Managing Workplace Stress

Managing Workplace Stress

The word stress stresses many people out. The truth of the matter is, deadlines and crisis are facts of life sometimes. At work, things pop up that need to be dealt with right away. It is to be expected – sometimes. However, when stress levels continue to climb and no end is in sight, your health can be negatively affected in the form of high blood pressure, migraines, tense muscles, clenching teeth, over/under eating and/or drug or alcohol abuse.

Therefore, when the stress starts creeping up (which can be identified by you biting your pencil in half), it is important to learn how regain some control. Below are some tips to reducing stress in the workplace:

Recognize the Signs

  • Feeling anxious, irritable, or depressed
  • Apathy, loss of interest in work
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Muscle tension or headaches
  • Stomach problems

Take Care of Yourself

  • Exercise
  • Eat Healthy
  • Good night’s sleep
  • Seek support from friends/coworkers

Prioritize and Organize

  • Balance your schedule between work and play
  • Don’t over-commit yourself by taking on more tasks than you can handle
  • Leave earlier in the morning for work to avoid rushing
  • Plan regular breaks to avoid burn out and to recharge your batteries
  • Prioritize tasks by making lists of tasks by importance
  • Break projects into small steps and focus on one manageable step at a time, rather than taking on everything at once
  • Delegate responsibility if other people can take care of the task – let them
  • Be willing to compromise by finding a happy middle ground that reduces the stress levels for everyone

Improve Emotional Intelligence

  • Realize when you’re stressed and become familiar with sensual cues that can rapidly calm and energize you
  • Stay connected to your internal emotional experience so you can appropriately manage your own emotions
  • Recognize and effectively use nonverbal cues and body language
  • Develop the capacity to meet challenges with humor
  • Resolve conflict positively

Break Bad Habits

  • Resist perfectionism – No project, situation, or decision is ever perfect, so trying to attain perfection on everything will simply add unnecessary stress to your day
  • Clean up your act – If you’re always running late, set your clocks and watches fast and give yourself extra time
  • Flip your negative thinking – If you see the downside of every situation and interaction, you’ll find yourself drained of energy and motivation
  • Don’t try to control the uncontrollable – Many things at work are beyond our control. Focus on the things you can control – like your reaction to an uncontrollable situation

(information gathered from