As you can see, job stress is detrimental to your career and overall quality of life. Here are some tips to help you deal with stress at work:
Conflicts are going to happen at any job – whether it’s between coworkers or managers, it’s inevitable. What you do with that conflict, though, determines if it’ll be a stress point or not.
By showing that you trust and value your workers, you create a sense of loyalty and safety. That reduces stress.
48% of workers who say their employers aren’t loyal to them are dissatisfied with their job stress levels, compared to just 26% of workers who are happy with their employer’s loyalty. Being in a culture of loyalty and trust reduces unnecessary stress significantly.
Salaried workers don’t have to deal with varying work schedules, but hourly employees do. And it’s a huge stressor. Almost 30% of workers with irregular schedules report having serious work and family conflicts over the issue.
Random shift changes, on-call work schedules can all lead to stress, because workers are constantly in limbo when it comes to balance between work and life. They never know when they’ll need to work with much advance, and it’s difficult for them to make personal plans or even decompress when they could be called to work at any moment.
Try to create schedules that your employees can “bank” on. Make sudden changes as rare as possible. Make it possible for your employees to rely on a steady schedule enough that they can arrange a solid personal life around their work schedule. This will help them return to work refreshed.
Since stress can create physical illness, doing what you can to keep your employees healthy can combat stress. There are several ways employers can encourage wellness:
Healthy and rested employees are less stressed and do better work. It’s that simple.
Not all stress is bad, and not all stress can (or should) be avoided.
Good stress motivates you. Deadlines, tests, or being asked to speak in front of other people — these are all situations that create stress, but they are also what motivates us. Good stress tends to be short-term and can even enhance or improve brain function. When the pressure is on, the brain sharpens up.
Bad stress, however, is chronic. It harms your health, slows you down, and can even start to inhibit thinking.
Essentially, stress uses your fight-or-flight response. Good stress gives you time to recover from that response, but bad stress locks you into it and wears you down. It’s important to know the difference between good and bad stress so you know which is the problem and which is actually helping you.
You might not even know you’re feeling stressed. Sounds strange, but it’s possible. Even if you don’t know the true level of stress you’re feeling, your body does. The damage that stress does happens whether you are aware it’s bad or not.
There are several signs that stress might be affecting you:
If you see a pattern like this list in your life, you need to take action.
It helps to tell someone that you’re struggling with stress, whether that’s a manager or a coworker. They may be able to help you, or point you to someone who can.
It’s not a shameful thing, that you’re stressed. It’s worse if you don’t get help and let it build. Most managers would rather employees came and told them they were having stress issues on the job rather than find out through missed deadlines or low productivity.
Stress isn’t funny, but some situations that cause stress can be seen as humorous if you make the effort.
A good laugh is a good thing. Research has shown that laughter reduces stress and has other positive benefits. Not only does it relieve the stress response, but it brings more oxygen into your body, activates your body, and soothes tension.
Being angry or worrying, on the other hand, is extremely unhealthy, harming your heart, your immune system, and even increasing your risk for stroke.
Deciding to be positive can go a long way towards relieving job stress. It can make some situations go away, and for those that persist, it can give you a better attitude about them so you don’t feel the stress nearly as much as you might have otherwise.
The first thing to do when you feel stressed is to address the physical first. It might be enough to do the trick in that moment.
Take your allotted breaks.
If there’s a park or bit of nature nearby, go there. If your work environment is stressing you out, try to change your environment, either by going someplace else (even just sitting in your car) or by reading to get your mind in a different place.
You need a break, especially if you’re stressed. If management makes it difficult to take a break, press the issue. You have a legal right to breaks.
Oddly enough, when you help other people, you feel great.
An American Journal of Public Health study found that when someone was dealing with stress, but helped others, they reduced the physical dangers associated with stress.
It sounds crazy — when you’re super stressed, who has time to help someone else? However, turning your attention from yourself to someone else can relieve the self-feeding negativity that serious stress creates.
If you’re feeling stressed, help someone else.
Constant connection and the interruption of technology can increase your stress levels.
Social media, for example, can make you aware of stressful events happening to other people or in other places. They might not have any bearing on your life, but you allow yourself to feel stressed about them anyway. It’s called the cost of caring.
Stay off social media and mobile devices as much as possible when on the job. The last thing you need is drama via social media or text messaging while you’re trying to get your work done.
Some things are out of your control.
Find ways to make the things that are out of your control more bearable. If where you work is too noisy, maybe noise cancelling headphones would help.
For example, getting stressed about the traffic on the way to work is completely unhelpful. You can’t control the traffic. The best you can do is leave early enough so you have plenty of time to get to work. If leaving late is adding stress because the traffic makes you late for work leaving you apologizing or making excuses for why you’re late, you’re needlessly adding to your stress. You can’t control the traffic, but you can control when you leave home.
Make changes to what you can control. The rest is not worth getting upset about.
The most stressful time of the day for workers is the morning, or when they start their shift.
You can’t always prepare everything ahead of time. If someone leaves a mess when you arrive for your shift, there’s not much you can do about it other than try to work with them and get them to do better.
But, wherever possible, prep ahead of time. Think of it like this: how you start your work day sets the tone for the rest of it. If you start it in a panic, a rush, the whole day is going to be stressful. It’ll feel as if you never get caught up or on good footing.
Preparing ahead of time might be:
In a stressful moment, don’t forget to breathe.
It sounds a little silly, but people generally take shallow breaths. Closing your eyes and breathing in deep and the letting that breath out slowly can help slow down and reduce your negative physical reactions to stress. It can also help you control your reaction to a tense situation that might otherwise escalate into something more stressful.
It’s not a long-term fix, but it can help negate some of the effects on your physical body in that moment of conflict.
Source by: Sam Campbell – WhenIWork Blog