How to deal with stress at work is one thing that is difficult to avoid, especially with adults; running around to make ends meet and get the comfortability and satisfaction that are necessary for survival.
Everyone wants to be great; no one would want to settle for less except one with a mediocre mindset. For every greatness, there’s a price that must be paid and work that must be done, and because of this, stress is unavoidable.
When there’s an increase in demand, stress is around the corner; such demands originate from the workplace, interpersonal connections, financial strains, or other circumstances, but stress can be brought on by anything that presents a genuine or perceived challenge or threat to one’s well-being.
Work stress can lead to physical illness as well as psychological distress and mental illness.
In this article, we’ll be discussing how to deal with stress at work.
As stress could potentially manifest, we must understand how to deal with stress at work.
Context of stress
According to the WHO, stress is characterized as a condition of anxiety or mental tension brought on by a challenging circumstance. Stress is a normal human reaction that motivates us to deal with problems and dangers in our lives.
Everyone goes through periods of stress. However, how we deal with stress has a significant impact on how we feel overall.
Stress can sometimes be a good motivator, as it enables us to go beyond our limits.
However, too much of it can have a bad effect on our mood, physical and mental health, and associations, particularly when it feels out of control.
Relationships with colleagues, bosses, family, and workers are affected when the stress from work becomes overwhelming; therefore, knowing how to deal with stress at work is very crucial.
Children also undergo stress, but work-related stress is common among adults because of high demands.
Causes of stress at work
Work-related stress is defined as a harmful reaction that people have to undue pressures and demands placed on them at work. Health and Safety Executive Work-Related Stress, Anxiety and Depression Statistics in Great Britain 2015. HSE, 2015.
Some of the things that contribute to work-related stress include:
- demands of your profession, such as believing that your workload is excessive or trying to meet deadlines or set goals.
- having a lack of control over how you perform your duties
- receiving insufficient help or information from managers or coworkers; when you receive minimal or no support from co-workers, there is always going to be a high level of stress because covering up large tasks alone with little time can be burdensome.
- Uncertainty about your job position and what you’re supposed to do
- Bullying at work or bad relationships with coworkers
- A change in your workplace, whether that’s a change in your job role, team structure, management, or anything else.
- Boring work can also cause stress
It’s crucial to recognize that individuals may behave distinctively and perceive stress in varied ways based on their age or experiences.
Symptoms of Stress
Up to 440, 000 people in the UK claim that the stress, sadness, or anxiety they experience at work causes them to become ill; as a result, 9.9 million workdays were lost in 2014–2015.
- Work-related stress affects one’s behavior, psychological expressions, and physical expressions.
- Some of the symptoms of stress can be broken down into physiological, psychological, and behavioral symptoms.
- Physical symptoms include: fatigue
- headaches caused by muscle tension, heart flutters, sleeping issues like insomnia, dermatological conditions and digestive problems, such as diarrhea or constipation
Psychological symptoms are anxiety, discouragement, depression, irritability, cognitive impairments, such as a decreased capacity for concentration or decision-making, and pessimistic emotions of being overburdened and unable to manage.
Behavioral symptoms include an increase in sick days or absence, hostility, a decline in creativity, work performance, and initiative, problems with interpersonal connections, and decreased tolerance for impatience, irritation, and solitude.
How to deal with stress at work
Once you’ve identified workplace stressors, deal with them right away. Stressors might progressively worsen mental health if they go unrecognized.
Stress at work hurts creativity, productivity, and decision-making clarity. Taking steps to lessen this form of stress can also help to lessen instances of mental health issues like anxiety and depression.
Here are some strategies on how to deal with stress at work:
1. Get support or assistance: If you want to go far with less stress, get assistance. You would need support. Being a lone ranger is neither the best nor safe, you would always end up breaking down, sometimes achieving more in quantity but little in quality. When the workload becomes too much, it is wise to get assistance from co-workers.
2. Redesigning your workspace: This can also reduce stress. Consider adding a plant, placing family and friend photos on your desk, or simply applying an air freshener. Consider raising the window blinds or installing a lamp if your workspace is too gloomy. Consider adding some cool colors with a good picture or chair pillow if your desk is dull and lifeless.
3. Take a break: Although it sounds great to give you 100 per cent at work, that’s not the best option for your mental and physical health. Taking on too much can lead to stress. Therefore, when it’s becoming too much, cease your current activities and indulge in a momentary pause to rejuvenate your mind. This would also increase productivity that’s why companies/working environment imbibes lunch breaks so seize that opportunity. read more
4. Think carefully about how you spend your lunchtime: Talk to your manager about how you may get more control over how you plan and use your break if you feel under pressure to socialize or keep working. Then, utilize those free times to engage in your preferred forms of recovery.
5. Take care of yourself: Eating healthy, and getting enough sleep are essential to dealing with stress. Most people use alcohol or drugs to cover up stress, but it’s not an effective method and will only add to your stress.
6. Strengthen your relationships: “Be considerate of others. Try to comprehend the other person’s interests if you have a terrible connection with them, and consider what greater good might be achieved if you cooperate. This entails developing trust, showing empathy and respect for others, and being dedicated to teamwork.
7. Delegation: As a measure to reduce stress, delegating some work, sharing burdens with colleagues, taking, leave and time off work with family and loved ones, as well as reducing work overtime ranked highest as strategies for stress management.
8. Time management: some ways to manage time effectively include:
- Set goals correctly,
- Prioritize wisely,
- Organize yourself (avoid appearing disorganized; it would only add to your stress),
- Remove non-essential tasks or activities; taking up unnecessary and unimportant activities or requests will only add to the stress; avoid it.
9. Plan: Plan out how you’ll use your time in advance. Make a to-do list, prioritize your tasks, and start with the most important item.
Regarding how long each task will take, be realistic. For important and urgent tasks, do them right away, for tasks that are important but not urgent, decide when to do those tasks – for urgent but not important tasks, delegate these tasks if possible, for not urgent and not important tasks, set them aside to do later.
This would go a long way toward reducing stress.
In conclusion, knowing how to deal with stress at work is crucial because most of our waking hours are spent there and to avoid other aspects of our lives being thoroughly affected, especially our health, because when health is affected, it would be difficult to do any kind of work.
Everyone experiences stress to some extent, but you can handle stress by leading a healthy lifestyle and using coping mechanisms.
Stress-inducing problems can’t always be handled, but altering your perception of them could be beneficial. Stress-related illnesses might develop if left untreated. If you think you can’t handle it, it’s critical to get help.