All of us strive to have an orderly and peaceful life. However, despite what we want, we all have been stressed out at one point or more in our lives, some unfortunate ones, to the extent of depression. Stress feels like our mind acting against us, though everyone has different stress triggers.

Mark Twain precisely said –

“I’ve had a lot of worries in my life, most of which never happened.”

However, stress isn’t always bad! Sometimes it acts as a trigger to stay focused, energetic, and deal with new challenges, especially at the workplace. But it starts taking a toll on your health if you start worrying about things beyond your control. The situation becomes overwhelming when work-related stress becomes chronic and becomes harmful to both physical and emotional health.

According to a survey by Korn Ferry, a global organizational consulting firm, nearly 67% of professionals say their stress levels are higher than five years ago. This is an alarming situation and it’s high time that we talk about it.

 

What is work-related stress?

Work-related stress can be defined as a form of emotional stress associated with real or anticipated pain related to your job. There could be either personal or professional reasons or both, that you feel stressed out.

Personal causes of work-related stress

Personal causes are those that depend on the emotional well-being of an individual himself, and they include –

  • Personal / family issues
  • Physical or mental illness
  • Low self-esteem

Professional causes of work-related stress

  • Job instability
  • Work overload
  • Conflicts between colleagues
  • Fear of layoff
  • Authoritarian and/or incompetent leadership

Signs you are stressed out

  • Nervousness about fulfilling tasks
  • Failing to see results from your performance
  • Insecurity to always get recognized
  • Extreme perfectionism
  • Tense musculature and other psychosomatic diseases
  • Social phobia
  • Obsessive-compulsive behaviors
  • Work obsession

How to deal with work-related stress/anxiety?

To deal with stress effectively, you can consider taking the following steps –

 

1. Identify the source of stress

The source may not be specific, but it is essential to learn what bothers you. It can be anything, your challenges, financial issues, or even longer travel time. Identifying the source of stress will be of great help in determining how to deal with it.

Practices that help

  • Identify which tasks intimidate you and how you respond to them
  • Record your thoughts and feelings about the work environment you are working in
  • Notice your reactions to stressful situations and learn how to deal with them

2. Take breaks

It is estimated that you cannot spend more than two hours running extremely concentrated, so it is ideal for taking breaks every hour and a half. Take a rest/break of about ten minutes, or disconnect from the usual working environment. It will be enough to recharge your energy and refocus attention. Never ignore biological breaks; they lead to significant health issues, including stress.

Practices that help

  • Do some stretching
  • Go for healthy small meals every two hours
  • Practice a few minutes of silence
  • Take out some time for yourself

3. Solve problems as early as possible

Poor flexibility at work is a significant reason for chronic anxiety. Issues will arise, but the fundamental thing is to know how to look out for solutions in the best way, with the available resources. Permanent over-adaptation to situations isn’t a smarter way to look at the problems.

Practices that help

  • Foster a culture of promoting emotion sharing in real-time
  • Learn to share problems to minimize stress
  • Talk to people around you, don’t remain isolated

4. Develop healthy habits

Rather than trying to fight stress through excessive food, tobacco, or alcohol, developing a healthy response plan will not only be more beneficial in the long run. Still, it will also bring a sense of reward that will help counteract adverse effects.

Practices that help

  • Include 30 – 60 minutes of exercise in your daily routine
  • Try to take up any hobby that you couldn’t take up because of time shortage
  • Spend more time with family and friends
  • Go tripping with loved ones

5. Demarcate boundaries

In today’s digital world, it is easy to feel the pressure of being available 24 hours a day. However, a healthy balance between work and personal life includes a door that closes at the end of the workday and does not reopen until the start of the next day.

Practices that help

  • Learn how to maintain work-life balance
  • Stop stressing out for things that could have happened

6. Learn to relax

To avoid the adverse effects of chronic stress and exhaustion, you need to have time to recharge. Relax your body and mind.

Practices that help

  • Enjoy meals with family, take a walk, talk to people around you (without thinking about or talking about work)
  • Go for meditation, deep breathing exercises, and even introspection

7. Communicate the problem to superiors

A happy employee is an effective and productive employee. A boss who cares about the future of his business will try to do everything possible to create a work environment that promotes every employee’s well-being. Communicating your feeling of distress to the superiors will make them aware of the problems that may cause a decrease in productivity, and they may take measures to improve working conditions.

Practices that help

  • Have a cordial relationship with both your peers and superiors
  • If distressed, talk, it makes things better

8. Get professional help

Seeking help from friends and family to cope with stress can bring answers on how to deal with it, but in severe cases, you must consult a specialist. A mental health specialist can suggest meditation, visualization, or talk therapy, or if required, cognitive or behavioral therapy, or hypnosis, depending on how stressed you are. These powerful tools can minimize the harmful effects of mental exhaustion and feelings of fatigue that occur after prolonged exposure to stress.

9. Take up a stress management course

An interesting approach will be to take up any stress management course and learn tips and tricks to live stress-free. Such courses have proved to have a positive effect on individuals. These courses will help you to analyze the reasons for stress and identify ways to manage and overcome the problem. Here are some of the helpful online courses for you to combat stress –

Concluding remarks

Stress and anxiety are curable; all you need to do is trust your instinct and identify it at the right time. It may be intimidating to talk about your mental condition but remember, you are the one who is responsible for your wellness. Don’t run away from it, talk to someone you trust, easily win over this, and emerge as a winner!

 

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