How to deal with workplace stress? The first step is to realise that a plan to cope with work pressure is an essential in today’s world.
Why? Stress can undermine the achievement of goals, both for individuals and for organisations. That’s why it is as important for you as it is for your employer to tackle this as a priority.
Let’s take a closer look…
What Is Stress?
Stress has been defined in different ways over the years. Originally, it was conceived of as a pressure from the environment, then as a strain within the person. The generally accepted definition today is one of interaction between the situation and the individual. It is the psychological and physical state that results when the resources of the individual are not sufficient to cope with the demands of the situation.
What Causes Workplace Stress?
The workplace is an important source of both demands and pressures causing stress, and structural and social resources to counteract stress. Learning how to deal with stress at the workplace is vital.
General Job Related Factors
Workplace factors that have been found to be associated with stress and health risks can be categorised as those relevant with the content of work. In addition, there are also those to do with the social and organisational context of work.
Those that are intrinsic to the job include long hours, work overload, time pressure, difficult or complex tasks, lack of breaks, lack of variety, and poor physical work conditions (for example, space, temperature, light).
Role Related Factors
Unclear work or conflicting roles and boundaries can cause stress, as well as being in charge of people. The possibilities for job development are important buffers against current stress, with under promotion, lack of training, and job insecurity being stressful.
There are two other sources of stress, or buffers against stress: relationships at work, and the organisational culture. Managers who are critical, demanding, discouraging, or bullying create stress. Meanwhile, a positive social dimension of work and good team spirit reduces it.
An organisational culture of unpaid overtime causes stress. On the other hand, a culture of involving people in decisions, keeping them informed about what is happening in the organisation, and providing good amenities and recreation facilities reduce stress.
Organisational change, especially when consultation has been inadequate, is a huge source of stress. Such changes include merging, relocation, restructuring or “downsizing”, individual contracts, and redundancies within the organisation.
Work Vs Home: Conflict Stress
Increasingly, the demands on the individual in the workplace reach out into the homes and social lives of employees. Long, uncertain, or unfriendly hours, are all causes of such conflict. Cases of working away from home, taking tasks home, high levels of responsibility, make this even worse.
On top of that, rotational-based jobs and multiple job relocation may adversely affect family responsibilities and leisure activities. This is likely to undermine a good and relaxing quality of life outside work, which is an important buffer against the stress caused by work.
In addition, domestic pressures such as: childcare responsibilities, financial worries, bereavement, and housing problems may affect a person’s resilience at work. Thus, a vicious cycle is set up in where an individual feels trapped.
How to Spot Stress?
As much as work stress is a common phenomenon, it’s relatively difficult to spot. This is mostly because some of the sufferers experience it on daily basis, so it becomes the normal. However, there are common signs to look out for. If you suspect you may be feeling “off” for a while, seek help on how to deal with stress.
1. Relaxation Headaches
We became so accustomed to stress that the lack of it can cause actual physical pain. In other words, when you experience a sudden drop in stress levels, you may get a migraine. This is why this kind of headache is often referred to as the “weekend headache”.
2. Sore Jaw
A sore jaw can be a sign of teeth grinding, which usually occurs during sleep and can get worse when you’re stressed out. Ask your dentist about a nighttime mouth guard—up to 70% of people who use one reduce or stop grinding altogether. Of course, this isn’t a ‘how to deal with workplace stress’ solution, but it does alleviate a serious symptom.
Dreams usually get progressively more positive as you sleep, so you wake up in a better mood than you were in when you went to bed. But when you’re stressed, you wake up more often; disrupting this process and allowing unpleasant imagery to recur all night.
4. Bleeding Gums
According to a Brazilian analysis of 14 studies, stressed-out people have a higher risk of periodontal disease. Chronically elevated levels of the stress hormone cortisol may impair the immune system and allow bacteria to invade the gums, say researchers.
