Each one of us goes through some form of stress, in our everyday work schedule, it can be anything from meeting an urgent deadline to being overloaded with tasks too difficult to manage. Any job can entail work-related pressure, even if you love your work, and that’s the catch, short term pressures can be handled, but when it morphs into chronic stress, it can become a real difficulty affecting you both physically and mentally.
Factors Triggering Work-Related Stress
- Excessive workload.
- Inadequate salary.
- Lack of social support.
- Poor ergonomics. See our office ergonomics guide for employee well-being.
- Unclear output expectations.
- Lack of transparency within the organization.
- Conflicting instructions and expectations.
- Not enough opportunities for growth and development.
- Not enough control over job-related decisions.
- Monotonous work i.e., not challenging or engaging.
Learn more about Stress at Work and Ways to Manage it
How does uncontrolled stress affect your health?
Work-related stress doesn’t just go away when you head home, the effects can be felt, both in personal and professional life.
A stressful work environment can result in issues like headaches, unproductivity, sleep disorders, irritability, etc.
Chronic stress can contribute to issues like anxiety, depression, insomnia, obesity, heart disorders, high blood pressure, a weakened immune system, etc.
How to Tackle and Reframe a Stressful situation at work?
Recall the moment of stress to reflect upon it
The last thing you would want to do is recall a profound moment from earlier in the day and relive it in some form. However, this has a tremendous effect on rewiring your response system, helping you adapt better to uncomfortable situations. Recall what had transpired and thought of it in this way, for ex., you had a confrontation with your supervisor, yes, there was a little reprimand, and I had to confront, but the whole scenario led you towards compassionate directness, making you more comfortable to adapt to such scenarios in the future, as you have already faced it once.
De catastrophize by thinking of the worst-case scenario
People who have the habit of focusing on what could go wrong, instead of what could go right, as with most people, this cognitive restricting technique will help you in managing situations seeming too difficult to handle, mostly in your head. Think of the worst-case scenario that can happen in the given situation, and ruminate on how you can cope with it. When you think of steps or solutions objectively, you will realize it wasn’t that bad, in the first place, as it had seemed earlier.
Focus on the why of complex tasks
Being overburdened with tasks we consider too challenging to handle, often puts us in an uncomfortable spot, stressing us out. So, instead of mulling over the intricacies, try focusing on the, why, next time, i.e., how the challenging task in hand will help you as an individual and your company as a whole. Take a moment to remind yourself of the significance of your work, it will help you find a greater sense of meaning and motivation in what you do.
Track your stressors and develop a healthy response
Identify situations that triggered stress for you and how you reacted to it. Was it a confrontation, or you had spent your day worrying over the issue? Keeping track of what puts you off at work will give you time to help plan your responses accordingly.
Take out time to recharge
It could be anything, from reading a book, working out, spending time with your family, listening to music, spending time with friends, meditation, or just quietly sitting in a corner. Do more of what recharges you, to help you cope better with work-related stress. Also, your sleeping pattern affects your cognitive functioning keeping you calm, so make sure that you are sleeping well. In case if the situation gets too aggravated, don’t hesitate to consult with an appropriate person, either your supervisor or a health consultant.
Stress is a by-product today of our roller-coaster lifestyles. Handling it well will not only make you professionally more adaptive but also keep you healthy and well, body and mind.