Stress in the workplace is something that most of encounter on a daily basis. Whether it is constant interruptions, looming deadlines, an overbearing boss or unhelpful colleagues, stress from the workplace is one of the leading causes of being off sick, and can leave you plagued with sleepless nights of worry. Learning to deal with this stress can put a lot of power back in your hands, improve your wellbeing and allow you to thrive at work. It probably comes as no surprise that the workplace is one of the main sources of stress these days. The great majority of people, no matter their position within a company, are having ever increasing amounts of pressure, targets and responsibility piled onto them. The following are our top ways to better deal with this, and reduce the amount of stress you are exposed to.
One of the leading sources of stress in the workplace is the feeling a lack of control. As tasks, projects and demands pile up, it is easy to find yourself simply hopping from one situation to another, barely keeping your head above the water. There are two ways to deal with this. Firstly, many situations that arise throughout the day can be foreseen, or repeat themselves. Make sure you have done everything within your control to prepare for them – organization and preparation are key to maintaining a degree of control and reducing stress. Secondly, it is important to realize that you cannot control everything. When you understand this, you don’t feel as great a loss of control in a situation, as you know there were certain things you could not control to begin with. By focusing on the things you can control, and letting go of the worry with things you can’t, you will find yourself in a much better position to get the job done.
Having a poorly balanced diet will put a great deal of undue stress on your system, leaving you feeling worn out, and often leave your mind in a haze. When you add the stress you encounter in the workplace on top of this, you will find yourself quickly spiraling down. Make sure you are getting all the dietary requirements you need, even at work, it will create a solid foundation for you to better deal with stress.
Many believe that 8 hours of solid, full on work produces the most productivity. However, specialists have found that this attitude actually causes a drop in productivity, as well as a spike in stress. It is believed that 90 minutes of focused work, followed by a short break of stretching and breathing exercises helps rejuvenate the mind, reduce stress and put productivity back on track.
Things beginning to feel a little overwhelming? Step aside for a few minutes and take a deep breath. You will find it can go a long way to restore balance and perspective. Spending a few minutes rhythmically inhaling for 5 seconds, followed by exhaling for 5 seconds can be as calming and focusing as a 90 minute yoga session.
A great deal of the stress encountered in the workplace can be largely put down to perception. It is easy to take a very narrow, self-centric view of tasks and other issues that may be causing stress. Take a few moments to step back and look at the bigger picture. Is the task you are getting yourself worked up over actually vital in the grand scheme of the larger project? If not, can you re-prioritize it? Maybe you are running into obstacle after obstacle at work, but by stepping back and looking at the wider picture, it may allow you to see a reasoning behind this, and help you go back to your boss to work out a solution.
If find yourself getting angry, take a second to cool off. Anger can make us react without thinking, often resulting in an overreaction that you cannot take back. Don’t say something you are going to regret in anger, as this will only make things more stressful for you in the long run. Calm down, and come back to the situation with a level head.
A great way to reduce stress in the workplace is by learning to boost your own confidence in your work, instead of worrying about what others are going to think of it. If you focus on another person’s perception of you and your work, which you can’t control, you are going to stress yourself out and diminish the actually quality of what you produce – potentially creating a negative cycle. Quite ironically, once you realize this, and start feeling confidence in your work, it often translates over to your colleagues, making it more likely for them to be impressed.
Chances are that you know how to do your job pretty well. If you are finding something in particular about your job frustrating, time consuming or inefficient, and feel you know what you could do to improve this, then let your boss know. If you have found a way to do your job smarter (doing the job faster/easier with the same or better results), then chances are your boss will get on board behind the change. This can reduce your stress in many ways, such as by increasing job satisfaction and improving workload. Hopefully these tips will help you wrestle a bit more control from your work life, reduce your stress and have you feeling better as a whole.