Stress Management in the Workplace
To be stress-free, you must take effective steps to ensure that varying stress levels are minimized over time. In addition, you must understand what stress is and how to manage it. There are many empirical studies surrounding the concept of stress, which we will explore in the next part of the article.
Understanding and Managing Stress In the Workplace
Holistically, experts define stress as a type of change that causes physical, emotional, and psychological strain. There are two types of stress- long-term and short-term. While the former might not have a huge impact since it goes away in a short time, the latter can go on for weeks and months. Therefore, it is vital to recognize the type of stress you are dealing with and take necessary actions accordingly.
When specifically talking about stress in the workplace, many empirical studies have shown that they are categorized as long-term stress. Moreover, the APA’s Annual Stress in American Survey has found that work is most Americans’ main reason for stress. Similarly, reports state workplace stress is common in transcending nationalities and borders. Here are some common sources of work stress:
- Low salary
- Few opportunities for career growth and development
- Excessive workloads and unrealistic goals
- Unclear performance expectations
- Work isn’t engaging or demanding
Exertion or over-stress can affect your mental well-being and physical health too. It can lead to a psychological syndrome known as burnout. Some warning signs of burnout are exhaustion, cynicism, and a sense of inefficacy. More than that, other work-related stressors are linked with burnout. Some common causes of burnout can be categorized as having too much work or too little independence, inadequate pay, and a lack of community between coworkers.
Meanwhile, long-term exposure to stress can lead to mental issues. A study conducted showed a direct relationship between burnout and depression. Besides physical health, the high-stress level can disturb the immune system, resulting in the increased risk of diseases like cardiovascular problems, Alzheimer’s, and others.
Now that you know the sources of work stress in the workplace and how it affects a person’s mental and physical well-being, let’s explore different stress management techniques. In the next part of the article, we will discuss different ways to manage stress at work.
What Are Effective Strategies For Stress Management In The Workplace?
Everyone can benefit from learning coping mechanisms to handle stress in the workplace. Below, we list some effective strategies for stress management in the workplace; read on:
With the current business milieu concentrating on deadlines and priorities, the emphasis on organizing your work schedule is important. More than increasing productivity and efficiency, it helps in providing clarity. It also helps evaluate your role in an organization that helps strategize priorities, personal goals and strengths.
Relaxation helps tackle the psychological effects of stress and burnout. For instance, progressive muscle relaxation is a strategy that helps reduce muscle tension and anxiety by sitting comfortably with your eyes closed. Many other relaxation strategies help in managing stress at work.
If we go by definition, mindfulness is the practice of concentrating on the present moment with curiosity and openness. However, being stressed can make you anxious about the past, and leave you worrying about the future. If it continues for longer, it can lead to burnout. Therefore, you can cultivate mindfulness skills through guided meditation, exercises like mindful walking, etc.
Problem-solving is a skill that enhances your productivity. However, it helps you be calm, patient, and resilient in stressful situations. Moreover, having excellent problem-solving skills teach you how to solve every roadblock.
You are surrounded by many disruptions daily, from instant messages to call pop-ups to deadlines. These disruptions can interrupt your day and lead to a lack of concentration. Therefore, eliminating them from your workday can enhance your chances of reducing stress or burnout in the long run.
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