Stress increases the inflammation that leads to breakouts and adult acne. Soften your skin with a lotion containing skin-sloughing Salicylic acid. You can also use a moisturiser to protect your skin from dryness. If your stressed-out skin doesn’t respond to treatment within a few weeks, see your doctor for more potent medications.
A Japanese study of more than 2,000 people found that those with chronic itch (known as Pruritis) were twice as likely to be stressed out as those without the condition. Although an annoying itch problem can certainly cause stress, experts say it’s likely that feeling anxious or tense also aggravates underlying conditions like Dermatitis, Eczema, and Psoriasis.
Anxiety and stress can cause stomach-aches, along with headaches, backaches, and insomnia. One study of 1,953 persons found that those experiencing the highest levels of stress were three times more likely to have abdominal pain compared to their relaxed counterparts.
How to Deal with Stress in The Workplace?
Present day workers are interrupted about seven times an hour and diverted up to 2.1 hours per day. This might be the reason over 40% of grown-ups say they lie alert during the evening tormented by the unpleasant occasions of the day. All these statistics indicate the imminent need to learn how to deal with stress.
Track Your Sources of Stress
Keep a diary for up to 14 days to distinguish which circumstances put the most pressure and how you react to them. Record your thoughts and emotions during those situations. Include the persons, the physical setting and how you responded. Did you raise your voice? Got a snack from the vending machine? Went for a walk?
Taking notes can enable you to discover patterns of sources of stress and help you control your reactions.
Develop Solid Reactions
Rather than trying to battle worry with fast food or alcohol, do your best to settle on solid decisions when you feel the pressure rise. Exercise is an extraordinary pressure buster. Yoga can be a phenomenal decision; however, any type of physical movement is useful.
Additionally, set aside a few minutes for diversions and favourite hobbies. Regardless of whether it’s perusing a novel, going to shows, or playing recreations with your family, make a point to set aside time for the things that bring you delight.
Getting enough great quality rest is likewise imperative for successful pressure administration. Fabricate solid rest habits by restricting your caffeine allow late in the day and limiting empowering exercises, for example, PC and TV use, at night.
In the present advanced world, it’s anything but difficult to feel strain to be accessible 24 hours per day. Build up some work-life limits for yourself. That may mean making a rule not to browse email from home at night, or not picking up the telephone during meals.
In spite of the fact that individuals have distinctive approaches with regards to the amount they mix their work and home life, making some reasonable limits between these domains can decrease the potential for work-life strife and the pressure that runs with it.
Take Time to Energise
To keep away from the negative impacts of endless pressure and burnout, you require time to renew and come back to yourself. This recuperation needs “turning off” from work by having time frames when you are neither taking part in business matters, nor considering work.
That’s why it’s important that you disengage every now and then; in a way that suits you best. Try not to squander your days off. Whenever possible, unwind and loosen up, so you return to work feeling revived and prepared. This will improve your performance.
Learn How to Unwind
Meditation can help dissolve away pressure.
Begin by taking a couple of minutes every day to centre around a straightforward action like breathing, strolling, or getting a charge out of a dinner. The ability of having the capacity to centre deliberately around a solitary movement without diversion will become more grounded with training. You’ll see that you can apply it to a wide range of parts of your life.
Talk to Your Boss
Your manager has good reason to create welfare in the workplace. Begin by having an open discussion with your line manager.
For example, one arrangement could be rolling out improvements to your physical work-space to diminish strain.
Get Some Help
Seeking assistance from trusted loved ones can enhance your capacity to oversee pressure. Your manager may even have access to support such as online courses.
In the event that you continue to feel overpowered by work pressure, you might benefit from the help of a professional, who’ll give you insight on how to deal with stress and change undesirable conduct.
Summary: Reach Out to Others to Tackle Workplace Pressure
Work related stress is a big deal, and cause serious problems, both physically and psychologically. Learning how to deal with stress both at work and at home, has become a necessity rather than a handy skill.
Next time you’re in the office take time to assess and manage your stress levels. The benefits to you AND your employer are huge.
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