Work-related stress is inevitable. Even if you love the job you are doing, you experience it at some point in time. The pressure to meet deadlines, challenging assignments, issues with co-workers, balancing work-life can all prove daunting.
Besides affecting the performance at the workplace, work stress can significantly affect both our physical and mental well-being.
Although many organisations indulge in stress-relieving strategies, these usually work for the time being and do not have long-term benefits. Also, stress-relieving activities mostly do not work with the one-size-fits-all approach.
What is Stress?
If we go by definition, stress is a type of change that causes physical, emotional, or psychological strain. It can be of two types—acute (short-term) or chronic (long-term).
Short-term stress helps you manage dangerous situations and goes away quickly. On the other hand, chronic stress goes on for weeks or months and may lead to health problems if not managed in time. Persistent stress in the workplace can become chronic and can have significant health consequences, ranging from relatively benign to potentially serious.
While stress at work is common, it is critical to understand if it is acute or long-term and adopt a realistic approach to effectively cope with it.
If you are finding it hard to cope with work stress, try adopting these stress management techniques.
Top Stress Management Techniques
1. Plan and Stay Organised
Planning to stay organised can significantly decrease your stress at work. Organising and managing your time means giving your commute to and from work ample time.
Keeping yourself organised also means focussing on important tasks and being more efficient at doing them.
2. Ensure a Relaxed Start of the Day
Stressful start of the day or rushed mornings is one of the primary reasons for job stress. Plan your morning, have a good nutritious breakfast and try to stay positive about the day ahead. A good start of the day will be half the battle won with the stress of your job.
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3. Stay Clear on Expectations
Stay clear on what you are expected to do. Talk to your supervisor in case there is any confusion. Unclear requirements is one of the factors causing work stress. When you are not sure about what is expected out of your role or if your responsibilities keep changing, it may lead to extreme stress and under-performance.
4. Manage Time and Stay Organised
Planning the day in advance takes away a lot of stress. An organised day, where you know what and when things are to be done, not only eliminates the stress but it also adds up to your performance. When you are organised with your day, you tend to rush less and eventually hush less to bring the day to an end.
5. Skip Multitasking
Multitasking is your brain switching fast from one task to another. So, when you try to focus on more than one task at a time, it puts pressure on the brain resulting in stress. Besides, the same tasks now take more time than what it would normally take to complete them, adding to that stress.
6. Halt the Pursuit of Perfectionism
Perfectionism can cause constant stress at work. Overbearing or overwhelming perfectionism can lead to burnout, causing complete mental and physical exhaustion. Perfectionism can hinder your ability to do your best. It is essential to understand that you can accomplish goals and do quality work at a pace, even without being a perfectionist.
7. Write Down Your Stressors
Identify the situations that create the most stress and observe how you respond to them. Write down your thoughts, feelings and reactions to things, situations or people that cause stress. Once you have recorded your stressors, ask yourself if there are any better ways to react to them. Practice this regularly.
8. Stay Away from office Gossips and Conflicts
Workplace conflicts are significant factors that can affect your emotional well-being. Do not participate in any office gossip and try to stay away from conflicts. Avoid being too personal or sharing your opinion about religion, politics, casteism etc., which may trigger a conflict-like situation.
9. Develop Healthy Relationships at the Workplace
An increased amount of interactions in anybody’s life can give rise to stress. When you have better relationships with your co-workers, you feel better. Develop skills, attitudes and mindsets that create a positive relationship like empathy, support, growth and learning-oriented behaviour.
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10. Develop Healthy Habits
Take out a few minutes every day to focus on simple activities, like breathing, walking, or enjoying your meals. Take short exercise breaks throughout the day. Enjoy some healthy snacking in-between. This can help you relax, lift your mood and also stay.
Well, stress is not always bad. Some amount of healthy stress motivates you and helps you perform better. However, it is important to learn the difference between good stress and bad stress. Follow the techniques stated above to deal with excess stress at the workplace and bring it down to a manageable level to affect your performance positively.
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