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How to Deal With Stress At Work (a very short guide)

Peterborough Counsellor

Ever feel like you just want to pack it all in?

Jobs can be a great source of satisfaction as well as providing us with the means to get by. They’re often not without their problems though.

Rising expectations and looming deadlines can create a tense environment that easily leads to the rise of stress. Stress and jobs in the modern workplace go hand in hand.

This is costly to both the employee and the company.

A study carried out in the 1980s showed that work-related stress accounts for the majority of absenteeism, increased compensation claims, reduced productivity, and increased medical expenses. This costs U.K. organisations about £2 billion per annum.

Stress , in short, is good for no one.

 

The Top Causes of Stress at Work

 

There are numerous sources of stress at work. Interestingly, everyone has a different level of stress tolerance. This means that an activity that leads to high stress in one staff may not affect another. However, for those that are susceptible to one form of stress or another, it usually has a negative effect on their mental health. Some of the commonly identified causes of stress at work include;

  • A hostile working environment
  • Stagnation with little opportunity for growth
  • Unrealistic expectations and deadlines
  • Excessive workload
  • Minimal support from the employer
  • Lack of recognition by the employer.

 

The Main Symptoms of Stress

 

Stress has physical and mental symptoms which are often visible. A few of the symptoms include;

  • Fatigue
  • Withdrawal
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Sleep disorders
  • A migraine
  • Aggression
  • Mood swings

 

How to deal with stress at work

 

The annual Stress in America survey by America Psychological Association (APA) shows that a majority of Americans agree that work is a significant source of stress. You can deal with work-related stress as follows;

  1. Identify the source of the stress: There are different strategies for managing stress in the workplace, and the first step is identifying the source of the stress. Reducing your exposure to the stressor can cut down the stress. Where reduced exposure is not possible, you can develop a response pattern that will help you to cope with the stress.
  2. Stay organised: There are many benefits to staying organised including increased productivity. Staying organised also entails balancing your work and personal life. Working when you are supposed to be spending time with your family or loved ones is certainly going to create a form of work-life conflict that eventually leads to stress.
  3. Take time off: Prolonged work hours with little time for rest and recreation will lead to the build-up of lactic acid which leads to fatigue and stress. Taking time off will help you to return to your pre-stress level. Even top  machines need to be shut down from time to time for maintenance so as to avoid breakdown. Take time off from work to go on that dream vacation or to do the things that make you happy.
  4. Exercise: It is sad that many people don’t make out time to exercise. Exercise is both good for physical and mental health. Research has shown that exercise helps the body to burn excessive fat. It also increases mental alertness. When we complete a task, our brain releases endorphins which are chemically similar to morphine and makes us feel good. This can eliminate the negative feeling especially depression associated with stress. Employers can help their employees deal with stress at work by organising regular exercises like competitive sports.
  5. Get help: Having a listening ear can help you to deal with stress. It could be your supervisor or a member of your team. Clear and transparent communication helps to combat different symptoms of stress. However, talking to a professional counsellor can make the difference when all other techniques fail. Reach out if you want a counsellor that has a broad knowledge of causes of stress at work as well as strategies for managing stress in the workplace.

 

About the Author Matt

Matt is a trained and licenced Mindfulness teacher and Stress and Anxiety Reduction Counsellor operating in and around the Peterborough area. After overcoming his own stress and anxiety he's found his purpose teaching others to do the same.

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