Incorporate Other Memory Strategies
For example, you might use mnemonics as a way to chunk different units of information. If you are going to the grocery store and need bananas, eggs, nectarines, and tea, you can create a word out of the first letters of each item you need: BENT. Once you remember the keyword, you will then be better able to recall the items represented by each letter of the acronym.
How Can Work Stress Affect Well
Long-term exposure to work-related stressors like these can affect mental health. Research links burnout with symptoms of anxiety and depression. In some cases, this sets the stage for serious mental health problems. Indeed, one study shows younger people who routinely face heavy workloads and extreme time pressure on the job are more likely to experience major depressive disorder and generalized anxiety disorder.
High levels of stress at work and outside of it can affect physical health, too. Repeated activation of the fight-or-flight response can disrupt bodily systems and increase susceptibility to disease. For example, repeated release of the stress hormone cortisol can disturb the immune system, and raise the likelihood of developing autoimmune disorders, cardiovascular disease, and Alzheimers disease. Chronic stress can also affect health by interfering with healthy behaviors, such as exercise, balanced eating, and sleep.
Work stress can also harm companies or organizations. Burnout reduces job productivity and boosts absenteeism and job turnover, and also leads to conflict between coworkers, causing stress to spread within a workplace.
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.
Also Check: What Vitamin Helps With Stress And Anxiety
Ways To Eliminate Stress At Work
The average business professional has 30 to 100 projects on their plate. Modern workers are interrupted seven times an hour and distracted up to 2.1 hours a day. And four out of 10 people working at large companies are experiencing a major corporate restructuring, and therefore facing uncertainly about their futures. This may be why more than 40% of adults say they lie awake at night plagued by the stressful events of the day.
“People are asking me for answers,” says Sharon Melnick, Ph.D., a business psychologist and author of just released Success Under Stress. “Everyone feels overwhelmed and overly busy.”
Is there a way to maintain steady focus throughout the day? Is it possible to do everything that needs to get done and still have energy left over after work? How do you keep cool under so many demands? Informed by 10 years of Harvard research and field-tested by more than 6,000 clients and trainees, Melnick offers the following strategies to take your work stress down a peg, before it takes over your life.
Act Rather Than React
Take A Deep Breath
If you’re feeling overwhelmed or are coming out of a tense meeting and need to clear your head, a few minutes of deep breathing will restore balance, says Melnick. Simply inhale for five seconds, hold and exhale in equal counts through the nose. “It’s like getting the calm and focus of a 90-minute yoga class in three minutes or less at your desk,” she says.
Schedule Your Day For Energy And Focus
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.
Also Check: What Are Signs Of Post Traumatic Stress
Form Positive Relationships As Much As You Can
Some people start a job with a chip on their shoulder, and seem to set out to make everyone there miserable. Whether youâre starting a new job, or make it a goal for new employees who start where you work, build a better foundation than that.
Not everyone is outgoing or makes friendships easily. And no one is asking you to make your co-workers your best friends. But you can set out to be positive towards others, avoiding negativity as much as is in your control.
- Be a good listener.
- Be sincere but generous in complimenting someone elseâs work.
- Help someone who needs it.
- Be willing to teach or mentor someone with less experience than you.
- Avoid gossiping or speaking negatively about anyone else on the job.
- If conflict or problems have to be addressed, use positive language and avoid accusations or painting someone in a negative light.
Don’t Get Too Involved
Your support will likely ease the burden of stress that your friend is feeling, but remember that your own reserves of time, capacity, capability, and even patience are finite, too.
There will only be so much that you can listen to, think about, and advise on without feeling overloaded by it all. You may find that it starts to drag you down, eventually. It might even drive a wedge between you and your co-worker, if you’re not careful.
You want the best possible outcome for your co-worker, but this mustn’t come at the expense of your own well-being.
Research shows that stress can have a “ripple effect” on the people that are close to the sufferer. Take a look at our article, Heron’s Six Categories of Intervention , for tips on how to help people through stress more effectively if this happens.
Stress can cause severe health problems and, in extreme cases, death. While these stress management techniques have been shown to have a positive effect on reducing stress, they are for guidance only.
Readers should take the advice of suitably qualified health professionals if they have concerns over stress-related illnesses, or if stress is causing significant or persistent unhappiness. Health professionals should also be consulted before any major changes are made to diet or to exercise.
Even if you’re not a manager, if you see a friend or colleague suffering there are several things you can do to support him or her:
Also Check: What To Do When Stressed And Anxious
Stay Out Of The Office Gossip Mill
Workplace conflict can take a major toll on your emotional well-being. Try to avoid participating in gossipy situations.
If you know that one of your colleagues is especially prone to gossip, find a way to spend less time with them or steer the conversation to safer topics.
Some other strategies for staying out of the fray include:
- emphasizing the positive
- ignoring the conversation and changing the subject to something unrelated
- walking away
If you need to get that presentation just right or find yourself working extra hours perfecting a report you finished days ago, it may be time to take a step back and reflect.
While perfectionism has some positive benefits, it can also be highly stressful and lead to burnout.
Try to keep your high standards in check by focusing on the effort you put into a project and not personalizing failure when you make a mistake.
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.
