One of the most common places to experience stress is in the workplace. Whether it’s meeting tight deadlines, dealing with coworkers, or figuring out how to manage your workload, there are countless reasons the workplace can become stressful. Do things need to be that way all the time? Is there an opportunity to minimize stress at work and make it more manageable?
The quick answer to this is yes! There are small and big things you can do to take the necessary steps towards a work-life that isn’t quite as stressful. You might even find yourself enjoying being at work instead of dreading the stressful situations that get thrown your way. Read on to learn more!
Consequences of Stress in the Workplace
While you might think stress in the workplace is something just about everyone deals with, the truth is there can be some serious consequences to it.
Here are some of the physical and emotional consequences of stress in the workplace.
- Sleep disturbances
- Labile emotions
- Irritability and anxiety
- Raised blood pressure
- Gastrointestinal upset
It’s also possible to experience other consequences such as a lack of motivation, unpunctuality, poor motivation, inability to keep time, poor decision-making, loss of concentration, and decreased libido.
Given that these consequences can each have an ability to affect your performance and happiness in the workplace, it only makes sense that you be able to identify stress and then manage it.
How to Identify If You’re Stressed
As you read through this article you might be asking yourself, “am I someone who’s stressed at work?” We’re here to help you identify some of the signs to look out for when it comes to whether or not you’re stressed at work.
You’re constantly thinking about work
If you’re finishing your workday but finding that you continue to think about work it’s likely that work is causing you stress. It could consume your thoughts or you could be talking about it non-stop with your family and friends. Bringing work home is fine from time to time, but doing it every day could be problematic.
You have a short fuse without reason
Do you ever find yourself snapping at your co-workers for even the smallest things? Even if you’re not outwardly snapping you might be silently frustrated.
With stress, it’s common to react this way and then later realize you had a big overreaction.
Sleep is becoming inconsistent
Sleep is essential to your health both mentally and physically. You might be experiencing exhaustion followed by an inability to fall asleep easily. You might also wake up and not feel well-rested at all. This pattern is often associated with stress and could be because of work.
Focusing is difficult
Stress can affect your ability to focus on tasks which in turn affects your ability to be productive. If you find you have countless thoughts and can’t seem to calm yourself down then stress could be the culprit.
Your body feels sore
It might be surprising to hear, but stress from work can affect you physically as well. That might be a pain in your neck, hips, shoulders, jaw, or back. You might also be experiencing headaches.
Your mind and body are a lot more connected than you might think!
Minimize Stress at Work
As you learn more and more about stress at work, it’s important to start to look at ways you can minimize it. Heading to work every day only to experience agonizing stress is no way to live. Use these tips to help you get started on your journey towards a more stress-free work life!
Get rid of interruptions
When you’re distracted or have too many things going on at once it can become difficult for your brain to focus. Without the ability to focus on your work tasks you might become overwhelmed and therefore stressed.
It’s up to you to prioritize what needs to be taken care of at the moment and eliminate all other interruptions. That could be turning your phone off, ignoring emails for a set amount of time, or closing your office door to let others know you need to concentrate.
Start your day off on the right foot
No matter who you are it’s likely that you have things to take care of before your day at work even starts. Whether it’s getting yourself ready or getting the kids out to school, things in your routine can stress you out.
Rather than starting your workday off on a stressed note, take some time to reset your mind and bring a positive attitude into the office. This could help your morning stress to melt away and for you to start to work off on the right foot.
Stay away from conflicts
Sometimes conflicts in the workplace are unavoidable, but you should do what you can to stay away from them when possible. Conflicts can have a major influence on your emotional and physical health and can leave you feeling more stressed out.
It can also be helpful to learn how to handle conflicts productively. That way you won’t end up feeling drained and stressed if you do have to deal with them.
One of the most powerful ways to minimize your stress at work lies within you and can be done anytime! If you find yourself getting worked up or feeling tense, take a few deep breaths to help calm yourself down.
The breath is incredible for helping the body to relax. You might even try learning about breathing exercises that can help take your deep breaths to the next level.
Nourish your body and get enough sleep
If you’re constantly filling yourself with foods that don’t make you feel good or are tossing and turning night after night, your work stress is only going to worsen. Set yourself up for success by nourishing your body with healthy and wholesome foods. Be sure you’re getting enough nutrients in your meals and that you’re eating enough.
Sleep is essential to minimizing your stress at work. Being tired at work will only lead to more unwanted stress, so be sure to get those “Z’s” in!
Switch your perspective
When it comes to stressful events in the office it can be helpful to sit back and evaluate. It’s common that with a bit of thought you can realize that the situation might not have been as bad or stressful as it seemed.
Giving thought to the situation and switching your perspective can help you to take things less personally and therefore help you be less stressed about it.
If your office space, your files on your computer, or your schedule becomes chaotic then it’s going to be a lot harder for you to minimize stress at work. When you’re organized you can move through your day with ease and can bounce between tasks without feeling stressed.
Having an organized schedule is also essential to keep yourself on time. You’ll be able to avoid the stress that comes with forgetting meetings or being late for them.
Make yourself comfortable
If you’re not physically relaxed then it becomes a lot harder for your mind to be relaxed as well. Ensure you’re comfortable when completing your daily tasks. Whether that means adjusting the temperature in the room or making sure your chair is providing you with enough support.
The last thing you need when you’re trying to get things done is physical discomfort of any kind!
Set your priorities
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed and think that multiple tasks need to be done all at the same time. And while it might be true that you have a lot to do, you’re only human at the end of the day.
Prioritization is the best way to get through your to-do list and also a great way to help minimize your stress. Take a second to think about your role within the company and prioritize the tasks that make the most sense to align with your goals.
Be nice to yourself
As you go throughout your workday, you’re bound to have a lot of thoughts. At least some of those thoughts should be positive towards yourself!
The more you encourage yourself the more likely you are to stay motivated and enjoy your workday. As you get things done, stay organized, and prioritize, the less stressed you will be overall.
Summing It All Up
You must look at stress as something that can’t necessarily be prevented, but as something that can be managed. The consequences of workplace stress can be serious which is why it’s so important to evaluate whether or not you’re stressed and if changes could be made.
As you apply these tips for minimizing stress at work, you’re sure to be headed in the right direction to healthier and happier work life. Take things one step at a time and you’ll improve in no time!