Posted on October 22, 2019
Feeling stressed at work is common. Read on to learn strategies for managing stress in the workplace.
Love it or hate it, the majority of us have to work. If you’re lucky, you might have a job that causes you little stress. But if you’re like most people, your job has its ups and downs, and some of the downs can include stress.
Most people can’t control everything that goes on in their work, but that doesn’t mean they should feel powerless. No matter what your situation at work is, at Advekit, we believe protecting your mental health needs to remain a top priority. We offer a therapist matching service that can help you find a counselor near you. While you can’t always prevent work-related stress, you can implement stress management strategies to reduce the pressure you feel.
Did you know that not all stress is bad? Productivity is often a result of stressful situations. Stress can help us grow and push ourselves to accomplish our goals. In the workplace, increased stress levels can be good if they motivate us to perform our best. This can result in feelings of accomplishment and satisfaction when we overcome challenges.
However, in today’s world, work-related stress can be detrimental to our health and well-being if it is not managed properly. Key indicators that stress at work are becoming overwhelming include a decrease in your productivity at work as well as problems with your health and life outside of work.
If you notice any of these indicators, it’s time to take action. Common warning signs that your workplace is causing stress include:
Some common reasons why people experience too much stress at work are having to work overtime, fear of being laid off, feeling pressured to perform better, and having disrespectful superiors or coworkers. It’s important to know what types of stressors affect you in order to implement the most effective stress management strategies. If you feel powerless, it’s a good idea to find a therapist who can help support you.
We all know the feeling of scrambling to get ready for work. When your morning is hectic, you’re far more likely to arrive at work already feeling stressed out. This might cause you to be affected by stressors in the workplace that would not normally bother you.
A great stress management technique is to start each workday with a clear mind and a calm, peaceful demeanor. Plan your mornings ahead of time so you’ll have enough time to get ready. You’ll be amazed at how different your workday feels when you begin it feeling prepared instead of being rushed.
A common stressor in the workplace is not having a clear understanding of your responsibilities. If you’re unsure of what is expected of you at work, quite a bit of uncertainty and stress can be added to your day. The best way to avoid this to communicate clearly with your supervisor about what is expected of you so you can work efficiently. This type of communication can help relieve tension between you and your boss.
Work-related conflict and tensions among coworkers can lead to stress as well. Conflict can negatively impact your mental health as well as your physical health. You can avoid conflict by acting professionally, and keeping non-work-related opinions to yourself. If there are certain co-workers at your job who seem to constantly be in some form of conflict with another, keep your correspondence with these coworkers strictly to professional matters.
No matter what your job is, a critical aspect of workplace stress management is to stay on top of all tasks. Organization in the workplace means planning your days so you know how to spend your time. We recommend starting each workday by outlining what you want to accomplish. You will be amazed at how much more efficient you can become when you’re organized!
There was a time when multitasking was widely revered as a great way to work more efficiently. That theory ended when people started realized that trying to do more than one thing at once not only results in decreased productivity and accuracy, but can also lead to increased levels of stress.
We recommended choosing one task to complete at a time. This way you’ll be able to complete it efficiently and then move onto the next task. This way, you avoid leaving multiple partially-complete tasks to pile up and become a burden.
Workplaces are required to give full-time workers lunch breaks for a reason. Working throughout the day can wear your physical and mental health. Your break is meant for relaxing, recharging, and resetting. But far too often, people feel that they need to work through their break in order to keep up with productivity standards.
We recommend doing the opposite. If you can, leave your workplace during your break and do something regenerative for yourself such as getting some fresh air by eating lunch outside or going for a quick walk. If you have the time, exercising during your break can give you a mental energy boost and leave you feeling ready to complete your day.
We live in a digital world. For many of us, that means that work can follow us home via emails, phone calls, and other forms of technology. If possible, it’s recommended to keep work as separate from your personal life as you can. This might mean having a separate device for communicating at work or a work-only email that you don’t check while you’re at home.
A key aspect of many stress management strategies is learning to separate your stressors from the rest of your life. We can’t always ensure that work won’t involve some levels of stress, but we can control keeping that stress separate from our personal lives. This can help you avoid a snowball effect that causes your stress at work to spill over into your personal life.
Not all stress at work comes from external forces. An internal stressor refers to ways that people contribute to their own stress levels. One common way that internal stressors affect us at work is through the expectations we place on ourselves. Many of us are our own worst critics. Rather than expecting perfection from yourself and then criticizing yourself when you fall short, practice being okay with just doing your best. Congratulate rather than berate yourself when you put in your best effort.
Follow these strategies to help manage stress in the workplace so you can lead a healthier life.
Alison LaSov, LMFT
Alison LaSov is a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist with experience treating clients struggling with anxiety and depression. She predominantly focuses on mental health intervention for children and adolescents, particularly those who are in crisis. She has worked within the Los Angeles education system treating students with Individualized Education Plans (IEPs), as well as supervised a non-profit Teen Crisis Hotline out of Cedars-Sinai Hospital. Alison earned her B.A. from UCLA and M.A. from Pepperdine University. She is a native to Los Angeles and co-founder at Advekit.