In today's hectic world, stress often affects productivity and performance in the workplace. It can make a significant impact on your personal and professional life. Moreover, it can sometimes even in your relationships at home. Long hours of work, deadlines, and increasing task demands can leave you feeling worried, drained and overwhelmed. When stress exceeds your capability to cope, it will start to affect your mind and body. When that happens, your overall performance can also be affected.
Understanding Stress: A Way to Overcome It
Stress at work can sometimes be inevitable. More and more people are experiencing discomfort and inconvenience at work due to stress and anxiety. For us to be able to deal with stress, it is vital to understand stress first.
Some of the common causes of stress at work are as follows:
- Fear of being laid off
- The pressure to perform to meet expectations
- The pressure to work at optimum levels
- Lack of dominance over how you do your work
Sometimes when you feel overwhelmed, you tend to become angry and irritable. Listed below are the symptoms of excessive stress:
- Loss of interest at work
- Sleeping problems
- Trouble concentrating
- Stomach pains
- Social withdrawal
We all want to perform effectively in the workplace. That's why it is crucial to learn how to avoid or manage stress. To beat stress at work, we need to either alleviate it or engage with new activities. The latter will keep us busy and will take away all the worries and anxieties from our minds.
Helpful Tips to Manage Stress in the Workplace
The following tips are helpful ways to stress in the work environment.
It would be helpful if you can talk about stress with other people. Talking with other people can help ease the effects of stress. Also, or getting support and sympathy from family and friends. Having a conversation will be an excellent way to release stress and anxiety. A good listener can also combat stress. By simply listening, it shows empathy to the other person, which in turn can aid in lessening stress.
Reach out to your family and friends. Having a strong network of supportive family and friends is extremely important in managing stress in all areas of your life. It is essential to voice out your problems and release all the tension because the more you keep the issues and frustrations inside, the more difficult it is to beat stress. If you don't have anyone to turn to, start building new friendships. Meet new people or expand your social network by taking classes or joining clubs.
Look for support from your co-workers as this will help to lessen the adverse effects of stress in the workplace. It is also vital that when you take breaks, you engage with your co-workers. This will allow you to listen and be aware of other things aside from your work.
Make Time for Your Health and Well-Being
Being too focused at work can make you forget your physical health. Anyone can cope up with stress, by doing a lot of physical activity as this will make you strong and resilient. You don't have to change your entire lifestyle. Even small things like increasing your energy and lifting your mood can make a big difference.
Rhythm movements such as walking, running, or dancing can strengthen the nervous system. An activity that elevates your heart rate and makes you sweat is a great way to increase energy, sharpen focus and relax both the mind and body. Find a way to fit this in your busy schedule. This will make a big difference in your overall well-being.
When stress cannot be controlled and keeps on mounting at work, it is important to stand and try to have a quick break. Take a stroll outside the workplace, if possible, as the physical movement can help regain your balance in everything that you are assigned to do. At work, it will be a great help if a sit-stand desk is available for use, as this will make you stand once in a while.
Standing in intervals boost metabolic metrics like calorie burn and blood flow. It is not significantly a replacement for exercise, but it is enough to help burn calories. It has also shown significant improvements in executive function and working memory capabilities. Some say that it has provided advantages similar to those exercise programs that boost brain activity by enhancing blood flow.
Make Smart Choices on the Food You Eat
Did you know that the food you eat has something to do with how you feel during the day? By carefully choosing the food you eat and being conscious of the nutrients they contain can help your body maintain energy and focus. Sometimes if you are eating foods high in carbs and sugar when you are under stress, it can lead to a crash in your mood, thinking that they can make you feel better. Unfortunately, most of the time, it makes the anxiety worse.
It is better to reduce the food intake that can affect your mood. Examples of these foods are caffeine, trans fat or food high in levels of chemical preservatives and hormones. The best diet is the one that can give your mood a boost such as fish, seaweed, flaxseed and walnuts.
Even if, for some people, it is hard to avoid drinking alcohol, it is best to drink in moderation. Alcohol may seem to take away all your worries, but too much intake can cause anxiety, and adversely affects your emotional state.
Improve the Quality of Your Sleep
Inadequate sleep can significantly affect your daytime activity, productivity, creativity and ability to focus. A well-rested body and mind can make a person well-equipped to tackle responsibilities and cope with workplace stress. Aim for enough sleep because enough sleep can make a person perform at their best.
Ensure to turn off the TV screen an hour before bedtime. Focus on quiet, soothing activities such as reading or listening to soft music and keep the lights low. Work nights and rotating sleep can also impact your sleep quality. There may be changes in your sleeping patterns, so make sure to make adjustments on your routine. Wearing dark glasses on your way home from work can help block the sunlight and encourage sleepiness. It is also essential to eliminate noise and light from your bedroom during the day. Use dark coloured curtains or soothing sound to block out daytime noise.
Break Habits That Contribute to Workplace Stress
Stress usually begins in our minds and thoughts. Thus, it is crucial to take away all the negative contemplation so that we can have a positive outlook in life. Here are some of the habits that everyone can learn to break away from stress.
Resist Negative Thinking
Don't focus on the downside of every situation and interaction. Instead, try to think positively at your job and appreciate every success and achievement no matter how big or small the problems are. Set a goal for every task and ensure to aim for the best for every job assigned.
Don't Try to Control the Uncontrollable
Some things are beyond our control, even if we have done our best. Sometimes the behaviour of other people also contributes to a stressful situation. So, rather than stressing over them, shift your mind on the things you can control, such as the way you choose to react to the problems.
Clean up Your Desk
File and throw away the clutter on your desk. A clean desk or workplace can contribute to productivity. It provides a clear focus on the task that you are working on. At the same time, you can remember the things that you have appropriately filed or cleaned up.
Stress can be inevitable in the workplace; however, we can do a lot of things to prevent it and not to be able to feel its presence. We can neutralize stress with meaningful actions, thoughts and beliefs. If work becomes challenging, devote your weekends to a relaxing trip to ease up the tension that you had during the week.