Everyone who has ever worked has felt the pressure of work-related stress at some point. Even if you enjoy your career, it can be difficult at times. In the short term, you may feel pressed to meet a deadline or complete a difficult task. However, when professional stress becomes chronic, it can become overpowering and detrimental to both physical and emotional health.Long-term stress is unfortunately all too frequent. Indeed, the American Psychological Association’s annual Stress in America poll routinely finds that employment is recognized as a significant source of stress by the majority of Americans. It is not always possible to avoid workplace tensions. You can, however, take efforts to control work-related stress.
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The consequences of unmanaged stress
Work-related stress does not simply evaporate when you leave the office for the day. When stress is prolonged, it can hurt your health and well-being.A stressful work atmosphere can cause headaches, stomachaches, sleep disruptions, irritability, and difficulty concentrating. Anxiety, sleeplessness, high blood pressure, and a compromised immune system can all be symptoms of chronic stress. It can also worsen illnesses including depression, obesity, and heart disease. Excessive stress is often dealt with in unhealthy ways, such as overeating, eating unhealthy foods, smoking cigarettes, or abusing drugs and alcohol, which exacerbates the situation.
Taking Stress Management Measures
Keep a notebook for a week or two to track which situations cause you the greatest stress and how you deal with them. Keep a journal of your thoughts, feelings, and observations about the surroundings, including the individuals and circumstances involved, the physical setting, and your reactions. Did you use foul language? Do you want something from the vending machine? Take a walk? Taking notes can assist you in identifying patterns in your stressors and reactions to them.
Create healthy responses.
Instead of seeking to combat stress with fast food or drink, try to make healthy choices when you feel it rising. Exercise is an excellent stress reliever. Yoga is a great option, but any sort of physical activity is beneficial. Make time for your hobbies and favorite pastimes as well. Make time for the activities that make you happy, whether it’s reading a book, attending concerts, or playing games with your family. Getting adequate good-quality sleep is also essential for stress management. Develop healthy sleeping habits by reducing caffeine consumption late in the day and avoiding stimulating activities like computer and television use at night.
Set some boundaries.
It’s easy to feel pressured to be available 24 hours a day in today’s digital age. Set some work-life balance boundaries for yourself. That could mean not checking email from home in the evenings or not answering the phone during supper. Although everyone has varied preferences for how much they merge their work and home lives, establishing some clear boundaries between these worlds can help to lessen the possibility of work-life conflict and the stress that comes with it.
Allow yourself time to recharge.
We need time to refill and return to our pre-stress level of functioning to avoid the detrimental impacts of chronic stress and burnout. This healing process necessitates “switching off” from work by spending time not doing job-related activities or thinking about work. That’s why it’s vital to disconnect regularly, in a way that suits your requirements and tastes. Don’t squander your vacation days. Take time off when possible to relax and unwind so you can return to work feeling revitalized and ready to perform at your best. When you are unable to take time off, turn off your smartphone and concentrate your attention.
Learn to unwind.
Meditation, deep breathing exercises and mindfulness (a condition in which you actively examine present feelings and ideas without judging them) are all techniques that might help relieve stress. Begin by devoting a few minutes each day to a simple task such as breathing, walking, or eating a meal. The ability to focus intently on a single activity without distraction will improve with experience, and you will discover that you can apply it to many different elements of your life.
Speak with your boss.
Employee health has been related to workplace productivity, so your manager has the incentive to foster a work environment that supports employee well-being. Begin by having an open conversation with your boss. The goal here isn’t to compile a laundry list of complaints, but rather to devise an effective plan for dealing with the stressors you’ve identified so you may perform at your best on the job. While some parts of the plan may be designed to help you improve your skills in areas such as time management, other elements may include identifying employer-sponsored wellness resources you can use, clarifying what is expected of you, obtaining necessary resources or support from colleagues, and broadening your job to include more responsibilities.
Get some help.
Accepting help from trusted friends and family members can help you manage stress better. Your employer may also provide stress management services through an employee assistance program, such as online education, counseling, and referral to mental health professionals, if necessary. If you continue to feel overwhelmed by work stress, you may wish to consult with a psychologist, who can assist you in better managing stress and changing unhealthy behavior.