Stress at Work: How to Manage It and Reduce Its Negative Impact

Work Stress

Do you feel stressed at work? If so, you’re not alone. A recent study found that stress is the number one health problem in the workplace. It can lead to a variety of negative consequences, including decreased productivity, increased absenteeism, and even physical illness. In this blog post, we will discuss stress at work, its symptoms, causes, its consequences, and some solutions to manage it effectively. We will also provide some tips for reducing its negative impact on your life.

Work And StressWork And Stress

Stress is the body’s response to any demand. It can be caused by both good and bad experiences. When people feel stressed, they may feel anxious, irritable, or angry. Out of different types, Work-related stress is the most common today.

In today’s fast-paced society, the workplace sometimes seems to be a roller coaster of emotions. Work stress is a global problem that affects not just employees’ health and well-being, but also their productivity. Work-related stress occurs when the demands of various types and combinations exceed a person’s capacity and capabilities to cope.

Long hours, tight deadlines, and ever-increasing requirements might leave you feeling anxious, drained, and fatigued. And when stress becomes too much for you to handle, it no longer aids your productivity but instead has negative consequences on your mind and body.

Symptoms

Excessive stress at work manifests itself in a variety of ways, including:

  • Increased anger and withdrawal when you are overwhelmed at work.
  • Feeling tense, irritable, or sad
  • Disinterest, a lack of motivation to work
  • Sleeping difficulties
  • physical or mental tiredness
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Headache or tightness in the muscles
  • Stomach issues
  • Isolating oneself
  • The loss of interest in sex
  • Addiction to alcohol or drugs.

CausesCauses Of Work And Stress

Workplace stress is a common problem, and it may be caused by a variety of factors. The following are some examples of the most frequent causes of work stress:

  • Fear of losing one’s job: In today’s economy, job insecurity is a major source of stress for many workers. If you’re worried about losing your job, it can be difficult to focus on your work and be productive.
  • The demands of the job: If your job is very demanding, it can be stressful. For example, if you have a lot of responsibilities or tight deadlines, you may feel overwhelmed.
  • Poor working conditions: If your workplace is uncomfortable or unsafe, it can add to your stress level. For example, if you don’t have enough workspace or you’re exposed to hazardous materials, it can be tough to stay calm and focused on your work.
  • Staff Reduction: Due to staff reductions, there will be more overtime required which can lead to stress at the workplace. You are supposed to complete the work with fewer people which will make your job tiresome and hectic.
  • The higher pressure of performing well: With higher pressure to perform and no rise in job satisfaction, you may be under a lot of stress. This can include long hours, unrealistic deadlines, and a lack of support from management or your co-workers.
  • Lack Of Self Control: You don’t have complete control over how you do your job. This may happen due to company changes or because you report to someone difficult to please. When you don’t have control, it can be frustrating and stressful.

These are some of the causes which may give rise to work stress. One needs to be cautious if he/she sees any of the above risk elements during work.

Consequences

When stress is not kept in check, individuals and businesses may experience the following:

Effects On Employees

Employees may suffer through

  • Physical body problems such as disruption in sleeping patterns, headaches, irregular blood pressure, and cardiovascular disease.
  • the emotional or sentimental issues which may lead to anxiety, depression, and fragile sentiments.
  • Intellectual imbalance such as loss of focus, lack of appreciation, inability to think deeply, memory problems, and bad decisions.
  • Behavioral instability which includes addiction to drugs and alcohol, inappropriate reactions, solitude, and unpunctuality

Effects on Organization

  • Frequent absences
  • High employee turnover
  • Inefficiency and ineffectiveness
  • Low morale
  • Poor motivation
  • Increased address of employees’ grievances
  • Increased ill-health, accidents reports

The above mentioned are some major consequences which both employees and organizations have to face if work stress is at its peak.

Solutions

For every problem, there exists a solution. It’s the individual who needs to search for it. Likewise, there are many solutions available to heal from work stress. Some major beneficial tips are explained below:

Engage With Your CoworkersEngage With Your Coworkers

Sometimes, all you need is to discuss your stress with someone close to you. The act of talking things through and getting support and compassion from others—particularly face-to-face—can be highly efficient to regain your composure. They don’t have to “fix” your difficulties; they simply need to be a great listener.

