How do you deal with stress at work?

deal with stress at work

Just because you’re working doesn’t mean you have to stay stressed and anxious all the time. It’s natural for anyone to go through periods of nervousness and tension at work, whether it’s because of deadlines or the difficulty of the job. But constant stress at work can expose you to many physical and mental health risks.

Many studies have confirmed that for most people, work is a major source of stress in their lives. You might not be able to avoid stress at work, but you should learn a few things to deal with it properly so that it doesn’t affect you and your health.

The most common causes of stress at work include:

  1. Low salary.
  2. Excessive workload.
  3. Limited promotion opportunities.
  4. Monotonous and uninteresting work.
  5. Lack of support from colleagues.
  6. Insufficient authority to make important decisions.
  7. High demands and expectations from superiors.

Uncontrolled work stress harms your life and health.

Work-related stress doesn’t end when you leave the office; it can stay with you throughout the day. If this stress becomes too much, it can affect your life and health. It can lead to physical symptoms like constant headaches, stomach pain, disrupted sleep, mood swings, and difficulty concentrating. Additionally, it can affect your overall health and lead to issues like depression, obesity, or heart disease.

Many people worsen the problem by dealing with it in unhealthy ways, such as overeating, eating unhealthy foods, smoking excessively, or using alcohol and drugs, thinking that these will help reduce their stress.

Here are some practical steps to help you manage stress at work:

Monitor situations that stress you

Keep track of your feelings of stress for a week or two. Write down the situations or things that make you feel stressed and tense, as well as your reaction to them. Also, record your thoughts and feelings in these situations and important information about the surrounding environment, including people, circumstances, and your response in each situation. This will help you pinpoint exactly what is causing you stress at work and identify your reaction to it.

Try to improve your reactions in a healthy way

Instead of fighting stress with unhealthy fast food, try to eat healthier when you’re stressed. You can also exercise, as it’s one of the best ways to relieve stress. Yoga is also an excellent choice. Also, try to dedicate some time to hobbies you enjoy, like reading, attending music concerts, or even playing a game or spending time with your family. Try to get enough good-quality sleep, as this will help you overcome stress. Develop healthy sleep habits, like avoiding caffeine-containing drinks late in the day and reducing the use of screens like TV and mobile phones before bedtime.

Set boundaries that suit you in your life

Especially with the technology we live in, it’s very easy for anyone to reach you at any time of the day. For example, avoid checking your email at night and don’t answer your phone after a certain hour of the day. All of these things will reduce your sense of mental conflict and work pressure throughout the day.

Recharge your energy

In order to avoid chronic fatigue and continuous stress, we must give ourselves time to recharge and completely disconnect from work. This means we must set boundaries and separate from work responsibilities at a specific time of day. Don’t let your vacation go by without enjoying it. Relax on vacation so that you can return to work full of energy and ready to give your best. If you find it difficult to take a vacation right now, it’s okay to take a short break, even if it’s just a few hours, to disconnect from your phone and do something you love or pamper yourself.

Learn how to relax:

There are things that will help you relax, such as meditation or deep breathing exercises. Dedicate a few minutes every day to do a simple activity like deep breathing or walking or enjoying a food you love. Your skills in focused concentration and enjoying a single task will increase with practice and you will be able to practice them in other aspects of your life.

Talk to your manager:

The better your health and mental state, the better you will be able to produce at work. Talk more with your manager, not to complain about work conditions, but to create a plan together to make dealing with work pressure easier and help you perform better. The plan should include developing your skills at work, such as time management skills, so you can perform better at work. You can also make changes to your office or workplace to make you more comfortable and reduce your stress during work hours.

Get support from the people around you:

Get used to accepting help from people you trust or from your family members. This will help you reduce your stress at work. If you continue to feel severe work-related stress, you should consult a psychologist who can help you deal with stress at work.

About the author

Shirly Templeton, M.D

Shirly Templeton, M.D

A board-certified psychiatrist with a focus on women's mental health. I have a special interest in perinatal mood disorders and have helped many women navigate the challenges of pregnancy and motherhood. I'm dedicated to providing compassionate care to women at all stages of life.