Did you know, stress costs the American population more than $300 billion annually, to handle stress related problems like headaches, blood pressure, heart problems, depression, and anxiety?
According to CDC’s National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, close to 29%-40% of Americans are “extremely stressed at work.” How stress affects your body can vary. It could be something as small as a flu to something as serious as heart problems.
Stress is ubiquitous. You can run from it for a while, but you can’t hide from it.
No matter what job you take up, it is likely to get a little stressful after a point. Though, it doesn’t have to always lead to something dreadful. A healthy amount of stress could be the reason why you do so well at work. However, it is also necessary that you do not let things go out of control. When you do not keep your stress levels in check, it is like a time bomb, waiting to explode.
In this article, we discuss the various stress triggers at the workplace and list effective ways to tackle them. Let’s dive in!
Common stress triggers at workplace
Stress is common. That doesn’t mean we should adjust to its tantrums. It is imperative that we don’t let it take control of our health and personal life. As a step towards combating it, identify the stress triggers at your workplace. Once you know what exactly is stressing you out, it will become easier to devise ways to tackle them.
Here are some of the common workplace stress triggers:
Unrealistic deadlines can make your work grueling. You may be expected to deliver at shorter notice, with no help whatsoever. This leads to longer working hours and wrong expectations. As a result, you sacrifice your health, your mind space, and personal ‘me’ time, which are important for your well being.
Not everyone thinks the same way you do. It is likely that you may not agree with someone or they do not agree with you. However, when it turns to workplace bullying, it affects your peace of mind. It becomes difficult, particularly when you have to work closely with that person.
There was a time when multitasking was a sign of great productivity.Typically multitasking is associated with getting more things done in a day. However, it takes a toll on your health. With too many things to manage and keep track of, there’s a lack of focus. This in turn can affect the quality of work. Personally, it gives me a feeling of incompleteness.
It is difficult to work when you have someone breathing down your neck or constantly checking on your moves. It displays a lack of trust by the seniors and can be quite frustrating. In some cases, it can also lead to self-doubt. With all these thoughts clouding your mind, you fail to give your best at work.
There’s a popular saying, “failing to plan is planning to fail.” When you have so many things on your plate, there’s confusion and lack of focus. You fail to deliver on the deadlines, which can affect your performance and can eventually lead to a breakdown.
8 ways to deal with workplace stress
Identifying your stress triggers is the first step. Once you know what bothers you the most, strategize on how you wish to tackle the particular problem. In addition to your self-strategized solution, follow these steps for a healthy work life.
Prioritize your health
Great work comes from a healthy mind, and a healthy mind dwells in a healthy body. Nothing beats the dopamine boost you get from an early morning workout. It does not have to be a hard-core workout, a stroll in the garden would also do. For lasting effects, eat and drink healthy alongside your other habits. Many of us have a habit of eating our feelings. It is one of the reasons why stress leads to obesity, which ultimately leads to heart problems.
Additionally comfort foods like burgers, pizzas, and ice-creams, make us increasingly tired and lethargic. Choose to stick to a healthy eating pattern. It not only keeps you healthy but also improves your memory and concentration. Include a lot of veggies and fruits in your diet, and remember to hydrate yourself regularly.
Also, try to meditate on a regular basis. There’s no better way to deal with stress, than simply getting go and learning how to breath.
Set clear expectations
Let your supervisors or managers know what your strengths are and how they can benefit the company. When you have too much work on your plate, plan, and prioritize. If you do not know how to prioritize, talk to your manager about it. Set realistic deadlines, so that you have enough time to do your best, while also not compromising on your health.
Steer away from conflicts
When you have multiple people, with different mindsets working together, conflicts become unavoidable. The best way to deal with it, is to be tactful. Be mindful of how people behave, and present things in a manner that they understand. You can ask, why should you be the only one who takes an extra step to make things better at work. Why can’t the other person go an extra mile? The answer is quite simple; you are doing it for your peace of mind. There’s no harm in being the bigger person. In the book, ‘How to Win Friends and Influence People,’ Dale Carnegie talks about how you can seamlessly deal with various kinds of people without having to feel the pinch of it. We would strongly recommend you give it a read.
Make yourself comfortable at the workplace
Do what it takes for you to give your best at work. Is the chair not comfortable enough? Or is the music too loud? Many workplaces these days do not restrict employees to a particular desk. Move to a place that is comfortable for you.Once you are cozy enough, snap on those headphones, and work away!
What would you prefer, taking multiple tasks on your plate, and doing an average job at it? Or, taking three tasks, and doing an amazing job at it? We are currently at a place where there’s no dearth for quantitative work. But, it is the qualitative, that matters. It is our quality of work that sets us apart and makes us indispensable. Take a few things on your plate, and do a great job at it.
Take those occasional breaks
Staring at your laptop screen for long hours can be draining and physically exhausting. Taking occasional breaks will help you concentrate better. Take a walk, or have a watercooler conversation with your colleagues. It is strictly not advisable to shift to another screen (read: mobile) during the break. Spend your breaks wisely, among humans, catch up on the latest news, or play foosball if your office has one.
Indulge in your hobbies
Did you know, British author, Anthony Trollope wrote 47 novels and 16 books while having a full-time day job at a post office? His ideology was quite simple. He had a brutal regime for himself, wherein he set aside three hours in the morning just for his passion, viz writing. To give your best at work, it is important that you be happy with yourself. You can do so by indulging in your hobbies passionately. You shouldn’t just do them when you find time. You must set aside time for your hobby, no matter how busy your day is.
Nothing works like a good night’s sleep
One cannot emphasize enough the effect a good night’s sleep can have on your well-being. Millennials often tend to compensate for the lost sleep by sleeping over the weekends. Sadly, that is not how the body, mind and soul work. Give yourself at least 7 hours of sleep, to help cope with the everyday pressures of life. Also, ensure to keep all your electronic devices away from you at least an hour before you sleep. Find your favorite book, or listen to your favorite song, and lull yourself to a great night.
The Bottom line
There’s no escaping stress. However, it is not a dark cloud hovering above us all the time. We’d suggest you implement the solutions mentioned in our blog to help harbor a stressless worklife.
Did you find our tips useful?
Do you know of other such stress-hacks you’d want the world to know? Do let us know in the comments below.