  • Seek assistance from your coworkers: Having a strong work support system may help you weather the harmful effects of job stress. Remember to listen to them and offer assistance when they need it, as well. If you don’t have a close friend at work, you can make an effort to be more social with your coworkers. Instead of focusing on your smartphone while you take a break, try engaging your staff by discussing something interesting.
  • Lean on your pals: Having a large network of happy friends is significant to managing stress in all areas of your life, not just at work. On the other hand, being more lonely and disconnected makes you more susceptible to stress.
  • Make new satisfying friendships: It’s never too late to make new friends if you don’t feel like you have anyone to turn to at work or in your spare time. Take a class or join a club, or volunteer your time, to meet new individuals with similar interests. Helping others—particularly those who are grateful—is both wonderful and beneficial, and it may help considerably reduce tension

Engaging with your colleagues makes you feel socially accepted. It gives you a feeling of affection and closeness. You can share your problems with them as they can understand your situation clearly. As they are also working in the same organization, they can help you with a fine solution as well.

Do Regular ExerciseDo regular exercise

It’s all too easy to lose track of your physical health when you’re overly focused on work. When you eat well and exercise you’ll be more powerful and resilient to stress. Taking care of yourself doesn’t necessitate a complete lifestyle makeover. Even minor things may boost your mood, energy, and sense of control. Make time for regular exercise such as:

  • Aerobic exercise and any activity that raises your heart rate and makes you sweat is a highly effective method for lifting your mood, boosting energy, sharpening attention, and relaxing both the mind and body. Rhythmic movement, such as walking, jogging, dancing, drumming, etc., is especially therapeutic for the nervous system. On most days, try to get at least 30 minutes of activity. If it’s easier to fit it into your schedule in smaller parts, that’s fine.
  • When work stress is getting to you, go for a short walk and get out of the stressful situation. If at all possible, go for a stroll outside your workplace. Getting up and moving around may help you regain perspective.

Doing physical activities regularly will make you energetic and active. Those who exercise regularly have a good focus on work. Such people remain stress-free than those who remain passive all the time and hardly spare any time for their physical health.

Take Proper Balanced DietTake Proper Balanced Diet

Your food choices might have a significant influence on how you feel throughout the day. Eating light, frequent, and nutritious meals, for example, may help your body maintain an even blood sugar level. Maintaining a constant level of blood sugar is beneficial since it keeps your energy and attention levels stable. When your blood sugar drops too low, you may become anxious or irritable while eating too much can make you sluggish.

  • Sugar and refined carbohydrates should be avoided. You may wish for sweets, bread, and comforts such as pasta or French fries when you’re worried. These “feel-good” meals, on the other hand, quickly lead to a drop in mood and energy while making stress symptoms worse rather than better.
  • Reduce your intake of food that negatively impacts your moods, such as caffeine, trans fats, and meals containing high levels of chemical preservatives or hormones.
  • To improve your mood, eat more Omega-3 fatty acids. The finest sources are fatty fish (salmon, herring, mackerel, anchovies, sardines), seaweed, flaxseed, and walnuts.
  • Nicotine should be avoided. When you’re worried, smoking may appear to relax you, but nicotine is a strong stimulant that leads to greater rather than decreased anxiety levels.

You can follow the diet mentioned above to overcome your work stress. Intake of a properly balanced diet and avoiding what makes you stimulated should be taken. It will ensure your good health and you can concentrate more on your work.

Prioritize Your SleepPrioritize Your Sleep

You might believe you don’t have enough time to sleep for a full night. Skimping on sleep, on the other hand, degrades your productivity, creativity, problem-solving skills, and attention. The more rested you are, the better equipped you’ll be to complete your work tasks and endure workplace stress.

  • Make healthy modifications to your daytime and nighttime habits to increase the quality of your sleep. Go to bed and get up at the same time every day, even on weekends, be smart about what you eat and drink during the day, and make changes to your sleep environment if you want to improve the quality of your sleep.
  • Disconnect from screens one hour before going to bed. TV, tablets, smartphones, and computers all emit light that suppresses your body’s production of melatonin and can severely disrupt your sleep.
  • Avoid engaging in stimulating activity or unpleasant circumstances before going to bed, such as catching up on paperwork. Instead, focus on calming activities like reading or listening to soothing music while keeping the lights dim.

These are some of the ways through the practice which you can have quality sleep. You will get proper rest and thus stress at work is reduced gradually over the period.

Manage Your Time on the JobManage Your Time on the Job  

  • Create a healthy routine: A schedule that is all work and no play might cause burnout. Make an effort to strike a balance between work, family life, social activities, leisure time; daily responsibilities, as well as downtime.
  • Start sooner rather than later: Even 10-15 minutes can make a significant difference in terms of how you choose to start your day. If you’re always late, set your clocks and watches ahead to give yourself more time and decrease your stress levels.
  • Take rest after intervals:  Make sure to take short breaks throughout the day to walk, talk with a pleasant person, or practice a relaxing method. Also, try to leave your desk for lunch if possible. It will help you unwind and relax while being more productive, not less.
  • Establish healthy boundaries: Many of us feel compelled to be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and are ashamed if we don’t check our phones for work-related communications or updates. It’s essential to establish times when you’re not working or thinking about work, however it may also involve not checking emails or taking business calls at home at night or on weekends.
  • Don’t over-commit yourself: Avoid scheduling things back-to-back or attempting to cram too much into one day. If you’ve got a lot on your plate, make a distinction between the “shoulds” and the “musts.” Put low-priority tasks at the bottom of your list or eliminate them.
  • Break large tasks into small chunks: If a huge project appears daunting, break it down into little chunks.

