Even if you love your job, everyone has felt the pressure of work related stress at some point in their life. Stress is a normal response to the demands of work and it can even be beneficial in short bursts to help you stay alert and perform at your best.
However, prolonged or excessive job stress can be damaging to your mental health and quality of life. Workplace stress can affect your health, personal relationships and contribute to the development of anxiety and/or depression.
If the stress you are under at work is out of control then try implementing the following steps into your daily life to reduce stress levels and help you to cope.
Identify The Stressors
Sometimes you may have so much going on at work that you don’t actually know which situations or projects are causing you the most stress.
Keep a journal for a week or two to identify which situations are creating the most stress and how you respond to them. Record your thoughts, feelings and any information about the environment, people and circumstances involved and how you reacted.
This will help you to recognise any patterns that trigger the most stress and your reactions to them so you can start to address them.
Learn How To Delegate and Prioritise
It’s important to realise that we can’t do it all. If you have taken on more than you can handle and have over-committed, find ways to delegate and hand over tasks that you don’t need to do yourself. Learn to say no and realise that it’s OK to ask for help if you’re struggling with your workload.
If you’re working on a particular project that is causing you a lot of stress, write out a plan of how you will work through it. Break it up into smaller jobs and create a step-by-step action plan to tick off as you go along. Only focus on the smaller tasks set for each day and before you know it, that big stressful job will be complete.
Develop Healthy Responses
After the end of another stressful day at work it’s quite easy to get home and destress with a bottle of wine or some junk food. However, overindulging on a regular basis will only make you feel worse and add more stress to your life.
Eating healthy food, getting a good amount of sleep and exercising will put you in great shape mentally and physically to better handle your stress levels at work. Yoga and meditation are also a great way to calm the mind, refocus and reduce stress.
Talk To Your Boss
If your stress at work is out of control and you’re not coping, whether it’s due to an extremely demanding workload or an ongoing conflict with a colleague, it’s important not to keep it bottled up inside. This will only make the problems seem worse and add to your stress.
Go to your supervisor or boss and let them know how you’re feeling and how it is affecting you. Happy and healthy employees are more productive, so work together with your boss to make improvements at work that will help reduce your stress.
Get Some Support
Having a healthy balance between your work and personal life is important, this includes having family and friends that you can turn to for support when the stress gets all too much. It could be as simple as having a friend to listen to your problems or to take the kids for the afternoon to give you some time out to unwind.
If you find that your stress has got to the point that it’s seriously affecting your mental and physical health, then it’s important to seek help from a professional therapist to help you work through the stress related problems and restore balance to your life.