Stress and chronic stress are quite possibly two of the biggest obstacles to achieving success in the workplace. It is actually a very real issue that can lead to a range of physical, emotional and behavioral problems such as irritability, poor concentration, fatigue, trouble sleeping, anxiety, back pain and high blood pressure. It goes without saying that the level of stress associated with each career varies, which is why there is an ever-growing importance to knowing how to cope with your stress and manage it effectively. In some cases however, stress is not always counter-productive; it can be helpful in providing motivation that allows you to work with a sense of urgency and purpose. The key is learning how to draw the line between stress that is beneficial and stress that is harmful. For some, that line fades more and more with time, which is why everyone needs to learn about stress management.
We all have our breaking points. Here are some helpful tips on how to control your emotions and thoughts to avoid reaching your breaking points in the workplace:
Identify your Stress Factors
The first step to solving any problem is identifying the source(s) of that problem. Through targeting the causes of your stress, you are able to ponder different ways of dealing with each problem individually and ultimately come up with a tailored set of solutions. Common causes of stress in the workplace are lack of time and excessive workloads, followed by poor interpersonal relations and the risk of accident or injury. Depending on your situation, stress can also be caused by a host of other factors such as adapting to change, fear of lay-offs and office politics. Once you have identified your stress factors, you are well on your way to finding their respective solutions.
Don’t Forget to Breathe
When you find yourself beginning to panic while working towards an unrealistic deadline, or suddenly feel overwhelmed by an ever-expanding workload, take a moment to yourself, forget all your worries and just focus on your breathing. Most people underestimate the power of controlled breathing and although it may sound silly since breathing is an automatic reflex, controlling your breathing will not only control your heart rate and most symptoms of stress but it can revolutionize how you feel and perform at any time.
Make a Long-Term To-Do List
Making a weekly or monthly to-do list will surely help you organize yourself and combat short-term stress at work, but what about the following week, or month, or the following 10 months? Think about all the small, incremental things you can do to build career success over the course of a year, or five years. Expand your social network by inviting someone in your field to lunch every so often, learn another language or acquire a new skill, put in some overtime helping your employer contemplate solutions to a tricky business problem. Making this list and eventually crossing things off will help you feel like you are going somewhere, bringing about a sense of accomplishment which has proven to be a potent stress reliever.
Get Fit and Be Healthy
Your choice of lifestyle is directly related to your ability to cope with stress at work. Are you finding yourself too tired to deal with queries or problems? Does your tiredness make you irritable and short-tempered? If you are not getting your dose of fresh air and exercise, then not only will your body suffer but it will also reflect poorly on your work. Exercising regularly reduces tension, helps you sleep better and boosts your energy. Start simple by going for a walk during your lunch break, or taking regular stretch breaks to reduce neck and shoulder tension. Always remember, what’s good for the body is good for the mind.
Talk to Your Employer
If all else fails and you find these stress relieving tactics to be unsuccessful, then try talking to your employer. If you are dealing with a stressful workplace situation, ask for help to improve it, or if you find that a colleague is behaving inappropriately towards you, talk to your boss, supervisor or Human-Resources department about actions you can take. If you feel intimidated, just remember that your boss will help you deal with your problem in a professional manner when approached professionally.
When stress in the workplace reaches such a high level that it carries over to your personal life in a negative way, this requires you to take action and start managing it properly for the long-term so that it doesn’t spiral further out of control. On the other hand, if you discover that the main source of your stress is your career itself, then perhaps it’s time you considered changing career paths. This can be a risky and somewhat scary step to take, but Akhtaboot is here to help!