Tip : Reduce Stress At Work By Taking Care Of Yourself
When stress at work affects your job performance, your private life, or your health, it is time to act. First, take care of your physical and emotional health. If you take care of your own needs, you will be stronger and more resilient to stress. The better you feel, the better equipped you will be to deal with work stress without being overwhelmed.
Taking care of yourself does not require a complete lifestyle overhaul. Even small things can lift your mood, boost your energy levels, and make you feel like you’re back in the driver’s seat. Go one step at a time, and if you make more positive lifestyle choices, you’ll soon notice a reduction in your stress levels, both at home and at work.
Learn To Accept What Is In Your Control And What Isnt
Some things are out of your control.
Find ways to make the things that are out of your control more bearable. If where you work is too noisy, maybe noise cancelling headphones would help.
For example, getting stressed about the traffic on the way to work is completely unhelpful. You canât control the traffic. The best you can do is leave early enough so you have plenty of time to get to work. If leaving late is adding stress because the traffic makes you late for work leaving you apologizing or making excuses for why youâre late, youâre needlessly adding to your stress. You canât control the traffic, but you can control when you leave home.
Make changes to what you can control. The rest is not worth getting upset about.
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.
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How To Reduce Stress At Work
The World Health Organization has referred to stress as the 21st Century epidemic. About 33% of adults in the United States have reported feeling extreme stress and more than 70% stated that this affects them in both their physical and mental health. Lets explore how to reduce stress at work.
According to The American Institute of Stress, the job, as well as issues related to the work environment, are the main causes of stress.
Stress is the bodys physical, mental and emotional reaction to adapt and respond to changes, whether they are positive or negative. People can experience stress from what happens day by day in their environment, in their bodies or even in their thoughts.
This reaction is generated by the autonomic nervous system of the human body, resulting in psychological changes that allow the person to be attentive, motivated and avoid danger. Known as fight-or-flight, this mechanism is an emergency physiological response that has the purpose of preparing the body for physical action or run away .
However, when a person is constantly facing challenges without rest or the possibility of relaxing, this can turn negative, generating excessive tension.
How To Monitor Stress Levels In The Workplace
Often, the stress that employees feel goes undetected. In an effort to portray a positive image, many employees choose to not come forth about problems that they are facing. This can create difficulties for HR professionals who wish to target and reduce employee stress at work.
Before looking for a solution, its important to have an idea of the problem. In order to get an idea of the stress employees undergo, human resources can use a workplace stress survey. This will allow them to understand the causes of stress and symptoms.
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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:
How To Cope With Stress At Work
You don’t need to cope with stress at work alone. Here are some general ideas you can try to help you manage:
- Understand more about stress. Recognising the signs of stress and learning about the causes of stress is good place to start.
- Figure out what you find stressful and helpful. You could make a Wellness Action Plan to map out what causes you stress and what keeps you well. Once you know what’s best, talk to your employer. They may be able to make some changes to help you.
- Learn different coping techniques. Everyone deals with stress differently, so take time to find methods that work for you. Use them as soon as you start to feel pressure building. Check out the guides from the Stress Management Society for ideas.
- Try practising mindfulness. This practice is about focusing on the here and now. It might help you to find calmness and clarity to respond to stressful situations. See our pages on mindfulness to learn more.
- Look after your physical health. Eat well and try a gentle activity like going for a walk or doing a chair-based exercise. Our pages on physical activity and food and mood have more details on how this can help your mental health.
“I try to keep each task short and clear, take breaks when getting tired and be polite, honest and empathic with the people I work with.”
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Talk To Your Supervisor
The health of employees can have an effect on the companys productivity. It is essential for supervisors to look after their employees if they want the best performance possible. Of course, your boss has an incentive to create an environment that promotes the well-being of the workers.
Having an open conversation with your supervisor can help you move in the right direction. You dont have to complain about the problems you are facing. Instead, you can list out all the ways you feel you can combat workplace stress. You can let your supervisor know about all the stressors for you at work and how to overcome them.
It is essential that you discuss all the aspects of the workplace that might be affecting your productivity and work. You can also make suggestions about improving the physical workspace and making it more comfortable for everyone.
Programs Or Tools Should Be Made Available To Help Employees Manage Stress
Although the first line of defense against job-related stress should be modifying the work environment, educating employees on the symptoms, causes, and treatments for stress can also be of great benefit.
Do This: Offer a stress management program to help your employees learn the skills and tools they need to reduce stress. These techniques may include time management, deep breathing, muscle relaxation, assertiveness training, and changing negative self-talk.
Stress management training can be provided by EAP professionals or by outside experts and can be integrated into existing training meetings.
Physical activity is one of the best ways to reduce stress. You could encourage employees to increase their physical activity by starting a walking club, providing employee discounts to health clubs, or bringing in fitness professionals for guest classes.
Discussion groups where employees can share techniques with each other are helpful. For example, groups that focus on coping with domestic stress .
Remember, unless the root causes of stress in the organization are addressed, the effects of stress reduction techniques will be short lived.
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Reduce Employee Stress With Flexible Scheduling
Want to improve job satisfaction and reduce employee stress at work? Give employees the option of setting their own schedules.
With time tracking software, employees can easily set their own hours and clock in and out from any device. Not only does time tracking software help employees, but benefits human resources and the company as a whole. Using a time tracking tool, HR can easily manage shifts, track attendance, and calculate extra hours. Ultimately, time trackers can help companies to reduce absenteeism and create a more satisfied and productive team.
Resources for HR professionals
Employees Should Be Encouraged To Take Breaks During The Day To Help Manage Stress
Short breaks throughout the day allow employees to recharge and refocus. Regular breaks help employees work more effectively.
