Whether we like it, stress in the workplace is more common than ever. Apparently, 50% of workers feel a great deal of stress on the job but what causes workplace stress? Is it a case of too much work and responsibilities resting on your shoulders? Are you not given enough time to complete your job? Are you being criticized constantly and never appreciated or praised? Are you completely bored at work and feel you are not progressing and are not challenged or inspired enough? Do you feel you are not earning your worth? Is your environment toxic and the people just generally not nice to work with? It could be all of the above!
All this can really take a toll on your health. The American Heart Association found that people experiencing job-related stress, had blood pressure levels that were 10% higher than people not experiencing this. And this continues even after they leave the workplace and return home. So, finding effective ways to reduce the stress and improve your overall well-being, is paramount for our health.
1. Don’t Bottle Things Up - Reach Out & Speak Up
Keeping everything inside is never healthy. Turn to coworkers you trust for honest support and discuss your feelings with them. Also connect with friends and family members. It really helps to talk. It is also important to talk to your boss if you feel that you are not able to keep up with the amount of work or if you feel too much is falling on your shoulders. Suffering in silence will not be good for anyone. The more overwhelmed you feel, the less likely you are to get things done.
2. Find Your Happy Work-Life Balance
Don’t take on too much responsibility if you honestly feel you cannot cope with it all. As mentioned before, speak up if it’s too much. Find the balance between work and play.
- Prevent the morning rush to work by leaving a few minutes earlier in the day.
- Take regular breaks during the day just to recharge your batteries.
- Establish healthy boundaries. These boundaries refer not only to how much attention you pay to work when you are not actually at the office, but the boundaries you have with coworkers.
- There needs to be a form of healthy respect and you should never feel taken advantage of.
3. Get Your Physical & Mental Health In Check
Your mental and physical health are both important for your overall well-being, make sure you don’t let either slide. While people usually focusing on their physical health and make sure they try to eat a healthy diet, it is also important to pay attention to your mental health. Stress can have a serious impact on your mental health - it is not called the silent killer for nothing. So you want to make sure you find ways to de-stress.
- Meditation is one good way, By meditating early in the morning you calm what many call the ‘monkey mind’ and prepare it for the day ahead. Often through visualization you prepare yourself for any sort of stress that may come your way making sure that you deal with it easier and calmer. Taking supplements is another great way to boost your health and there are some great choices for reducing stress.
- Supplements such as B-vitamins will help relax and calm you and deal with work stress better. It’s very reassuring to know that there are supplements to deal with anxiety These supplements are great as they come both in daytime and nighttime forms, helping you cope with the stress of the day and helping you have a peaceful and restful sleep at night.
4. Organize & Prioritize Your Task List Effectively
When your inbox seems to be overflowing, it can be very daunting. This is when procrastination often sets in; when things seem too complicated. So make it easier for yourself and break it down. Prioritize tasks from high to low finishing the most important tasks of the day first. Divide big projects into small steps. Don’t be afraid of delegating responsibility and compromise if need be.
5. Get Control Back
Being out of control can be frightening. Not knowing where you stand regarding your job, can lead to feelings of anxiety. It is very important to regain control and increase your confidence where your job is concerned. You can achieve this by:
- Clarify your job description: Ask your employer for an updated description of job duties and responsibilities. By knowing exactly what duties you are responsible for you can physically show your employer exactly what you have been doing and show if you have going beyond your work duties.
- Discuss your work stressors with your employer: Instead of complaining, let your employer know what is causing you so much work stress and see, together, what work solutions can be found. It is to your employer’s benefit that you are happy at work because it means you will be more productive.
- Ask for a transfer: If your environment is too toxic and you are able to, and the company is large enough, you may have the possibility of being moved to another department either within the company itself or to another branch.
- Ask for more challenges: If you have been stuck at your desk bored out of your mind, ask for more challenging work and new duties. It will motivate you more and keep things interesting.
- Take time off: If you feel you are heading for complete burnout or even something as severe as a breakdown, take time off to recharge your batteries.
6. Re-Address or Reconcile Your Salary Expectations
Sometimes it seems that there is more time than money which can add to your stress. If you are not happy with your current salary you have a few options. You can either leave your current workplace and find a higher paying job, change your situation by asking for a raise, or accept the situation you are currently facing.
7. Change Negative Work Habits To Improve Your Day
- Resist perfectionism: There is absolutely no such thing as perfect. If you constantly try to do a “perfect” job you will only find frustration as what is perfect in your eyes may not be perfect in another’s.
- Manage your reactions: You cannot control how other people behave, even if it is in a poor manner. Stop taking things so personal and don’t let your emotions run high at work. Especially when you are feeling hurt or angered rather take a 5-minute break and walk outside to cool down.
- Keep your desk and desktop tidy: The neater you keep things the more productive your work will be as you will spend less time looking for things - especially when the boss calls and wants something right away. Easy allocation will automatically equal less pressure and less stress.
Everyone has some degree of work stress. How you handle it is up to you. Just remember that extreme work stress is an indication that something is wrong. Sit down with yourself and reflect, identify the root causes and move on from there with a range of solutions that best fit your needs.
One can never completely eliminate work stress and anxiety but you can overcome feelings of despair and depression and stop the feeling that the ground is swallowing you up. Anxiety and stress are very common, more common than you think, so don’t think you are alone and know that there are methods, techniques and supplements out there that will help you cope better!