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Stress At Work - How to Deal With Stress in the Workplace

 

 

It is well recognized that stress at work is a massive problem and its effects can be devastating. It can result in lost time from work, lost wages, problems in ones personal life and the need for medical treatment. Stress at work often goes unreported or unrecognized as people feel they need to 'get on with it'.

 

The health and safety executive have indicated that stress is likely to become the most dangerous risk to business in the early part of 21st century. One in five workers report suffering from extreme stress at work.

 

Workplace stress is the harmful physical response that occurs when there is a poor match between job demands and the capabilities, needs or resources of the worker. It can lead to a whole array of conditions including depression, anxiety, fatigue, aggression, stomach problems and substance abuse to mention a few. Job stress is also associated with various biological reactions that may lead ultimately to compromised health, such as cardiovascular disease.

 

Undoubtedly certain job conditions can lead to work stress. Poor management, lack of communication and conflicting or uncertain job expectations can be stressful. Too much responsibility or unpleasant or dangerous physical conditions, e.g. noise or pollution, can all lead to occupational stress triggers.

 

How then to deal with stress at work? The first step is to identify the cause. Job stress is a highly personalized phenomenon and can vary widely even in identical situations. The severity of job stress depends on the magnitude of the demands that are being made and the individual's sense of control and decision making latitude he or she has in dealing with them.

 

In order to reduce stress at work you may first need to make several changes to your lifestyle. Taking responsibility for improving your physical health will help. A good diet and regular exercise all contribute to physical and mental well being.

 

Avoid pitfalls by identifying knee-jerk habits and negative attitudes that add to the stress you experience at work. Learning better communication skills to ease and improve your relationship with management and other employees often stops problems in their tracks.

 

There are countless physical techniques for learning how to reduce stress such as Yoga and meditation. However this is not always convenient in the workplace. It takes time and you may get a few odd looks if you suddenly start chanting in the office.

 

One of the speediest ways to relieve stress at work is by engaging one or more of your senses including sight, sound, taste, smell and movement to rapidly calm and energize you. Experiment with music to calm and soothe or use movement and touch. Getting up and down to ease stiff muscles or keep stress relief toys, such as a stress ball in your office desk and squeeze it to relax. Keeping photos of loved ones or even a scent or fragrance to smell when you feel the need.

 

Some aromatherapy oils are thought to be particularly useful for this. All can create a diversion from your stress and act as a comfort trigger. Even holding a cup of warm or cold drink can help. Sometimes the best stress reducer is simply sharing your concerns with someone else and getting support and empathy from other workers. A good social network in the workplace can be very beneficial.

 

Therefore when stress on the job is interfering with your ability to work, care for yourself or manage your personal life it's time to take action. Many people don't recognize how stressed they are. Acknowledging stress is the first step in lessening it's impact.

 

Start by looking at your emotional as well as physical health.

 

Can you or others see the signs of altered behaviour - fatigue, aggression, not sleeping, stomach problems etc. When your own needs are taken care of, you're more resilient to stress. The better you feel, the better equipped you'll be to deal with stress in the workplace.

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