How To Cope With Stress At Work

David Lightbody

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Stress can affect you in just about every environment of your daily life but at least when you are at home you might feel like you have more control and more options for dealing with it.

However, when it becomes a problem in you workplace it can often feel like you are at the mercy of the actions of others and not able to control it as you would like. In this article I want to take a look at how to eliminate stress at work, or at least make it a bit more bearable until you can move on to better things.

A Typically Stressful Day At Work

If you find yourself getting stressed out at work, chances are you know that sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach as the boss barks down your throat. Perhaps you know that feeling all too well. If you’re the average worker, you know this feeling, and the good news is that it is completely manageable.

All you need to overcome this stress is a little know how. The important thing to remember, though, is that not all stress can be avoided. There is good stress, which gives you the direction and drive to handle a new and exciting situation, such as a new project that you have been assigned.

When you’re aiming to minimize stress in the workplace, it is important to remember that there are specific factors that contribute to your stress levels. When you’re planning techniques for stress management, you need to be able to pinpoint the cause of your stress and develop a game plan for conquering it.

The question, however, is: How exactly do you pinpoint one source of stress, when it’s coming from every angle?

Perhaps you’ve found yourself juggling multiple deadlines. There’s a stack of papers a mile high on your desk, and just when you thought you couldn’t get any more stressed, the boss arrives at your door.

When things like this happen, it only adds to your stress, and may actually slow you down as a result. When you find yourself beginning to feel this way, take a few silent moments to clear your head, and take a few cleansing breaths.

Thinking about how to manage stress at work can sometime feel like it's actually adding to your stress levels but it certainly doesn't have to be that way. When you have so much riding on your shoulders, it’s hard to find time for your own well-being, let alone the happiness of others. And there’s little time for stress management.

A lot of people see the office as a place to talk and solve their personal problems. If you have coworkers that come to chat on a daily basis, immerse yourself in your work. Talking takes time away from your work and may inhibit good performance. If necessary, explain to people that you have jobs to finish and you'll catch up with them at a more appropriate time.

Sometimes the best thing to do when you’re feeling stressed at work is to take a few steps back. A lot of people put too much pressure on themselves to be perfect and exceed performance expectations in the workplace. Instead of placing unnecessary demands on yourself, slow down.

Slowing down will improve your efficiency and will help your brain function more effectively. In the end, the result will be a clearer, more relaxed mind. If you are constantly rushing to get things done then you end up doing a mediocre job of things and might even end up spending more time fixing problems. It's better to take the time needed to do it right first time.

When you’re under stress at work, your brain launches you into the fight or flight mode much more quickly than it normally would. The result is increased pressure and moreover, a heightening pressure to succeed in the face of a hectic work environment.

When you begin to feel this way, take a second to prioritize your projects. Pick the most pressing task and complete it, taking time to clear up any problems. This is such an important step and one that you mustn't overlook. Getting the most important tasks done first will be hugely beneficial in easing your workplace stress levels.

Good timekeeping is another vital skill to adapt for managing stress in your workplace. A lot of people run into problems when they rush to get ready for work in the morning. And then, when they get to the office, they find themselves rushing even more to make sure they get a number of things done. Continually rushing to get caught up is very bad for your stress levels.

Some people even get there really early, so they can get out early. Try to avoid this too - it gives false impressions of organisation and can lead to friction if you are perceived as leaving early. Come in at your assigned time, and leave when you’re supposed to.

How To Eliminate Stress At Work

Here's some ways I've found to help reduce your stress levels at work:

Deep breathing

Breathing techniques help anyone combat stress, and it is especially helpful when you’re at work. If you find yourself hyperventilating, take a few seconds to collect your thoughts as you take several deep breaths. This method is simple and you can apply it at any time during your day when you feel stress building.

Don't exceed expectations.

In their efforts to gain recognition in the workplace, a lot of people push themselves to the limit, trying to go above and beyond their job description. This sometimes leads you to take on tasks that may be outside your job description. To avoid doing this, stick only to your assigned tasks, and don’t take on added responsibilities not coming from your boss.

Sure it might get you a promotion one day but be sure that the cost to your health via stress is worth it. Remember, if your boss or manager is good at what they do, they will recognise the good work you do if you perform to the best of your ability the work you are required to do

Go out to lunch.

A lot of people go to lunch outside the office, whether it’s at a local restaurant or in the café downstairs. Some people, on the other hand, eat in the office to get extra things done. Instead of working yourself to the grindstone, go out to lunch once in a while. This cuts down on the added stress of trying to push yourself beyond the breaking point.

When you come back to the office, you will have a fresh mind that is ready to take on your responsibilities for the rest of the day.

Work Without Stress

One thing to remember in the workplace is that you don’t have to be consistently stressed. You should take a few minutes to collect your thoughts before returning to a stressful situation.

Whatever you do, remember that you do have the right to be happy at work. And if being happy means taking a few minutes to ease your racing heart, that may be just what you need!

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I am a pharmacist by profession but for the last few years I have enjoyed writing about my 2 main passions in life which are digital marketing and personal development. My main interest has been learning all about stress management. This derives from a time a few years ago when the pressures and stresses of my work made me seriously ill. I decided to learn all I could about stress management both for my own health and so that I can share what works with others who are facing the same stresses that I faced.

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