to their supervisor or HR department for fear of appearing weak or unwilling to work, losing out on promotions, or having it on your permanent record. While these fears are valid, it’s important to know your rights: You cannot legally be discriminated against because of your anxiety.
The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 protects you from discrimination if you are qualified to do your job and able to perform duties with reasonable accommodations.
Anxiety Is Common In The Modern Workplace Here’s How Employees And Managers Can Deal With Anxiety And Stress In The Workplace
How to Manage Anxiety in the Workplace
The workplace, whether at home as a result of circumstances relating to the COVID-19 pandemic, or in a factory, healthcare facility, laboratory, office, retail setting, warehouse or one of countless other workplace environments, can be one of the most stressful parts of a person’s daily life. Indeed, more than 7 in 10 American workers report daily stress and anxiety associated with their careers. This can negatively impact career development and prevent the attainment of professional goals, such as meeting deadlines, job advancement, and job satisfaction. Managing anxiety in the workplace can be a challenge, but it is not impossible. In fact, it is a necessity left unchecked, workplace stress and anxiety can grow into an anxiety disorder characterized by persistent and excessive fear or worry, loss of focus, and impaired quality of work.
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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.
Coping With Stress At Work
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.
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Why The Stress And Anxiety Levels Are So High Today
Ever since the early days of COVID-19, many global citizens reported increasing levels of stress and anxiety. 2020 is also dubbed as the most stressful year on record, as the world has entered the state of languishing. Furthermore, since last year, mental health, alongside with DEI, also became one of the most urgent things to tackle in the workplace as workers became emotionally exhausted from everything that has happened. There are four main reasons for why the stress and anxiety levels hit an all-time high:
Learn A Breathing Or Meditation Technique
An old adage says everyone should sit in meditation for 20 minutes per day, and those who are too busy should sit for an hour. While a practice of that length is not always possible, the general point is helpful: We should take time to breathe, especially when were stressed.
Meditation doesnt have to be intimidating, and it doesnt have to look a certain way. Deep breathing, circular breathing, and progressive muscle relaxation are simple techniques that can reduce stress, calm the mind, and restore balance within a couple of minutes.
If youre feeling anxious at work, take a five-minute break and focus on breathing in for a count of five with your hand on your belly, and then out for the same count. You can also try tensing all of your toes and then releasing them, gradually working your way up the body.
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Learn To Avoid Procrastination
Another way to take control of your stress is to stay on top of your priorities and stop procrastinating.
Procrastination can lead you to act reactively, leaving you scrambling to catch up. This can cause stress, which negatively affects your health and sleep quality .
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, as switching between tasks or multitasking can be stressful itself.
Prioritize what needs to get done and make time for it. Staying on top of your to-do list can help ward off procrastination-related stress.
Yoga has become a popular method of stress relief and exercise among all age groups.
While yoga styles differ, most share a common goal to join your body and mind.
Yoga primarily does this by increasing body and breath awareness.
Some studies have examined yogas effect on mental health. Overall, research has found that yoga can enhance mood and may even be as effective as antidepressant drugs at treating depression and anxiety .
However, many of these studies are limited, and there are still questions about how yoga works to achieve stress reduction.
In general, the benefit of yoga for stress and anxiety seems to be related to its effect on your nervous system and stress response.
Foster Positive Work Relationships
One study in the Journal of Applied Psychology found that the quality of relationships among coworkers and their supervisors can reduce work-related anxiety and improve performance.
Try to find at least one coworker you can confide in and build a mutually supportive relationship. Just make sure the chatter stays respectful: Gossip, workplace drama, and conflict can lead to more anxiety and stress.
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Minute Meditation Exercises For During The Workday
During the workday, we might find it difficult to find time for any additional activities, however you don’t need to meditate for hours to receive its benefits. Setting aside 10 minutes during the workday can have a huge impact on your mood and stress levels.
Below we go through a 10 minute meditation exercise. The most important thing, whether you find the exercise hard or easy, is to stick with it for the full 10 minutes.
- Play calming music or sounds if you find this helpful.
- Some people recommend sitting upright but if you find this uncomfortable then sit comfortably.
2. Getting started
Gently close your eyes and take a deep breath in. Hold for the count of three and slowly exhale. Repeat this a few times and then allow your natural breathing pattern to emerge.
Settle into your body by noticing the physical sensations your body is experiencing, such as where your body meets the chair and the ground. Notice the things around you using your senses – what can you hear? Smell? Taste? Feel?
Notice how these sensations come from nothing and then go back to nothing. For example, the sound of a plane flying by builds from no-sound and then goes back to no-sound.
