Coping with Stress in the Workplace
With the rapid advancement of technology, the stresses faced at work have also increased. Many people dread going to work, hence the term “Monday Blues”. What is the reason for this? There is partly the fear from being retrenched in bad times, leading to greater job insecurity on the part of those who remain. Undoubtedly, occupational stress is one of the most commonly cited stressors faced by people all over the world.
Stress refers to the pressure and reactions to our environment which results in psychological and physical reactions. Whilst some stress is good for motivation and increasing efficiency, too much stress can result in negative impacts such as reduced effectiveness and efficiency. More and more people are feeling isolated and disrespected at work, and this has led to greater occupational stress. Many companies have taken to consulting experts and professionals on ways to increase connectedness and motivation of their employees.
Some companies organize parties and make their employees feel valued at work. These are measures to motivate employees and help them to feel secure at their jobs, translating into greater productivity. However, not all companies have such measures in place, and some have not gotten it quite right. Hence, it is up to you to make sure that you can cope with stress at your workplace, and use it to help you work better. Here are 3 simple steps to help you with coping with stress in the workplace.
Step #1: Raising Awareness
Help yourself to identify when you are facing rising levels of stress, tipping the scales from positive to negative. This is important, as being able to identify signs of being stressed can help you to take steps to ensure that your overall quality of life does not drop. If left unacknowledged, the problem will only snowball, leading to disastrous consequences to your health and overall wellbeing.
You can identify if you are feeling stressed by checking if you have any physical or psychological reactions, such as excessive sweating or heart palpitations, or the onset of headaches, irritability or the need to escape. If you experience any of these reactions, identify if you are feeling any overwhelming negative emotions, and if you are constantly worried.
Step #2: Identify the Cause
You need to be able to analyze the situation and identify what is causing the rise in stress. These stressors can be external and internal. External stressors refer to things beyond your control, such as the environment or your colleagues at work. Internal stressors refer to your own thinking and attitude. Often, we only start reacting to stress when a combination of stressors working together exceeds our ability to cope.
Keep a diary or a list of events that have caused you to feel strong negative emotions, or that are likely stressors. This will help you to identify the causes of your stress. Whilst it is not always possible to eradicate them, we can change the way that we cope with it.
Step #3: Coping with Stress
In order to deal with the situation that is causing you stress, you need to calm your mind and body so as to stave off the reactions and cope with it in a positive way. This can be through different methods, such as taking time off. If a situation is triggering your stress and you are unable to calm down, remove yourself from it. Go outside and take a walk to calm down. Alternatively, you can try implementing relaxation techniques such as deep breathing. If it is an internal stressor, stop your thought process until you are able to deal with it logically.
The key to making these 3 steps work for you is to practice them. These are not instantaneous solutions, and you need to condition your mind and practice them so that you can implement it when you are feeling stressed.