Stress Management in the workplace

In a place where deadlines have to be met, clients have to be satisfied and bosses have to be tolerated, stress comes naturally. Stress can surface in a lot of negative ways if not channeled the right way. Stress in the workplace as well as stress from home or other non-office relationships can all add up, and result in poor performance at work. Bad performance may leads to career stagnation and the resulting frustration can further increase stress levels. However, it is possible to manage stress effectively before it becomes a chronic problem.

How to recognize signs of stress?

The most important part of stress management is spotting it early on before it can manifest itself as a mental disorder. Some of the most common signs of stress are irritability, depression and fatigue. In your office, you may notice a lot of people who look sleep deprived and tired even in the morning. They often complain about sleepless nights and these are the people who need Stress management.

Stress can cause muscle tension, reduce your libido and it can also drive you to alcoholism and smoking. It can get you into a lot of bad habits which may seem to be temporary solutions to manage stress. For instance, alcoholism may start off as a solution for sleepless nights and slowly becomes a habit that is hard to kick off. Similarly, sleeping pills do not solve problems and can also be addictive. All these unhealthy and unproductive ways of dealing with stress need to be avoided.

Time and task management

Stress management in the workplace starts by planning your work well and not letting it overwhelm you. You should first realize that you are in control of your life and you are capable of making things go smoothly. Always take up work that you can finish and not more. Limit your overtime even though there is pressure to get more done. Take breaks regularly and leave your work-desk during lunch hours. Breaks can help you recharge and hence concentrate better when you get back.

Task management includes breaking down your tasks into smaller units and prioritizing them. Doing your work according to your plan will give you a sense of power. When you finish small tasks that you have set for yourself, the end task will seem far more achievable.

Stress Management techniques

  • In the workplace, there can be some people who constantly argue with you or bring up conversations that get you all worked up. Avoid such people or leave the place when conversations that bother you come up.
  • If your workload is heavy enough learn to say ‘no’ when you are asked to do more.
  • If traffic increases your stress levels, change your route, even if you have to travel longer.
  • If there is no alternate travel option, use the time at the traffic light or the traffic jam to listen to music or have some quality time for your own self.
  • Learn to compromise when things don’t go your way and try to forgive small mistakes.
  • Stay in touch with old friends. Old friends can make you feel younger. A day out with them can make stressful things at work look less difficult.
  • Never lose your sense of humor. If you have never had a sense of humor, its time to develop one.

A healthy lifestyle and a relaxing environment at home can also help considerably in managing stress. Regular exercise can lower one’s stress levels and is also a great way to start a day. A pet is also a good stress reliever. Many workaholics tend to skip meals. An ill-nourished body can lead to fatigue which can in turn lead to stress. Therefore, having a healthy diet is very important.

If proper stress management steps are not taken, stress can lead to bad performance at work. Since most people take their work stress home, it can also strain their relationship with their family. If stress is left unacknowledged for too long, it may lead to a burn out where all the problems seem to appear unsolvable. Once you reach the burnout stage, a lot more time and effort will be required from you and your loved ones to help you get back to your old self.