18 Brilliant Ways People Deal With Stress at the Office
We all know that a little stress is a good thing because it gets us moving. A little stress stimulates the brain, which gets the body revved up, and that makes us more alert and productive. Of course, too much stress for too long is detrimental to our health and can lead to serious mental and physiological issues, including anxiety, depression, heart attacks or death. For many people, job stress is the biggest contributor to these levels of anxiety.
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) describes job stress as “the harmful physical and emotional responses that occur when the requirements of the job do not match the capabilities, resources, or needs of the worker. Stress also occurs when the situation has high demands and the worker has little or no control. Job stress can lead to poor health and injury.”
So the next question is: Are you reducing stress at work? Not often enough, if you can believe the research. Statistic Brain conducted a 2017 survey about stress and these are the stress impact results for those studied:
- Percent of people who regularly experience physical symptoms caused by stress—77 %
- Regularly experience psychological symptoms caused by stress—73 %
- Feel they are living with extreme stress—33 %
- Feel their stress has increased over the past five years—48 %
- Cited money and work as the leading cause of their stress—76 %
- Reported lying awake at night due to stress—48 %
It’s estimated that American businesses lose approximately $300 billion a year in wages from workers who can’t work due to stress-related issues. According to the Statistic Brain study, some of these issues are:
- Fatigue—51 %
- Headache—44 %
- Upset stomach—34 %
- Muscle tension—30 %
- Change in appetite—23 %
- Teeth grinding—17 %
- Feeling dizzy—13 %
Do not wait until stress leads you to burnout, the unemployment line … or worse. Take steps now to restore your positive attitude.
- Put things in perspective and look at the big picture rather than the immediate situation
- Modify your job by delegating or removing some of your responsibilities, working part-time from home, or seeking a different position in the same company
- Set boundaries. Give yourself a deadline for when to leave the office and stick to it, even if you didn’t accomplish everything you intended to do.
- Surround yourself with comfort objects, like family photos or your kids’ artwork, that help you remember the big picture and make you smile
- Exercise, even a simple brisk walk during lunch. Physical exertion reduces stress and clears your mind
- Take care of yourself by getting enough sleep, eating healthy foods, drinking plenty of water, and spending quality time with family and friends
- Get away, for a short break or a longer vacation; find quiet time to relax
- Get organized. Control the clutter, organize your workspace, or clean up your calendar
- Set priorities and do first things first. Use checklists to manage your tasks
- Save your strength for the big moments. Do not waste too much energy on the small stuff
- Seek adequate feedback regarding expectations and performance
- Talk with someone you trust who will just listen or will give you constructive feedback and suggestions
- Build relationships at work so you know you have people to depend on when you need help, and who know you will be there to help them, too
- Apply your sense of humor
- Have realistic expectations and don’t expect too much too fast
- Do not be a perfectionist. Do the best you can and let that be good enough.
- Keep a positive attitude and reward yourself for small accomplishments
- Avoid negative people. Surround yourself with people who share your values and your work ethic and who make you laugh.