4. Body scan
Go through your body, starting from your head and working your way down to your toes observing any tension. You can follow this order as an example:
- Top of the head and scalp
6. Notice your breath
7. Drawing to a close
Promote A Healthy Schedule At Work
Employers should have a responsibility to conduct business in a way thats supportive of the mental health and well-being of their workforce, says Dr. Greg Marcus, a life-balance coach and author. Marcus cites Henry Ford instituting the 40-hour work week finding he could make as many cars in five days as he could in six, because people made fewer mistakes when they only worked 40 hours.
I think we all know that it takes far longer to find and correct a mistake than it does to do it right the first time, says Marcus. Therefore, company policy should help support a lifestyle where both physical rest and mental recovery become part of the daily routine.
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Simple Ways To Deal With Stress At Work
Research has indicated that the percentage of Americans who are stressed at work is highand its only getting higher. According to a survey of more than 2,000 full-time U.S. employees, ages 18-79, more than half of employees find themselves stressed during at least 60 percent of the workweek.
Work stress has significant health consequences that range from relatively benign to potentially serious .
While stress at work is common, finding a low-stress job is hard . A more realistic approach is to adopt effective coping strategies to reduce stress at your current job. Here are some stress management techniques you can try if you are finding it hard to cope with work stress
Have Clarity On The Requirements
One of the ways employers can help in managing workplace stress is by having clear requirements from their employees. These should include details on what your role is, your responsibilities, what is expected of you, and what are the strategies they can use to meet them.
If an employee finds his role constantly changing or not knowing whether what he is doing is enough or not, then it can lead to confusion, chaos, and therefore, extreme burnout from all the stress arising from it. It would hence help a lot to both- the employee and the employer to be clear on this front.
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Employees: How To Cope With Job Stress And Build Resilience During The Covid
Whether you are going into work or working from home, the COVID-19 pandemic has probably changed the way you work. Fear and anxiety about this new disease and other strong emotions can be overwhelming, and workplace stress can lead to burnoutexternal icon. How you cope with these emotions and stress can affect your well-being, the well-being of the people you care about, your workplace, and your community. During this pandemic, it is critical that you recognize what stress looks like, take steps to build your resilience and manage job stress, and know where to go if you need help.
- Feeling irritation, anger, or in denial
- Feeling uncertain, nervous, or anxious
- Lacking motivation
- Feeling tired, overwhelmed, or burned out
- Feeling sad or depressed
Know the common work-related factors that can add to stress during a pandemic:
- Concern about the risk of being exposed to the virus at work
- Taking care of personal and family needs while working
- Managing a different workload
- Lack of access to the tools and equipment needed to perform your job
- Feelings that you are not contributing enough to work or guilt about not being on the frontline
- Uncertainty about the future of your workplace and/or employment
- Learning new communication tools and dealing with technical difficulties
- Adapting to a different workspace and/or work schedule
Use Chunking Instead Of Multitasking
While multitasking was once heralded as the way to work and get more things done, it was observed that not only it affects the speed, but also the efficiency of the work. Multitasking makes the tasks performed more prone to mistakes which all in all ends up alleviating workplace stress.
A cognitive strategy is known as chunking- wherein you group similar tasks together and perform them together, is found to be a way of managing workplace stress as it is more efficient and faster.
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Heart Palpitations Or Chest Pain
Chronic anxiety can frequently cause panic that leads to a racing heart, uneven heartbeat and chest pain. This can feel like an instinctive reaction to stress if you are suddenly startled, for example but it will continue for much longer periods of time, with your heartbeat unable to naturally slow or regulate. Sometimes, these symptoms become so severe you might feel like your body is out of control and your life is in danger.e
Remember, symptoms of anxiety generally subside with time, and panicking more will only worsen your physical reaction. When you feel your heart racing uncontrollably, stop and focus on deep breathing techniques. Try inhaling for four counts, holding your breath for seven counts, and exhaling as you count to eight. This will help your heart rate naturally slow down.
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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If You Continue To Have Sleep Problems Not Falling Asleep Or Trouble Staying Asleep Consider Seeing A Doctor Or Scheduling A Sleep Study To See If A Medical Diagnosis More Than Just Stress May Be The Culprit
If you continue to have sleep problems, not falling asleep, or trouble staying asleep, consider seeing a doctor or scheduling a sleep study to see if a medical diagnosis more than just stress may be the culprit. Sleep is important to physical and mental health and ongoing sleep problems could indicate an issue that requires professional help or support.
Talk With A Professional
If youre feeling stuck in your anxiety, it can be helpful to talk with a mental health professional. They can often help you determine the root of your anxiety and work with you to make changes to manage it.
If your anxiety is due to an anxiety disorder, some mental health professionals may also recommend medication or other treatments to help you manage anxiety.
Some workplaces offer benefits that include mental health care. You can check your benefits package or speak with someone in your organizations human resources office to see if resources are available to you through your employer or health insurance.
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