Learn to manage work-related stress for more peaceful and productive days
Stress isn’t just a minor inconvenience. It’s a threat to our health, well-being, mindset, and personal and professional relationships. Its impact on our daily lives has the ability to eventually shape our sense of self and our perspective on the world around us.
Stress is, unfortunately, a universal experience. Everyone has an understanding of what that word means and the feelings of irritability, helplessness, or dread that so often accompany it, but not everybody is able to manage it effectively. Learning to identify triggers and mediate symptoms of stress can give you the awareness and ability to change your experience and environment in ways that add peace to your days and positivity to your life.
Reduce on-the-job tension
Workplace stress is all too common and represents a growing problem for both employees and employers in ways they may not even directly associate with the issue.
The biggest problem with work-related stress is that it often supersedes the nervous twinge of anxiety that accompanies an impending deadline – it’s often chronic, a relentless feeling of defeat and helplessness. The eventual results of persistent stress in the workplace include higher employee turnover, diminished productivity, more accidents, and increased absenteeism, which all contribute to larger issues such as poor customer service experiences and a potential loss of revenue.
It seems obvious that work can be stressful – it’s not called “play” for a reason, after all. However, it’s not just the concept of work that causes stress. The biggest contributors to workplace stress include the following:
- Difficulty with work-life balance
- Overwhelming workload
- Job-related social issues
- Lack of job security
The workplace can be a challenging environment for a multitude of reasons, and some stress is to be expected. If you’re constantly feeling anxious, depressed, irritable, or fatigued, it’s time to be proactive and incorporate more stress management into your daily routine.
Identify your biggest workplace issue, and devise a plan to add more peace to your workday. Potential stress relief techniques may include the following:
Increase physical activity
For many people, the last thing they want to hear when they’re stressed is that they should exercise. That doesn’t make it less true, though. Spending a lot of time at your desk can feel physically and mentally stifling.
You don’t have to incorporate a full CrossFit routine into your lunch break (although it’s not a bad idea), but do get up and go for a walk or make a quick trip up and down the stairs. If that’s not an option, stand behind your chair and do some gentle stretching.
Studies show that regular participation in aerobic activity can improve sleep and self-esteem, elevate and stabilize mood, and reduce tension, so whether it’s a 45-minute run on a treadmill each morning or a brisk 5-minute walk on your lunch break, regular exercise can have a positive impact that extends well beyond the workplace.
Make new friends
Sometimes just having someone to commiserate with can help improve your mood immensely. Put some effort into fostering healthy relationships with coworkers whose company you enjoy by inviting them out for lunch or on a walk during your break.
A study by Tel Aviv University claims that “workplace friendships can increase job satisfaction, productivity, and job commitment while decreasing stress and turnover.”
When you’re feeling stress, it’s easy to become overwhelmed and to actually contribute to your own chaos by making mistakes or not prioritizing properly. Take the time at the beginning of each day to make a to-do list in order of importance to help you use your time effectively.
At the end of the day, review anything left on the list and highlight action items to tackle tomorrow. You may feel that you don’t have the time to get organized, but doing so can make you feel more capable and productive in a way that will save time in the long run.
Identify tools that can help you achieve a better work-life balance. Virtual to-do lists, a well-organized calendar, a five-minute meditation app, or various productivity programs might help you gain some control in ways that will improve each day.
Also, consider outsourcing any personal chores that contribute to your overall stress level. Budgeting for housekeeping or laundry services, if possible, may add value in other areas of your life.
There is no one-size-fits-all solution to stress management, but both a good work-life balance and a healthy work environment can go a long way toward a life well lived and enjoyed. Take a critical look at your mood and mindset, and identify areas that you could improve upon in order to reduce stress and increase positivity.
LiveWell 1440 cares about you and your health. We create custom workplace health and wellness programs to ensure your office is full of happy and healthy employees. Contact us today to discuss the wellness program your employees need.