Anyone who is working or ever had a job have faced work-related stress. Stress at workplace is very common. Experts says that some amount of stress is part and parcel of the job. Moreover, stress is irrelevant to the fact whether you like your job or not. At workplace people meet various short-term stress like meeting a deadline or a work obligation. The problem arises when these short-term stresses becomes chronic. Excessive stress can become a hinderance to your performance and productivity. The side-effects of stress may even spread to your personal life and impact your emotional health adversely. It may seem that it is impossible to reverse the stressful situation, but you are not that powerless. There are various steps that you can take to pull yourself out of this stress and be your energetic self again.
Common cause of stress at workplace:
- Low Salaries
- Lack of Motivation
- Excess workload
- Regular long hours
- Low growth-opportunity
- Lack of support-system
- Lack of control over job-related decisions
Once these issues start effecting your professional as well as personal life, then its time you look for strategies to cope stress. We have put together 7 strategies to help you combat stress. These techniques work no matter what job you are into.
7 Strategies to manage stress at workplace
- Spot the signs early:
There are plenty of work stress symptoms which often go unnoticed. Some of the common early signs of stress are headache, constipation, short-temper, lack of concentration, sleeplessness, lethargy, etc. Some of the people have also reported to have weakened immunity, which makes them contact allergies and cold often.
What you can do here is, maintain a journal. Write down the situations which you believe created the most stress during the week and how you reacted to it. Record your feelings, thoughts. This may seem like a futile exercise initially, but slowly you realise it is a great stress busting exercise.
- Reach out to people:
Sometimes you need nothing but just someone who is happy to lend their ears. If in in case you don’t have a friend at workplace, take steps you get connected with your co-workers. Having a strong support network of co-workers, friends and family is essential to manage stress in all area of your life.
You can also be a part of someone’s support system. When you offer support to your co-workers it is rest assured that they will also be there for you when in need. Remember loneliness and isolation makes you more vulnerable to stress. So, instead of spending time with your smartphone, invest more time with your colleagues and friends at workplace.
- Establish boundaries:
In this digital world you are expected to be available 24X7. You will have to establish some boundaries between your work and personal life. Be strict about not taking calls or checking emails after work hours. These boundaries will help you in balancing between personal and professional life. Moreover, it will reduce the possibilities of work-related stress. After your working hours try to spend time with your family, friends, participate in sports, attend live concerts, and do whatever makes you happy.
- Practise mindfulness:
Mindfulness is a state of mental awareness, where you focus on the current status of your mind. If we practice it regularly, we can develop better relationship with ourselves. It can also help in concentrating more at our workplace as you divert your focus to the job in hand. You stop worrying about the fear of getting laid off in future or some argument with a colleague which happened in the past. Instead you start concentrating on the current moment and immediate results. Stop procrastinating and always try to live in the present moment.
- Look out for yourself:
Take care of your mind and body as both are equally necessary. Extra cup of coffees, and extra pints of beers will not help your stress levels. In fact, they add more to it. So, make healthy choices when you feel the tension is rising. Exercise is considered to be one of the great stress-busting activity. Similarly, you may not realise how food plays a vital role influencing your feelings and moods. When you eat small frequent meals, it helps in maintaining your blood sugar levels. This in turn maintains your energy and prevent mood swings. Bingeing on sugary snacks and unhealthy beverages makes you lethargic and you lack the energy to work more than before.
- Take breaks:
Breaks are important be it shorter ones or longer. Just like our body our brain also needs time to switch off, replenish and get back to post-stress condition to work to its optimum capacity. So, it is crucial that you disconnect from time to time, depending on your work commitments and preferences. Don’t let your vacation days go waste, turn your gadgets off and focus on non-work-related activities.
You can also take short breaks during your working hours like getting up from your desk and walk for 5 mins, or simply stretching on your chair. All these activities may sound trivial but helps your muscles to relax.
- Don’t be too hard on yourself:
Stop punishing yourself. It is one of the most self-sabotaging things to do. We at times attach way too many expectations from ourselves. For example, being in a certain position at a particular age or increasing your earning potential by the end of the year. Kudos to you if you are achieved it but if not then stop penalising yourself for it. Always try to be in a state of Gratitude, and you will certainly feel good.
These strategies will not only help you in bringing down your overall stress levels but will also help you regain your self-esteem. Organizations must also implement workplace stress management techniques to ensure a healthy and stress-free environment. When employees suffer from stress it negatively impacts their productivity which ultimately reflects on company’s growth charts. Organization which cares about their employees’ well-being often enjoys their commitment and loyalty.