For every person out there, the reasons for stress may be different. Whether the organizations make an attempt to reduce employee stress or not, the employees themselves can do small and easy activities throughout the day that can help to manage their stress better.
If we happen to probe some insights on work-related stress, the numbers come out as quite alarming. A survey by Zippia reveals that 83% of workers in the US are suffering from stress related to work, whereas 25% of respondents hold their job responsible for being the primary stressor of their lives. The workplace stress also acts as the quandary behind personal relationships of workers.
Without a doubt, the pressure of a hustle culture has added to the stress and consequent fatigue for professionals. This fatigue comes without a boundary and eventually leaves a negative impact on the quality of work. As pointed out by Deloitte, almost 70% of the workers feel that their organization and employers’ attempts to alleviate fatigue and stress within the organization; are disappointing and insufficient.
Identify your stressors
Where one person may be stressed over lack of recognition for his/her work, another may be stressed for the extra workload. The first step in trying to reduce stress is to identify the cause behind it i.e. the “stressor”. At the end of each day, recall the entire day’s events and think about the things that triggered a stress response.
How did you feel at that moment? What thoughts did you encounter? These are the types of questions that you should ask yourself.
Change your response
A lot of your stress has to do with the way you respond to or cope with it. However, mere identification of stressors is not enough. You need to hark back to how you responded to the person, thing, event or even the thought that led to stress. Habits like smoking or drinking are often formed when people attempt to fight or escape stressful situations. What actually can help is any type of physical activity.
You may not be able to run to the gym in the middle of work-day, however smaller activities like going to speak to people in the office in-person instead of sending an email, taking a few steps in the corridor while taking a call on the cell phone, using the staircase to move between floors; can definitely help.
Draw boundaries as preventive actions
When it comes to mentally avoiding stress, one of the more ‘preventive’ actions is to set clear boundaries, with people in general and at work in particular. A 2021 survey by PWC, reveals that 80% of remote working employees do not feel anxious at all or experience stress modestly. Now why is that?
Smartphones and internet apps have generally blurred the lines between connectivity and it leads to receiving notifications related to work even when you have signed off. Setting some ground rules for yourself can help to get back the noise and alleviate stress.
Refashion your perspective of stress
How we choose to perceive the factors that cause stress; is also one of the factors that decide whether the stress at work is surging or reducing. With more than 30 million views on the Global TED Talk website, “How to make stress your friend” by health psychologist Kelly McGonigal, offers a new perspective for championing stress in life.
When you change your mind about stress, you change your body’s response to stress.McGonigal
As she explains how the perception of stress as the enemy, does more harm than the stress itself. Thinking of the body’s stress response as helpful, can change the way stress affects us. For example when you breathe faster, it means your brain is receiving more oxygen.
When your heart is beating stronger, it means the heart is preparing the body for action. When you think that your body is helping you rise to the challenge, the body also reacts accordingly and the stress response becomes healthier.
In short, the mind and body are linked, especially when we are under stress. We can either look at stress response as creating chaos or preparing to face the battle.
Change your circumstances
Before you go onto changing your circumstances, the first step is to pause for a minute, take a breath and let your brain and body process whatever is happening. The blood vessels in the heart get constrained in stress which reduces the flow of blood and supply of oxygen needed by the brain and body muscles. Taking a few deep breaths can offer that extra supply of oxygen that our brain and body needs to function with ease.
Once your body has started to cope, the next step is to carefully evaluate and categorize the factors that act as stressors and then pick out which of those factors are in your control.
Ask for help
Think about what you can prioritize and where you can draw help from. Oftentimes, the solutions to a lot of our problems are only one attempt at a clear communication with the relevant person. However instead of listing out complaints, talk to your manager about the excess workload but also present a solution to what can help.
At the very least, I hope this article as many others on our page touching serious topics such as stress at work, depression or burnout will help you. If you believe that talking to friends and family is not enough, do not be ashamed to seek professional help.