How To Overcome Workplace Stress

No matter how much you love what you are doing in the office, you can fall victim to workplace stress. Every job has its stressful elements from meeting deadlines to reaching sales quotas. Work-related stress will most likely always be part of your corporate life. Learning how to overcome workplace stress is vital as it can become harmful to your physical and emotional health.

A recent survey has revealed that employee stress levels have risen nearly 20% in three decades. Also, 76% of respondents said that workplace stress negatively impacted their personal relationships. 66% have lost sleep due to work-related stress. And 16% have quit jobs because they were overwhelmed by the stress.

Stress isn’t always bad. It can help you stay focused, energetic, and able to cope with challenges in the workplace. Stress is what keeps you on your toes during a presentation or alert to prevent accidents or costly mistakes. However, the workplace has become an emotional roller coaster for a lot of employees. When workplace stress has become chronic and has exceeded their ability to cope, overcoming workplace stress becomes crucial to ensure job satisfaction and performance.

Fortunately, there is something you can do to make workplace stress manageable. When it starts to interfere with your work performance, health, or personal life, it’s time to do something and take action. In this article, we shall delve on the following topics:

  1. What is Workplace Stress?
  2. Warning Signs of Workplace Stress
  3. Types of Workplace Stress
  4. Common Workplace Stressors

What is Workplace Stress?

According to the Stress in America survey by the American Psychological Association (APA), the workplace is one of the most significant sources of stress to most Americans. There are certain factors that can cause work-related stress. Long hours, tight deadlines, and other demands that can cause you to feel worried, drained, and overwhelmed.

There are some situations that you cannot control in the workplace but it doesn’t mean you cannot do something about them. If you already find yourself in a difficult situation, you can take steps in reducing workplace stress levels and get back control of your work.

Warning Signs of Workplace Stress

1. Putting On Weight

2. Feeling Degraded

On the other hand, if you are being degraded and your efforts are not being recognized, it can lead to frustration, depression, and you will feel undervalued.

3. Losing Interest in Your Spouse

4. Taking a Sick Day

5. Prone to Insomnia

6. Short Temper

7. No work-life balance

Types of Workplace Stress

Our jobs allow you to feed yourself and your family, pay bills, and get what you want and need. However, too much workplace stress can negatively impact your health. Here are the common types of workplace stress and how you can deal with them:

Time Stress

How To Manage Time Stress

With time stress, you need to manage your time and set your priorities straight. Filter your tasks so you can determine the ones you need to prioritize. You can use the Eisenhower Matrix for this. Here’s how the matrix goes:

  • Do First. Tasks in this category should be prioritized first. Anything placed in this category should be done as soon as you are able and not later than the day after tomorrow.
  • Schedule. These are the important but no so urgent tasks. It could be a scheduled meeting or an article with a set deadline.
  • Delegate. Tasks in this category may not be important but still urgent. It could be a follow-up call to a client or a request for your presence for a presentation. These are tasks that you can transfer to people you can trust.
  • Don’t do. These are tasks that are either important nor urgent. You can do these tasks when you have nothing else to do or don’t do them at all.

Anticipatory Stress

How To Deal with Anticipatory Stress

  • Be Positive. The best way to manage anticipatory stress is to not allow fear to overcome you. Seeing a positive light in outcomes can help by cutting off the negative stream of thinking. Practicing meditation and calming yourself down can also be helpful in preventing stress.
  • Be Prepared. Face the unknown and tackle it head on by visualizing both the best and worst-case scenario. If you anticipate something bad in the future, prepare for it and formulate back-up plans that you can employ.
  • Be Brave. Anticipatory stress is the result of thought failure. In order to combat failure, prepare yourself and visualize possible obstacles in your path. Take them as a challenge and see it as an opportunity for learning and growth.

Situational Stress

Maybe it’s a time when there was a sudden conflict and you are caught in the middle. It could also be the time when your boss is suddenly mocking you in front of your co-workers.

Coping with Situational Stress

Every individual reacts to situational stress differently. You can act based on behavior or how automatic responses work in certain situations. When conflict suddenly arises, you can either join the conflict or back away.

  • Be Self-Aware. Being aware of yourself, your actions, and with everything around you. Self-awareness will help you think of a solution despite the stress you are feeling.
  • Be Calm. Keep your cool and use your head instead of your temper or emotions. Staying calm will let you assess the situation before doing something that can affect you negatively, your reputation, or your job.
  • Be Patient. Be patient by hearing both sides of the conflict before making a decision on the resolution. Meet them halfway in order to come up with a peaceful end to it. If your boss is the one causing situational stress, hear him out before reacting.

Encounter Stress

Handling Your Encounter Stress

  • Practice People Skills. To be successful with managing a lot of people, improve or master your people skills. You should have confidence ininteracting with people to have control of the situation. You can stay calm with the knowledge that you can handle any problems that will come your way.
  • Be Emphatic. Understanding another person from their point of view is called empathy. By putting yourself in someone else’s shoes, you can understand them deeper and feel what they are feeling without being judgmental. This way, you can avoid possible conflict and at the same time strengthen relationships.
  • Breathe. During stressful situations, it is a good practice to breathe. Deep breathing has the ability to reduce stress levels in your body. It signals your brain to calm down and the brain relays the message all over the body.

Common Workplace Stressors

In order to learn how to overcome workplace stress, you need to have an idea on what causes the stress in the first place. Here are 7 of the most common workplace stressors.

Workload

Talk to management if there are any conflicts with the deadlines, responsibilities, or any overload. Share how you will handle them. Ask for any help when you cannot resolve prioritization conflicts.

Unrealistic Demands

If management won’t budge to your demands, do your best. Don’t be hard on yourself for not being able to meet unrealistic demands. If you need to justify yourself, focus on the facts and not your feelings.

Organizational Change

During the organizational change, try to understand the change as completely as you can. Focus on what it could mean for the organization and at your level within the company. If management has changed, find some time to meet your new manager. Offer your skills and personal situations with your new boss. Ask your new manager about their expectations, style, and next steps.

Have an open mind and be forward looking. Change can be something positive. Plus,look for opportunities rather than delve on the threats associated with the new environment.

Career and job ambiguity

Lack of recognition

Poor interpersonal relationships

If you find it difficult to get along with more than one person, think of how they perceive you. Are you showing genuine concern for others? Do you give in to negative thought patterns? If others see you as too emotional, practice better management of emotions. This will allow you to better identify the message they are trying to tell you and address the problem, not the emotion.

Harassment

If you feel bullied or harassed, take the necessary steps to protect yourself. Put everything in black and white. Share it with the proper person in your company. Get moral support from your social network. Maintain a positive outlook and always look after yourself. If the situation does not improve, have a ready exit plan.

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