How to Deal with Stress at Work in 10 Simple Steps
How to Deal with Stress at Work in 10 Simple Steps
A workplace is often an incredibly motivating and stimulating environment to be in. However, work-related stress can be just around the corner, especially when pressures begin to mount up or when colleagues contribute to a hostile atmosphere.
This stress can transition into a variety of health problems including high blood pressure, diminished immunity, cardiovascular disease and cognitive decline. That’s not to mention its role in damaging emotional wellbeing through disorders such as anxiety and depression.
Unfortunately, we can never avoid stress entirely. But we can learn how to deal with stress at work to better ourselves and live a more relaxed, healthy life. Here are ten steps to help you do exactly that.
1. Start your day off right
Starting your day off right can make all the difference when it comes to managing and dealing with stress at work.
When you start the day off by rushing or skipping breakfast, getting caught up in the chaos of the morning commute or gulping down coffee in lieu of not getting enough sleep, you’re immediately starting on the wrong foot and allowing yourself to be open to stress.
Instead, start your day off with proper planning. Enjoy a nutritional breakfast, hit the traffic early, or even trying cycling to work, and you’ll feel your mindset change, making any stress at work job easier to tackle.
2. Track your trigger points
Everyone will have their own trigger points that ignite feelings of stress while at work. To figure out what yours are, keep a journal for a week or two. This will help you to identify the situations that create the most stress and show you how you responded to them.
For example, did a colleague cause you to raise your voice? Did a menial task leave you bored and counting down the hours? Was there too much on your to-do list and not enough time to complete it?
Understanding the circumstances that cause your stress and adverse reactions towards them will help you find ways to put a stop any damaging patterns.
3. Work smarter, not harder
Many people get stressed about how there aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done and, as a result, find themselves working extra hours to complete tasks.
However, instead of adding to your stress levels by working yourself ragged, it is much smarter to prioritise your work and concentrate on the tasks that will make a real difference.
Naturally, your mind will be racing with a million different thoughts on where to start, and you’ll end up creating a to-do-list that is massively bulky. Trimming the fat by focusing on the tasks on one task at a time and delegating work to others will leave you feeling much less overwhelmed and overworked.
4. Connect with a support network
Emotional support can offer a fantastic therapeutic method for coping with the stress of life, and it’s no different for dealing with stress at work.
Being able to lean on a good support network of colleagues, friends, family and even therapists will help you to see problems from a different perspective and potentially help to ease your stress levels.
Don’t be afraid to seek out support or ask for help from those around you. As the old saying goes, ‘a problem shared is a problem halved’, and talking things through with someone outside of the situation will do wonders for your mental health.
5. Stay away from conflict
Conflict among co-workers can be challenging to escape. To help stay away from disagreements, try to avoid people who don’t work well with others or who don’t gel with your style of work.
If you do find yourself involved in a fractious situation, take the right steps to handle it appropriately in order not to worsen a less than harmonious working environment. Avoid accusations or getting involved in a blame culture as this will only make things worse, and further add to your stress.
6. Resist perfectionism
Don’t fear mistakes – learn from them. The desire to be perfect can be incredibly toxic and will contribute to your self-worth plummeting when you get don’t get the results you want to achieve.
Perfectionism is disguised as a positive trait and often flaunted like a badge of honour, but in reality, it will cause more harm to a person’s mental health than good. Realise that meaningful results don’t always come from perfect work and you could be wasting energy that can be better spent on other tasks.
7. Stay organised
Organisation is a secret weapon for managing stress levels. If you’re proactive with your approach to keeping your work-station tidy, your timetable decluttered and your schedule organised, you will be much more likely to avoid missing deadlines or incorrectly managing your time.
It will also reduce anxiety levels and create opportunities to be more productive throughout your working day.
8. Accept the things you can’t change
Changing a difficult situation isn’t always possible. Sometimes the only thing to do is walk away and accept that change is out of your control.
Getting past this requires a shift in the way we perceive and react to a situation. It can be frustrating and leave you feeling powerless but getting stressed over something that isn’t going to change is a waste of energy.
Instead of fighting that losing battle, focus on the aspects of work that you can control, which will ultimately make things better for yourself and those around you.
9. Take time to recharge
Taking time out to disconnect from work is critical in ensuring you don’t burn out or suffer from chronic stress.
Having that downtime in which you switch off and unwind will leave you feeling reinvigorated, clearing your mind to help you be ready to perform at your best on your return. It will provide an excellent opportunity to relieve stress and recharge your brain.
Even if you can’t get a lot of time off, having an hour away from your work station to go on a relaxing walk will give you a quick energy boost and provide you with time to reflect on what stresses you out.
10. Find a healthy outlet
It is wise to have a healthy outlet that you can visit when stress is starting to become unavoidable. This outlet will vary from person to person, but any tactic that allows you to blow off steam and reset your mind should be encouraged.
Common outlets for helping towards relaxation include baking, writing or playing sports, but even simple activities such as listening to music, meditation or reading are good habits to help combat stress.
Dealing with stress at work
If you find that you’re still struggling to know how to deal with stress, it may be time to find additional support. Pinnacle Therapy’s fully qualified and experienced therapists can help you find long-term coping tactics, as well as help you to understand your stress and how to overcome it.
Want to find out more? Contact our London and Isle of Man therapists for a non-obligatory chat.