Have you been feeling stressed out at work lately? A study conducted by the American Psychological Association found that work-related stress is the second leading cause of stress among Americans, next to financial problems. In fact, in a 2010 poll, 70% of respondents voted that workplace stress impacts their physical and emotional well-being.
With that being said, there are a plethora of factors that cause stress at work. Moreover, a report by the American Institute of Stress breaks down the factors into categories that are answered by multiple respondents, 41% cite workload, 32% cite people issues, 18% cite unbalanced work and personal life, and 9% attribute their stress to lack of job security.
Organizations and employees alike should take necessary steps to minimize certain stressors. To be frank, the total elimination of stress is an outright impossibility, because people deal with stress rather differently. However, a company and an individual have the ability to alleviate that through solutions that would be discussed further below.
As pointed out previously, the data provided by the American Institute of Stress states that the primary stressor is related to workload followed by issues with co-workers. Stressing about the high workload is understandable, just imagine being spread thin like butter through bread. Being unable to cope with several tasks puts a toll on a person.
Although each and every individual has different work ethics and coping mechanisms to deal with stress, pinpointing the exact causes of your stress would help you tackle certain roadblocks. Use a journal to track situations that create the most stress. Record your thoughts, feelings, and information about your work environment, including the people and events.
Evaluate How It Affects You
Being stressed out while working is counterintuitive and has detrimental effects on your health and career. In all honesty, some people can handle stress, while most can’t, and simply break down to the pressure. The truth of the matter is that the stress related to work may be unavoidable.
However, once you’ve identified specific stressors. It is important to evaluate how it affects your productivity and mental or physical state, in order to plan ahead and respond to the situations that trigger your stress.
Take Time To Recharge
Take some time off work. Use your allotted vacation time or paid time off. Taking the time to relax and recuperate would help lower your stress such as going to your favorite vacation spot, staying at home, or grabbing a cup of coffee with a friend or family member.
Developing a healthy response to stress is crucial for everyone. Having a healthy diet, exercise and plenty of sleep would help your body recuperate from stress. In fact, leisure or pleasurable activities release endorphins into your body. Endorphins are chemical hormones that help relieve pain, reduce stress, and improve one’s sense of well-being.
Get Some Support
As mentioned before, stress is an unavoidable part of life, but too much stress can impact your emotional and physical well-being. Getting the necessary support in dealing with your workload, issues with co-workers, and other office-related matters would help devise solutions to lighten up the load.
Talk to your supervisor or to human resources about your workload, if there are solutions you may undertake to minimize your stress. Share your challenges so they can help you. If they couldn’t help you, then you should seek therapy because too much stress may lead to depression and anxiety.
The Bottom Line
Now that we’re all living in an age of make it or break it, and stress goes hand in hand with success or failure, stress is more prevalent than we think. Essentially, all of us deal with stress differently. We have our own coping mechanisms, however, knowing when and how to deal with stress is important for our wellbeing. It’s important to take necessary steps to alleviate stress before it becomes worse.