How to cope up with stress at work
How to cope up with stress at work
by Rebecca Moses 30/07/2018
Long working hours, punitive deadlines, and demands that pile up on your precious time budget can bring feelings of stress to an alarming pitch. As workers, we give our time away to our employers for not only compensation but stability. We work beyond the required amount because we want to seem invaluable. We fear being laid off, and we feel the pressure to meet expectations even as they intensify without specific rewards.
Sometimes we cultivate feelings of stress in our lives out of the misguided sense that this stress will make us stronger and more productive. We think of stress as the psychological equivalent of lighting a fire under us. Small doses of stress really can give us the feeling of an adrenaline high. These effects make us feel energetic, focused, and ready to face challenges.
However, excessive stress can lower our productivity and performance. When we are feeling too stressed, we tend to feel drained rather than focused. It can also have major impacts on physical and emotional health, including muscle tension and respiratory problems. In extreme forms, these symptoms are associated with panic attacks or acute stress which can increase the heart rate and blood pressure to the point of escalating cardiovascular problems.
Symptoms of too much stress can include anxiety, irritability, and depression, which affects individuals both in the workplace and at home. Someone suffering from intense stress might also find themselves losing motivation in their work, losing sleep, and losing focus.
Good mental health is important for helping you to remain competitive in your workplace. People who are visibly working at capacity may show signs of wear, such as slumped posture, exhausted verbal responses, and negative attitudes. These individuals may not seem as competitive as those who are ready to move onto a new project.
How to cope up with stress at work: Tips.
Develop a support network. Talking to your peers and seeking support can help you begin to diminish workplace stress. This can mean engaging with your colleagues and coworkers, confiding in friends and family about what’s going on, and trying to build new friendships outside of work.
Delegate responsibilities. Along with wanting to feel invaluable and irreplaceable in our work, we also like to control those projects that we feel ownership over. Unfortunately, attitudes like this mean that we might often get in over our heads and not know when to delegate or trust others with responsibility. To reduce stress, try to let go of the desire to control every part of the project so that you can spend more of time on yourself and your family. This will make you more comfortable delegating tasks and only keeping for yourself what you can handle.
Establish boundaries for when you’re off work. In order to be able to reset and give our all to work when we’re there, it’s important to have routine periods of time when we’re not working, thinking about work, or checking work emails and calls.
According to a survey by Direct Line Insurance, seven hours is the ideal amount of free time in a day. However, most workers are constantly connected to their work through technology and the expectation that they answer emails, phone calls, and text messages eat away at their free time. Matt Owen of Direct Line explains that “The perfect work/life balance relies on being able to switch off once we’ve finished work, which is difficult in this ‘constantly connected’ age.”
Habits without boundaries, such as being available to answer emails during your free time and being on call twenty-four hours a day will make you feel like you’re working all the time. This can contribute to decreased motivation during those times when you are specifically supposed to be working.
Mitigate unreasonable expectations. Perfectionism and unrealistic goals can cause us to fall into slumps and negative thinking when we feel that we’ve fallen short of our goals. Instead, be realistic about your goals and aim to do your best. The self-confidence that you create from feeling capable of succeeding in your goals will help your projects excel.
Do you want to learn more about reducing stress at work and building a healthy work-life balance? Read more tips here!
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