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Top Ways to Deal with Stress in the Workplace

By Admin | 8 February 2018 |

We all have to deal with some stress in the workplace. The reality of every manager and employee is that stress is a part of office life. However, we all have different ways of dealing with stress in the workplace. In many cases, the job seems to be the source of the stress; however, what may be stressful for one person may not be stressful for another. So, it seems that we all have our own ways of dealing with workplace stress.

Before we look at some general ways of dealing with stress in the office, let’s look briefly at the reasons why it is important to deal with stress successfully.

The Dangers of Stress at Work

The accumulation of emotional and psychological stress can have a negative impact on your family and work life. According to the journal Annual Review of Clinical Psychology, stress impacts our mood, behaviour, health, and sense of well-being.[1]

Sickness. Among the effects of too much stress on your health, researchers have said that it increases sleep problems, causes eating disorders, put a person a greater risk of heart disease, and causes accidents. This put a greater burden on employers if many employees take time off for stress-related conditions.

Anxiety and depression. Stress can also increase your levels of anxiety so much so that the job itself seems more stressful. On a long-term basis, this can lead to levels of depression.

Decrease in productivity. Office workers who are constantly stressed can’t operate at their best and therefore, productivity suffers.

How to Reduce Stress in the Workplace

Let’s look at some practical ways that employers, team leaders, and employees can all reduce feelings of stress at work.

Keep a stress diary

It may be necessary to record events at work and at home to see what your stress triggers are. You should also record how you respond to stress. This can help to identify specific sources of stress which you can then address. Also, knowing your responses can help avoid self-destructive stress responses.

Talk to your supervisor

Although the thought of speaking to a supervisor if you are feeling stressed may raise stress levels, it’s good to remember that employers are generally interested in the welfare of their staff. You should keep the goal in mind that you are not complaining but trying to come up with solutions to ease stress levels.

Look after your well-being

Of course, it may not be possible to change work patterns or schedules set out by others. So, you should care for your own well-being. How can you do that? Here are some tips on how you can lower your own stress:

  • Try to act rather than react to situations. Remember, that you are in control and are responsible for your own actions.
  • Use of few minutes of deep breathing after a stressful meeting. This helps get oxygen to your brain and can instill a feeling of calmness.
  • Schedule physical activities every day to help get rid of stress. This can be something as simple as taking a walk during your lunch break to relax and unwind.
  • Switch off. When you are not at work or you have a work break, try to switch off from any work-related activities.
  • Eat well and get enough sleep. Skipping on meals, eating at your desk while working, or not getting enough sleep may seem like ways to get more done, but they are counter-productive. Maintain a well-balanced diet and try to get enough sleep to help reduce stress and increase productivity. This also means cutting back on caffeine and alcohol.

Establish boundaries

One of the most important ways to deal with stress is to set up reasonable boundaries on your time. This could mean not checking work email at home or not picking up the phone during dinner. There are very few circumstances in life where an immediate response is critical and the matter can’t be dealt with later or the next day.

[1] Source: Annu Rev Clin Psychol. 2005; 1: 607–628.