Do This: Encourage employees to take regular mini-breaks. If leaders take breaks and invite others to join, they likely will. This will help set the acceptable length and type of a break. Walk for five minutes, stretch, get some fresh air, meditate, listen to music, or even just get a glass of water. Also suggest that employees get away from their desks during the lunch hour.
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Wellness Programs & Initiatives
Wellness programs have countless benefits for businesses. One of the benefits is reduced stress around the office. Our stress incentive campaign, In Tune: Take Charge Of Your Stress, is a campaign designed to help individuals respond to common stressors, such as work deadlines or traffic congestion that are always going to be part of life.
Stress-related programs arent the only way to help relieve stress around the office, though. Exercise is proven to help reduce stress, so a health initiative like On the Move is a great way to help employees start making healthier decisions that can reduce stress.
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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Stress At Work Warning Signs
When you feel overwhelmed at work, you lose confidence and may become angry, irritable, or withdrawn. Other signs and symptoms of excessive stress at work include:
- Feeling anxious, irritable, or depressed
- Apathy, loss of interest in work
- Problems sleeping
- Using alcohol or drugs to cope
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Employees Need Support In A Team Atmosphere To Better Manage Stress
People who have a support network are much more secure in their ability to cope with stress. This support is especially important at work. Stress is magnified if employees have to deal with problems without support of any kind.
Do This: Arrange for small group interactions where employees can get to know each other on an individual level. This is most effective when combined with training and team building activities. Constructive interaction helps cultivate meaningful relationships.
You can also provide opportunities for social interaction outside of work. Meeting in a less official manner may give people a chance to laugh together. Humor is a great way to cope with stress. A good laugh can do wonders for your employees.
Your company may even want to create a team approach to some assignments which can help prevent isolation. When people know they are part of a team, it is easier for them to function at work.
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Find A Way To Help Others
Oddly enough, when you help other people, you feel great.
An American Journal of Public Health study found that when someone was dealing with stress, but helped others, they reduced the physical dangers associated with stress.
It sounds crazy â when youâre super stressed, who has time to help someone else? However, turning your attention from yourself to someone else can relieve the self-feeding negativity that serious stress creates.
If youâre feeling stressed, help someone else.
Take A Break During The Work
Remember those massage techniques? Don’t just do them during your own time, take a break during the workday and treat yourself to a short massage, Field said. In one study, participants who spent a few minutes in a massage chair during work. These participants felt more alert and stress-free afterwards, and performed better. A hospital in Hollywood, Fla., that created a “peace room,” where people could go to relax for a few minutes during the day, was highly successful, and may have helped the hospital achieve the ranking of one of the top four U.S. hospitals for service to patients, Field said. Other workplaces could do the same, she said, or add a massage chair to the office. To make such options cost-effective for companies, employees could pay $1 for their time in the chair, she said. Working in an environment that doesn’t stigmatize family life could help ease those stresses.
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Let Your Mind Roam Freely Or Meditate
To effectively reduce stress at work, you need to set aside some time for your mind. Have you ever had that feeling of mind race when you go to bed and you would like to sleep, but your mind is so busy thinking? This is probably because it didnt have time enough time to do it during the day.
Ensuring your mind has enough time to process the events of your life is an important tool to reduce stress at work and lead a better life. Setting aside this time is simple to do, but sometimes it is not easy. It just means having a few minutes every day when you just sit and do nothing, letting your mind think. If you prefer, you can meditate, which is just focusing on an object such as your breath to sharpen your focus, nothing spiritual or hipster.
You may feel that you dont have those 15 minutes every day, except you actually do. This is because the cost of not dedicating these 15 minutes to this are much higher. To put it in another way, if you dont do that you will waste way more time in the long run.
Allow Flexible Time Working
Allowing your employees to work whenever they want can reduce stress at work. You should also allow flexibility of time and remote working if possible because it allows workers to manage their own schedules which reduces workplace stress face in the crowd all contribute towards building trust between managers and staff that lead to business results overall. This means increased worker productivity reduce stress in the workplace. Not only employers should reduce workplace stress or reduce professional anxiety, but also employees can reduce their own amount of work-related stress. By exercising, meditating, and practicing mindfulness exercises on a regular basis will help you relax during lunch breaks. So, that when it comes time to return to your desk you are not already overwhelmed with worries.
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Implement A Morning Routine
How you start each morning sets the tone for the rest of your day. Taking special care to cultivate a positive morning routine can truly make a difference in how you tackle the days challenges and how you respond to different situations. Rather than waking up late and chugging coffee on your sprint to the office, try waking up a little earlier. Drink some water, exercise or take a walk if you have the time, make yourself a quick and balanced breakfast, and throw on a playlist of your favorite music to listen to in the car.
How Does Your Body React To Work Stress
Imagine for a moment that your boss has emailed you about an unfinished assignment . Your body and mind instantly respond, activating a physical reaction called the fight-or-flight response. Your heart beats faster, your breath quickens, and your muscles tense. At the same time you might say to yourself, Im going to get fired if I dont finish this. Then to manage your anxiety and negative self-talk, you work late into the night to complete the task.
Over the course of our evolutionary history, humans developed this coordinated fear response to protect against dangers in our environment. For example, a faster heart rate and tense muscles would help us escape from predators. In the modern era, fear continues to serve an important function. After all, the fight-or-flight response can provide the necessary energy to pull an all-nighter and keep your job.
But what happens if you encounter stressful experiences at work every day? Over time, chronic work stress can lead to a psychological syndrome known as burnout. Warning signs of burnout are overwhelming exhaustion, cynicism, and a sense of inefficacy. Certain work-related stressors are closely linked with burnout. Examples are having too much work or too little independence, inadequate pay, lack of community between coworkers, unfairness or disrespect, and a mismatch between workplace and personal values.
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