Everyone has a certain tolerance level when it comes to stress. Too little daily activities can lead to boredom, but too many activities or challenges may cause stress and lead to health problems. Some of the common physical symptoms of stress are fatigue, headaches, muscle tension, loss of appetite, overeating, diarrhea, constipation, tachycardia, hypertension and inability to sleep. Aside from these, stress can also lead to psychological problems, such as inability to concentrate, forgetfulness, irritability, frustration, anger, anxiety and depression. Anyone can have different combination of symptoms. It is very important to manage stress at work in order to maintain a balance between life and work.
Stress Management in the Workplace
Know the cause of your stress
The first thing to do is to find out what triggers your stress. Once you are able to identify this, analyze it and think of a way to prevent this from causing you stress. A good way to manage stress well at work is to find out how to avoid or tackle your triggers. For example, if you are behind at work because you need to go home early to pick up your daughter in school, you try looking for a carpool for your child or going to work earlier to finish what’s left undone.
Manage your time
Time management is very important to get things done without the unnecessary stress. Set realistic goals with your colleagues to meet deadlines. You can also make a priority list. Check on this from time to time to know what should be done first. You might also want to make a to-do list and chop large tasks into smaller tasks. A saturated to-do list can get a lot of things done but it can also be overwhelming. A to-do list with the three most important tasks for the day will be enough.
Take a break
Another tip for stress management in the workplace is to keep your perspective. Taking a break from time to time can be very helpful.
Try talking to your colleagues about some issues you are experiencing. Talking about your stress alone can also be a breath of fresh air.
You can take advantage of coffee breaks to refresh your mind or maybe go to a short vacation once in a while.
You should also have an outlet like pursuing your hobby. Don’t forget to eat right and have enough sleep.
Spend quality time with your love
At some point, you will feel disconnected with your loved ones because you are always in front of the computer trying to finish some more work. This can be very stressful not only to you but also to those who care about you. Set some quality time for them and turn the business phone off. This time should be devoted only for you and for your loved ones.
Improve emotional intelligence
There are 5 skills involved in emotional intelligence. Hone your skills and boost your emotional intelligence to alleviate your stress at work:
Stay connected to your internal emotional experience: You must know your own emotions in order to get motivated, understand your needs, understand yourself, understand others and communicate clearly with others. Whether it is anger, anxiety, fear or joy, recognizing your emotions will help with your stress management in the workplace.
Recognize and effectively use nonverbal cues and body language: Communication is not only about the words you utter, but also involves nonverbal actions or body language. The person you are talking to can tell if you are truly sincere with what you are saying via your body language. Some of these are eye contact, facial expressions, tone of voice, posture and gesture, touch, timing and pace.
Know when you're stressed: Accepting that you are stressed is a good way to actually relieve stress. As this would let you subconsciously deal and cope with it.
Stand up to challenges with humor: A good laugh can re-balance nervous system. It is a natural remedy for life’s challenges.
Resolve conflict positively: Another tip for stress management in the workplace is having the ability to resolve conflicts positively in order to have stronger relationships. Conflicts with colleagues are never as bad as you thought.
Break bad habits
Avoid perfectionism: Don’t be and never be hard on yourself. Set realistic goals and do your best to achieve them. No one has ever said that you should be a perfect employee.
Lighten the mood: When you and your office mates take things seriously, stress can easily hop in. Use humor appropriately to lighten the mood in your workplace. By sharing a funny joke, you can ease the stress and avoid the gloomy atmosphere in your office.
Avoid negative thinking: Look at your job positively and don’t forget to give yourself a pat on your shoulder for a job well-done. Avoid negative-thinking colleagues.
Let loose: Another tip on stress management in the workplace is to accept that there are things you cannot control, including the attitude of your co-workers. Use your energy on things you can control such as the way you react to problems.
Say “No”: Trying to please everybody and always accepting tasks you know you cannot finish on time will surely lead to stress. Learn to say no if you really think your to-do list is already full. You can do this by explaining politely why you cannot accept the task.
Foster a healthy lifestyle
Eat healthy foods: Foods that are rich with preservatives can only worsen your anxiety. Eat fruits and vegetables especially the green ones. Nourishing your body with the right nutrients will prepare you for whatever challenges that you will have to face at work.
Regular exercise can release endorphins or happy hormones. When you feel stressed, get some physical exercise, like running, walking or even dancing. Taking some deep breaths can also help you relax.
Get enough sleep: You are more prone to stress when you lack sleep. Make sure to haveeight hours of sleep at night, which will help you think clearly and boost your intelligence. Having enough sleep is a great tool in stress management in the workplace.
Be creative: When was the last time you pursued a new hobby? Remember how creative you were as a kid? Remember how much fun and joy it gave you? Get some colorful pens, paper and scissors, and let that child in you show his creativity.
Be thankful: Things may not go with our plans and these situations cannot be avoided. Instead of feeling frustrated, be thankful of small good things that happened within the day.
Pray: No matter what your religion is, don’t forget to call on your spiritual roots to give you the wisdom and strength to cope up in this fast-paced world. Calling on the good Lord or Allah will definitely give you the right perspective and relieve that baggage of yours.
Try meditation: Regular meditation even for just five minutes a day can relieve you from stress. Meditation can also help lower blood pressure. So each time your boss gives you a seemingly impossible deadline, just sit back, take a few deep breaths, meditate and shake it off.