Managing time will help you do your work effectively. You will be engaged fully hence there remains little or no scope for stress at work when the management of time is being practiced.

Remove Your Negativity

Eradicate negativity to ease work. Regarding that, some tips are:

  • Avoid Being Perfectionist: Setting impossible objectives for yourself puts you on the road to failure. Make a goal to do your utmost; no one can ask for more than that.
  • Find Humor: Humor helps relieve stress in the workplace if used correctly. Find a way to brighten the mood by telling a joke when those around you become too serious.
  • Talk to your employer: A healthy workforce is more productive, such a company gets rid of workplace stress quickly. Rather than listing off a long list of gripes, let your boss know about circumstances that affect your work performance.
  • Remove Your NegativityKnow job description well: Ask your boss for an updated list of your responsibilities and duties. You may notice that certain responsibilities that have accumulated are not mentioned in your job description, at which point pointing out that you’ve been working extra than expected might help you gain some power.
  • Request new responsibilities: If you’ve been doing the same job for a long time, ask to try something fresh like a new grade level, a different sales territory, or a different machine.
  • Take off: If you feel like you’re about to burn out, take a complete vacation from your job. Take a holiday, use up your sick days, or request for a short leave of absence – anything. Use the time off to recharge your batteries and gain perspective.
  • Look for pleasure in your work: Feeling unfulfilled with your workday increases work stress. And for many people having an ideal job they believe to be exciting is just a dream. Thus if you can’t look for another career that you are passionate about, find pleasure in your current occupation.

Practice these tips and you may see the positive results yourself.

Therapy

therapist for work stress

Work stress can have a serious impact on your mental and physical health. It can lead to anxiety, depression, and even physical illness. While there are many ways to reduce work stress which have been discussed above still, if you are not able to seek any solution, another option is therapy. It can be an extremely effective way to reduce work stress

 If work stress is impacting your quality of life, consider seeking out therapy from a licensed professional. The therapist will provide you with some tips to reduce work stress. Therapy can help you understand the source of your work stress and develop coping mechanisms to deal with it.

How Managers And Employers Can Help?What Strategies Can Be Used By Managers And Employers to remove work stress?

Employees who are stressed at work can result in lower productivity, lost workdays, and a higher turnover of staff. However, as a supervisor or employer, you may help to reduce workplace stress in the following ways:

  • Individualize your communication with your workers. Listening attentively in person makes an individual feel acknowledged and understood. Even if you can’t alter the problem, this will help to decrease your stress as well as that of the employee.
  • Deal positively with workplace issues. Respect each employee and ensure that a zero-tolerance policy for harassment is in place.
  • Allow employees to have a say in decisions that impact their employment. Employee input is essential in the creation of work regulations. If they’re a part of the procedure, they’ll be more dedicated.
  • Ignore Unreasonable deadlines. Make sure the work is appropriate for your staff’s skills and resources.
  • Make sure you know what employees want. Ensure that personnel is properly assigned their tasks and responsibilities. Make sure management’s actions are just and consistent with corporate ideals.
  • Offer incentives and rewards. Praise individuals and the organization as a whole. Set periods of intense deadlines followed by less intense ones. Create opportunities for socializing among staff members.

Employees can be motivated if employers help them this way. Further, employees can work stress-free as every possibility of having stress at work is reduced by the initiatives of their managers.

Conclusion

It is concluded that work stress is a serious problem that needs to be addressed. Work stress has been linked to a variety of health problems, including heart disease, high blood pressure, and depression. It also leads to job dissatisfaction and absenteeism. Thus, work stress should be treated on time to improve work-life. If it is ignored continuously, it can result in severe health consequences. Work should be a source of satisfaction, not anxiety. Never let your work-life take over your personal life. Find a balance and stick to it. Work stress is manageable if you know how to deal with it. Use those tips mentioned and if necessary, take the help of a qualified therapist. After all, life is too short to be spent stressed out all the time.

At MantraCare, we have a team of therapists who provide affordable online therapy to assist you with issues such as depression, anxiety, and stress. You can also book your first online therapy or download our free Android or iOS app.

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