Read Also: How To Get Rid Stress Headache
Best Answers To How Do You Handle Stress
1. I work well under pressure, and do my best to complete tasks on time even in stressful situations. When I find myself under a lot of pressure because of a deadline, I make a specific schedule for myself to help me get my work done, and having specific times for each task helps me manage it.
The interviewer wants to know how stress will affect your work, and if youre able to still work hard under pressure. Deadlines are a reality at every job, so sharing a specific way that you handle the stress of deadlines is a great way to answer this question. When youre sharing a specific example, its also important that the stress wasnt caused by you. Its okay to say you were under pressure because of a deadline, but dont say you were stressed because you missed the deadline.
2. When Im in a stressful situation, I try to focus on what I need to fix, instead of how Im feeling. If Im feeling stressed because of an issue with a client, I try to focus on what I can do specifically to fix the situation instead of thinking about how stressed I am.
Stress can be overwhelming for many employees, and some let it get the best of them. When an employer asks you how you handle stress, they want to make sure that youre not going to give in to your emotions when youre in a stressful situation. This answer works because it shows that you choose to focus on the task at hand instead of getting angry or overwhelmed.
How To Identify Stress In Others
Stress is what happens when the demands placed on someone exceed what he or she can readily cope with.
While a certain amount of pressure is a part of everyday life, and can actually help people to perform better , too much pressure can cause stress to build.
Even if your organization has a policy on mental health and an active HR manager or team, it’s most likely a friend or co-worker who’ll be the first person to notice a change in someone’s behavior that could indicate stress.
Here are a few examples of unusual behaviors that could be signs of stress:
- Snapping at colleagues.
- Erratic behavior.
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Conflict Resolution Skills For Healthy Relationships
Carly Snyder, MD is a reproductive and perinatal psychiatrist who combines traditional psychiatry with integrative medicine-based treatments.
Conflict is a predictable part of virtually all relationships. It can also be a significant source of stress. Therefore, with most conflicts, its important to find a resolution. This seems like a statement of the obvious, but many people suppress their anger or just go along to get along.’ Some think that by addressing a conflict, they are creating one, and simply keep quiet when upset. Unfortunately, this isnt a healthy long-term strategy.
Unresolved conflict can lead to resentment and additional unresolved conflict in the relationship. Even more important, ongoing conflict can actually have a negative impact on your health and longevity.
Unfortunately, resolving conflict can be tricky as well. Handled improperly, attempts at conflict resolution can actually make the conflict worse. For example, researcher John Gottman and his colleagues studied the way couples fight, and can actually predict which couples will go on to divorce by observing their conflict resolution skillsor lack thereof.
For those who werent born into a family where perfect conflict resolution skills were modeled on a daily basis , here are some guidelines to make conflict resolution more simple and less stressful.
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.
Read Also: How To Relax Myself From Stress
Time Management Tips For Reducing Stress At Work
- Create a balanced schedule. Analyze your schedule, your responsibilities and your daily tasks. All work and no play is a recipe for burnout. Try to find a balance between work and family, social activities and lonely activities, daily responsibilities and downtime.
- Avoid overburdening yourself. Too often, we underestimate how long it will take. If you have too much on your plate, distinguish between “shoulds” and “musts.” Place tasks that are not really necessary at the bottom of the list or delete them altogether.
- If you’re a commuter, try to leave earlier in the morning. A mere 10-15 minutes can be the difference between frantically rushing to your desk and having time to ease into the day. Don’t increase your stress levels by running late.
- Plan regular breaks. Take short breaks throughout the day to go for a walk or to sit back and clear your head. Also, try to get away from your desk or work for lunch.
Tip : Dont Skimp On Sleep
You may feel like you just dont have the time get a full nights sleep. But skimping on sleep interferes with your daytime productivity, creativity, problem-solving skills, and ability to focus. The better rested you are, the better equipped youll be to tackle your job responsibilities and cope with workplace stress.
Improve the quality of your sleep by making healthy changes to your daytime and nightly routines. For example, go to bed and get up at the same time every day, even on weekends, be smart about what you eat and drink during the day, and make adjustments to your sleep environment. Aim for 8 hours a nightthe amount of sleep most adults need to operate at their best.
Turn off screens one hour before bedtime. The light emitted from TV, tablets, smartphones, and computers suppresses your bodys production of melatonin and can severely disrupt your sleep.
Avoid stimulating activity and stressful situations before bedtime such as catching up on work. Instead, focus on quiet, soothing activities, such as reading or listening to soft music, while keeping lights low.
Stress and shift work
Working night, early morning, or rotating shifts can impact your sleep quality, which in turn may affect productivity and performance, leaving you more vulnerable to stress.
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Is There Anything I Can Do To Help Myself Deal With The Stress I Am Experiencing At Work
There are many ways to be proactive when dealing with stress. Mental fitness, self help, taking healthy steps, stress management training, and counselling services can be helpful to individuals, but do not forget to look for the root cause of the stress and take steps to address them.
However, in some cases, the origin of the stress is something that cannot be changed immediately. Therefore, finding ways to help maintain personal good mental health is also essential.
Please see the OSH Answers on Mental Health â Dealing with Stress in the Workplace for more information.