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10 Ways to Prevent and Manage Stress in the Workplace

By Admin | 15 December 2016 |

Stress affects everyone in the workplace and it seems that excessive stress has a negative impact on a person’s productivity at work. Stress can be caused by an overeager boss wanting you to reach unrealistic targets. You could experience anxiety as a department manager who has manage employee’s relationships. Or, there could be personal factors beyond your control that are impacting on your effectiveness at work.

Stress is defined as “a state of mental or emotional strain resulting from adverse or demanding circumstances.” Obviously, some stress benefits us because it motivates us, helps us get things done, and can make us better employees or managers. However, you need to find ways to prevent and manage stress properly so that it doesn’t get out of control.

Stress in the Work Place

A study by the Anxiety and Depression Association of America found that “persistent, excessive, and irrational anxiety” interferes with a person’s home life, work life, and other daily activities. The researchers found some interesting findings:

  • Over 70% of people reported that daily stress moderately interferes with their lives.
  • Nearly 60% of respondents said that too much stress negatively impacts on their workplace performance.
  • 70% of women said that workplace stress impacts their personal relationships.
  • Around 25% of people said that stress was a contributing factor in making unhealthy lifestyle choices, like smoking, excessive drinking, and overeating.

So, there are many reasons to try to prevent and manage stress in the workplace.

10 Tips to Prevent and Manage Stress at Work

Here are some of the best ways that you can manage workplace stress and put yourself in control of your feelings.

1 Boundaries

You need to make sure and set reasonable boundaries in your personal and professional life. Sometimes it can take courage to say “no”, but learning when to refuse an extra assignment or task can be the first step to preventing extra stress at work.

2 Don’t procrastinate

One of the biggest causes of stress is leaving things to the last minute. This not only causes extra strain on your health and emotions, but you will probably not give the assignment your best. Have a schedule or priority list of what to do and when to do it so that you get things done in time.

3 Anticipate

Anticipating stressful situations and planning accordingly can help to prevent and manage stress. Of course, you shouldn’t go over the situation so much in your head that it causes more stress. Here are a few causes of stress you can anticipate and act accordingly:

  • People. If someone at work is a constant source of anxiety, limit the amount of time you spend with them.
  • Topics. Know the kind of topics that cause you stress and avoid them or change the topic if others start talking about them.
  • Situations. Anticipate which situations can become big problems and deal with them while still small. If you have to face an unavoidable stressful situation, preparation can help you cope better with it.

4 Look for the good

There’s a saying that “every cloud has a silver lining.” So, try to see the good in the situation and use challenging situations as a means for personal growth and learning.

5 Relax

Every person needs some time out for themselves. Make sure that you have a regular time to relax and be with family and friends. During these relaxation periods, do something you enjoy doing. This will allow your mind to focus on what’s important and become sharper. These relaxation times will also make you more productive at work.

6 Stay healthy

It’s a well-documented fact that regular exercise and consuming healthy food and beverages are essential in reducing stress in the body and mind. Even just a brisk walk can do wonders for releasing stress from your mind. Also, having the proper amount of vitamins and minerals from your diet will help to cope with stress better.

7 Sleep

Sleep can be a challenge under extreme stress. However, getting enough sleep is the key to staying healthy and managing stress more effectively. Sometimes, a good night’s rest can help to put a lot of stressful problems into perspective.

8 Build healthy relationships

Healthy relationships with others can help you to prevent stress and manage it better. You always feel better doing positive things for people you care about and that will lower your stress levels. You will also build friendships with people you can talk to when difficulties arise.

9 Be organised.

Nothing can put your stress levels up more than not being able to find things. So, take the time to organise your car, desk, workspace, or home so that you can get things done efficiently. Make sure that you then keep those areas organised. Even just spending a few minutes at the end of the day organising your desk can reduce stress for the next day.

10 Know what you can control

Trying to control the uncontrollable is never going to help you reduce stress. For example, it’s impossible to control the behaviour of others. So, rather than focusing on how someone should be acting, try to control how you respond. Forgiveness is one way that you can respond in a positive way to another’s behaviour. You will find that you can prevent and manage stress much better.

If you are needing to help your employees manage stress in the workplace better, why not have a look at our Speakers page. Keynote speakers like Jackie Furey, Dr Leslie Cannold, or Alastair Lynch all have speaking skills to inspire others to take stress management seriously and become more productive at work.