Millions of people experience stress on a regular basis. Stress, anxiety, and worry can make life more difficult, and chronic sufferers are at a higher risk for depression and many other health problems. In modern life, the most common source of stress is work, which is often high-pressure and mentally exhausting. This means that while relaxing at home will help, the best method for stress relief is addressing the root causes of work-related stress, at the office. If your career has you stressed out, check out the following six methods detailed by Victor Mitchell for alleviating work-related stress.
- Be organized and disciplined. Chaos breeds stress. Workers without self-discipline will find themselves racing to meet rapidly approaching deadlines, or searching desperately for important files that have gone missing. Disorganization and bad planning contribute to stress by making work more difficult. Save yourself from worry by making (and following) detailed plans. Set yourself reasonable daily goals, and break your assignments into small, easy-to-handle chunks. Stay on the ball and avoid distraction and your efficiency and productivity will rise — while your stress levels drop.
- Find solutions to interpersonal conflict. There’s nothing more stressful than an argument. Unfortunately, disagreements and clashes are common at work, particularly in high-pressure environments. Besides harming productivity, conflicts raise stress levels dramatically. Resolve such issues by keeping calm and trying to reach a constructive solution. Get your boss to help if you aren’t getting anywhere. Remember, your coworkers aren’t the enemy. Once an answer has been found, move on.
- Maintain a healthy divide between work and your life. The impression that your job is ‘invading’ your life will increase stress. If, for example, you’re being pressured into working overtime, or being called at home about assignments, then you might have a problem. Feeling like you cannot escape from your job will cause anxiety and tension. Everyone needs time off to decompress and relax, so insist that you are allowed to have a life outside of the office. Plus, since stress harms productivity, a healthy work-life balance will make you more valuable to the company.
- Don’t dwell on mistakes and failures. Your career — like everyone else’s — will have its share of victories and defeats. Perfectionists and others with a strong desire to succeed may obsess over past failure, causing themselves stress. But worrying about something you can never change is pointless, so be confident and forward-looking instead. Feelings of hopelessness and powerlessness contribute to stress, which means focusing on what you can change — the future — will help. Make yourself happier by forgetting about the stuff that’s out of your control.
- Shed some responsibilities. “The pressure to be a high performer is enormous,” stated Victor Mitchell. Many of us feel obligated to work ourselves to the bone, no matter the cost. Attitudes like this contribute significantly to stress. Feeling constantly anxious and tense is not worth a little extra productivity. If you are being overwhelmed by work, it’s time to take a step back. Removing a few assignments from your plate will make you calmer and happier. Plus, you’ll do a better job on your remaining projects. Distinguish between what could and what must be done, and prioritize the most critical tasks.
- Manage your emotional state. Workaholics may not even realize when they are too stressed. The problem might be a lack of emotional intelligence, which is the ability to understand and deal with emotions and feelings. Don’t focus entirely on your job. Pay attention to your emotional and psychological state as well. For example, fatigue, inadequate sleep, headaches, and difficulty concentrating are all signs of stress. At the office, relieve tension through simple coping techniques, such as taking short breaks when you start to feel frustrated. Having people in your life who you can vent to will help as well. Try other coping methods to discover what works best for you.
Most workers experience some stress from their jobs. While feeling a little stress is normal, excess stress harms happiness, health, and productivity. If that sounds like you, follow the six steps from this article to address the fundamental causes of your work-related stress.