How To Manage Stress At Work

Posted April 16, 2019, by Michelle Marshall

There are plenty of hacks that you can find online to help you with figuring out how to manage stress at work.  But since stress is a sign of something that needs to be changed doesn’t it make sense that you should look at what you can do to reduce the stress you experience at work completely?  

If you agree, and you prefer to work smarter rather than harder you’ll enjoy this article.  It’s going to help you see what to do to reduce and manage stress at work.

Step 1: Acknowledge Something’s Got To Change

If you are stressed, it’s a sign that something isn’t right.   

You’ve got something (it can be more than one thing) that you need to address, face or change.  Whether you cause the underlying issues causing stress or not, there’s something you need to stand up to.  

And if that statement makes you feel stressed, you can probably reduce some of your stress levels fast. And you can do so by developing healthy coping strategies to counter this unhealthy habit of collecting stress so easily!

Which leads us on to our next point …

Step 2: Some (Not All) Stress Factors Can Be Fixed By Addressing Your Mindset

Take our first point as an example: If you automatically feel stressed at a suggestion that is designed to help you, the chances are that you can clear up some of your stress pretty fast by changing your mindset.  

Think of this strategy as a much-needed resource to assist you and help you to drop your drama.  

A better strategy would be to face new information head on. Decide that you can handle it, and give yourself a few minutes to process the information before reacting.  While telling yourself over and over again that you’ve got this – try connecting with a career coach or career counsellor, who may be able to help you overcome internal obstacles.

Step 3: Check The Source Of Your Stress!

Your stress may not all originate from the same place. But it can all build up to create one big ball of what you consider to be ‘general stress at work’.  

This unhelpful but common strategy for stacking up stress allows stress to keep building.  Until one day something snaps and you cannot carry on.  Of course in some situations, the source of your stresses might fix themselves.  That annoying colleague might leave, or the part of your job that you hate doing is transferred to someone else – giving you a little more breathing room.  

But the big hint here is that facing your stress puts you in control. 

Here are some sources of stress and some of their fixes.

Work Load Related Stress

If your workload is legitimately too much for you and it’s stressing you out it’s time to flag this up formally to your line manager and work with them to seek a resolution. Document everything so that you have evidence that you’ve done everything within your power to fix this problem professionally.

Management and Colleague Conflicts:

These are a little more difficult to manage because if you are not at fault in any way (which you should check for), you can’t control another person.  If you are in this situation you have two options:

1 – Take it to your boss and HR for a fair resolution.

2 – Make a plan (and action it) to move on.  There are always new opportunities around the corner for everyone.

Tip!  Take the emotion out of this situation, practice self-reflection so that you can fix any of your issues and don’t under any circumstances take this personally.

Skill-Based Stress

Some of our stress can be caused because we don’t quite have the adequate skills to perform our duties.  Which may cause us to experience imposter syndrome where we feel as though we are not good enough for the job.  Not feeling good enough for the job you do and trying to maintain an expensive lifestyle or demanding family obligations is going to be stressful for the long term.  

In this situation, work out what skills you need to develop and put a plan in action to go and get them.  You might just need to be resourceful.

Personal Stress

Sometimes personal stress is self-inflicted; it can arise from our limiting beliefs that are driving us to experience imposter syndrome, doubt ourselves, develop poor communication or set ourselves up in a financially unsustainable lifestyle.   Maybe it comes in the form of an unhealthy fear of change or crippling self-doubt. Wherever it comes from, you need to deal with it.

Career Upskiller

To manage this type of stress, you need to take a long hard look at your life choices, why you are where you are and where the conflict is between what you want or think you need versus the cause of your stress or your beliefs about your work.

Then it’s time to face the music, switch things up, find alternative options, change your lifestyle, address the peer pressure, put the brakes on, change the job – do something to reduce the pressure permanently.  

Step 4: Seek Out Stress Reducing Hacks To Support You While You Make The Big Changes

Now that you know what to do to fix the source of your stress, you can start to research and find ways to support yourself emotionally, mentally and physically while you are eliminating your stress.  This is when you need to manage your stress at work.

What can help:

  • Eat a healthy diet
  • Exercise
  • Eliminate stimulants
  • Get enough sleep
  • Practice positive affirmations
  • Meditate
  • Sit out in nature
  • Hydrate
  • Research stress relieving supplements
  • Seek out new inspiration by doing something different
  • Make use of diffusers and essential oils to calm you
  • Bolster your resources through personal and professional development just do it in tiny steps

Finally, remember that you’ve got this!

Michelle Marshall

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