Any job brings some pressure on its employees. Everyone who has done a job has felt and been through the pressure in their workplace. No matter if you love your job or not, the stress is something that you will experience for sure: be it the pressure to meet the deadline or to satisfy a challenging obligation. But excessive stress can interfere with your mental health, physical health, your productivity and personal life. Unfortunately, long-term stress is too common.
Common Work Stress Factors
Some common factors that can bring stress in the workplace are listed below, which go hand-in-hand with stress related to your tasks:
- Unchallenging job
- Conflicting demands
- Excessive workload
- Lack of social support
- Low salaries
- Discouragement at work and no appreciation
- Fewer opportunities of growth
- Work that is not engaging
Now you know what brings stress to you but it is also important to recognize those stressors. Let us have a brief look to those factors which indicate that you are suffering from stress:
- Increased use of drugs, tobacco or alcohol
- Frequent absences
- Unusual irritation
- Increased conflict between employees
- Reports of indigestion
- Withdrawal from social contact
- Poor work performance
- Weight gain or loss
- Changes in eating habits
- Sleeping problems or restlessness
Result of Uncontrolled Stress
Unfortunately, when you reach your home, your stress at workplace just does not disappear. Thus, this takes toll on your health. Stress in short term can cause minor problems like headaches, sleep disturbances, difficulty in concentrating at work, short temper, stomachache, etc. On the other hand, if not managed, the short-term stress will become chronic resulting in insomnia, anxiety, poor workplace relations, high blood pressure, weakened immune system, poor decision-making, increased sickness and absence, etc. Obesity, depression and heart diseases are health conditions that result from long-term chronic stress. While solving the problem, people head their ways to get rid of the stress in unhealthy ways like overeating, smoking, eating unhealthy foods, taking drugs and drinking alcohol. Such continual stress cases can lead to what is called panic attack.
You cannot always ignore the situations or avoid the tensions that occur at job. Yet you can take steps to manage your stress levels at workplace.
Do you know there are some countries where dealing with stress and its recognition is employees’ legal responsibility? This helps the employees in being fit and not mentally and physically ill. Thus, tackling with stress at workplace is vital to not cause problems in the working environment, personal lives and working relationships. Hence, managing stress is an essential part of your job at both individual and corporate levels.
Not All Stress is Harmful
Stress affects people in different ways. Some people live a life full of stress and cope with it easily. While on the other hand, for some people living everyday life is a struggle. An optimum level of stress is what all can bear and every individual too has an optimum level to bear. a life with too much challenges and stress can be problematic for health, while too less excitement and fewer challenges can lead to a dull life. Nevertheless, a certain amount thus can prove to be good leading to increased productivity at work and achieving better results. Such stress can be termed as positive stress.
While stress is an important signal of something wrong, it is also useful and acts as a motivator to solve problems and avoiding dangers.
Manage your Stress Levels
We all suffer from less to more stress in our lives at workplace because of long working hours, busy traffic lines, meeting deadlines, etc. But coping stress and managing it positively and in a right way can really help in dealing with your stress levels and not letting it to take toll on your health. Let us study a few examples of coping with stress.
Beat Stress by Positive Relationships
Social networking and communication is nature’s antidote to that stress. Face and heart are both connected to the brain. Therefore, talking with someone face-to-face can help relieve your stress. Share your thoughts, feelings and troubles with another person. If you do not have a good friend at work, then become sociable with them and try engaging them together instead of grabbing their attention to your smart phone. A good listener is important to help you nervous system clam quickly. Do not pre-assume that the other person will solve your problems. All you need is a good listener. To help buffer you stress, make a co-worker your friend. If you feel you have no one to talk to, then do not dishearten and increase your stress levels, build new relationships, meet people with common interests by joining a community, a club, a gym, etc.
Stand Up and Get Moving
Exercising is one of the powerful ways to alleviate those stressors. Do whatever you like: swimming, aerobics, dancing or playing with peers or kids. Sweating will uplift your mood and sharpens your focusing ability. Focus on how you feel after you do exercise. Go for 30 minutes exercising at most of your days. If stress is mounting at work, then make a quick physical movement to regain your balance.
Eating has different effects on your body from happy feeling to sadness. If one eats too much it can make you feel lethargic, while too less eating will decrease your blood pressure making you feel anxious and more irritated. Focus on having short, healthy and 4–5 meals a day. Eliminate too much of refined carbohydrates and sugary foods from your diet, minimize it but do not skip on these. Avoid foods like caffeine, trans food, alcohol and pre-packaged and processed foods as they have adverse effect on your mood. Include omega-3 fatty acid rich foods to your diet.
Get Enough Sleep
Not only stress can cause insomnia, but lack of sleep too. In fact, decreased sleep hours can be more vulnerable than stress. This is because when you have properly rested, you can have a better and balanced emotional balance. This helps you in dealing with stress at workplace. Have a regular scheduled pattern of sleep and sleep for 8 hours. An hour before your bedtime, focus on quiet and soothing activities and do not sit in front of screens as light emitted form TVs, smartphones, computers and tablets suppresses your body’s melatonin production, thus disrupting your sleep.
Prioritize and Organize
When at work, practice simple steps to cope with your stress levels. A balanced schedule is very important. Never run late in a rush for office, rather plan to leave for office 10–15 minutes earlier. This will help in adjusting yourself from the very morning. Always work away from your work station to stay relaxed, recharged and more productive. If you have some unpleasant task to do in the day, plan it first do get over it early. Never take everything on once. Instead break projects by focusing on performing small parts in a manageable time. To let go off the unnecessary stress from your life at work, let that desire of handling every step go. Practice these steps to have a more pleasant day.
Break the Bad Habits
Many of us have negative behavior and thoughts making our stress worse at work. If you can self-defeat those habits, then you will be better able to handle employer-imposed stress. Never set unrealistic goals for yourself. Just aim to do your best. Do not forcefully try to control things at work that are uncontrollable – people’s behavior. Instead focus on how you react to the problems – this is under your control. Always bear a positive attitude at work and avoid negative-thinking co-workers. Whenever you accomplish something, pat yourself even if no one else does. Humor is a great way to deal with your stress. Share a funny joke or some story whenever you have people around you taking things seriously. Always look for humor in the situations.
These are just few steps, but crucial ones, in dealing with your stress levels. Taking appropriate steps is vital for you to cope with the stress in different situations when at work. If this seems difficult, then you can go for psychology counseling or training. This will help you in a more positive way. Sometimes your counselor may advise you to go for a health check-up. Having a full body check-up is advantageous for you because of low and competitive package rates and complete body screening, which will tell you about minor changes in your body caused from environmental or any other reasons.