8 Simple Ways to Deal With Stress at Work
Work stress has significant health consequences that range from relatively benign (like getting more colds and flu) to potentially serious (such as heart disease and metabolic syndrome).
While stress at work is common, finding a low-stress job is difficult (if not impossible). A more realistic approach is to adopt effective coping strategies to reduce stress at your current job. Here are some stress management techniques you can try if you are finding it hard to cope with work stress.
Start a day off the right
After rushing to get the kids fed and out to school, avoiding traffic and battling road rage, and sipping coffee instead of a nutritious breakfast, a lot of people are going to work under stress. This makes them more reactive to stress in the workplace.
You might be shocked how affected you are by the tension of your job when you have a stressful morning. If you start the day with preparation, good nutrition, and a positive attitude, you might find that the stress of your job rolls your back more easily.
Be clear about the requirements
Uncertain expectations for workers are a factor known to lead to work burnout. If you don’t know exactly what is required of you, or if the requirements for your role keep changing with little warning, you might be extremely stressed.
If you find yourself never knowing if what you are doing is enough, it may help to have a talk with your boss. You should take the time to go over expectations and explore tactics to achieve them. This can relieve stress for both of you!
Stay Away From Conflict
Interpersonal conflict takes a toll on your physical and emotional health. Conflict among co-workers can be difficult to escape, so it’s a good idea to avoid conflict at work as much as you can.
Don’t gossip, don’t share too many of your personal opinions about religion and politics, and steer clear of “colorful” office humor.
When possible, try to avoid people who don’t work well with others. If conflict finds you anyway, make sure you know how to handle it appropriately.
Another surprising stressor at work is physical discomfort, mostly connected to where you perform most of your everyday tasks (such as your desk).
You might not notice you’re stressed if you’re sitting in an uncomfortable chair for just a few minutes, but if you practically live in that chair when you’re at work, you might have a sore back and be more responsive to stress because of it.
Also minor items like office noise can be disruptive and cause low-grade irritation. Do what you can to build a peaceful, relaxed and calming workspace.
Even if you’re a naturally disorganized person, planning ahead to stay organized can greatly decrease your stress at work. Being organized with your time means less rushing in the morning to avoid being late as well as less hustling to get out at the end of the day.
Keeping yourself organized can also mean avoiding the negative effects of clutter, and being more efficient with your work.
Forget about multitasking
Multitasking was once heralded as a brilliant way to optimize one’s time and do more in one day. Eventually, however, people started to understand that if they had a phone in their ear and were making calculations at the same time, their speed and precision (not to mention sanity) always suffered.
There’s a certain “frazzled” feeling that comes from dividing your attention, and it doesn’t work well for most people. Instead of multitasking to keep on top of your assignments, consider a new cognitive technique like chunking.
Walk at Lunch
Many people feel the ill effects of a sedentary lifestyle. You will battle the physical and mental effects of work stress by doing a lunch break workout.
If your schedule allows, you might want to consider taking brief workout breaks during the day. This will help you blow off steam, raise your mood, and get a better shape.
Keep Perfectionism in Check
Being a high achiever might make you feel good about yourself and help you excel at work, but being a perfectionist can create problems for you (and those around you).
You might not be able to do everything perfectly, every time—especially in a busy, fast-paced job. A good strategy to avoid the perfectionism trap is always striving to just do your best and making time to congratulate yourself on your efforts. You may find that your results are better and you’ll be much less stressed at work.