How to effectively deal with stress at work?

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Anyone who has ever had a job must have faced work-related pressure and stress at some point or the other. This unexpected stress comes in a scenario where things get either a little too much for us to handle or are just not so expected by us, and it is then we start feeling the pressure of the work. Something like getting a call from the boss about an unfinished project or a must-do project arrives unannounced with a fast-approaching deadline, can be the reason for work-related stress.

As stated by the World Health Organization, work-related stress is the response people may have when presented with work demands and pressures that are not matched to their knowledge and abilities and which challenge their ability to cope. Stress can occur in a wide range of situations but is often made worse the employee feels a lack of support from their supervisor and colleagues. It can also happen when the employee feels that they have little control over their workplace, which causes them to feel somewhat insecure.

Some of the common causes of workplace stressors are:

  • Getting lower salaries
  • Excessive workloads
  • Few opportunities for growth or advancement in both personal and private sphere of life
  • Work is not engaging or challenging
  • Lack of support from colleagues and superiors
  • Lack of control over your work-related decisions
  • The pressure to perform and to meet rising expectations.

Effects of Uncontrolled Stress

The stress of work doesn’t just disappear when you head home, it stays with you and can take a toll on your health and well-being.

Some of the effects of overwhelming work stress are:

  • Problems such as headache, bloating, sleeping issues, irritation, and concentrating issues are the result of stress
  • Anxiety, insomnia, high blood pressure, and a weakened immune system are caused by chronic work stress.
  • Stress can also contribute to many health conditions such as depression and obesity.
  • Excessive stress often leads to unhealthy lifestyle choices such as overeating, eating unhealthy foods, smoking cigarettes or abusing drugs and alcohol.

Things you can do to beat work stress are changing a few things in your lifestyle and daily choices, like:

  • Start reaching out to people and relying on them. Engage with your colleagues and supervisors, listen to them and support them.
  • Reach out to people of your private sphere like your friends and family for emotional support.
  • Make exercising regularly part of your lifestyle and also start making smart, stress-busting food choices.
  • Improve your quality and quantity of sleep, aim for 8 hours a night—the amount of sleep most adults need to operate at their best. Do not skimp on sleep.
  • Priorities and organize your work so that it doesn’t overwhelm you. Manage your time by creating a balanced schedule, planning regular breaks and not ever committing yourself.
  • Stop letting negative thoughts take the best of you, resist perfectionism, clean up your act and remember no one can control the uncontrollable.
  • Lastly, it is very important to take some time aside for yourself and do things that you like. Try focusing on yourself and your personal growth.

It is important to remember that some people thrive under pressure while some don’t, so it is okay if you are facing some stressful time at your work. But it should not affect your health be it mental, emotional or physical in any manner. If things get out of your hand and too much to handle it is advisable to reach out for proper support and counseling from a professional. It is ideal and important that one is comfortable and happy at their workplace for efficient output and good productivity.

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