Job stress is among one of the leading sources of stress among the American adult population.
Stress entails the perception that you have little to no control over certain situations and yet you feel weighed down by what appears to be significant demand.
Tackling workplace stress is of the utmost importance for your overall health.
Stress is associated with various health issues, including:
- Heart attack
- Gastrointestinal Issues
Fortunately, you can reduce stressful situations at work using a broad range of tactics.
Get Rid of Interruptions
If you already feel that your job demands too much of you, interruptions can only add to that demand. Many factors can serve as interruptions such as phone calls, text messages, instant messages, emails, and social media. There are some interruptions you have no control over, such as tight deadlines and co-workers in need of assistance. However, the rest you can easily reduce to make work less stressful.
To begin with, set your cell phone to silent during the day to avoid the interruptions of unimportant phone calls and instant messages. Make it a point only to read and respond to work-related emails and let the rest wait until you have free time on your hands. By focusing entirely on work, you are more likely to improve productivity, get your work done, and reduce workplace stress.
Identify Controllable Factors
First, take a step back, take a deep breath, and analyze your situation with a calm, clear head. Determine what it is you can control and go from there. You can control your actions in a situation, but not the actions of others. If someone says something to you in an angry tone and you react with stress or anger, you are likely to make the situation worse.
Instead, control your actions by remaining calm. If possible, try to step outside of the heightened situation so you can clear your head. A quick breath of fresh air or some simple breathing exercises are often enough to develop a calm state-of-mind. Control your actions and reactions by closing your eyes and taking a few deep breaths in through the nose and out through the mouth until you feel you can approach a stressful situation calmly.
Balance Your Diet and Sleep Schedule
Believe it or not, a poor diet and sleep schedule will contribute to elevated levels of stress. If you lack a proper diet and sleep schedule, you will feel devoid of any energy, which can make you susceptible to workplace stress. Instead of allowing workplace stress to take control of your life, try changing up your food intake and sleep patterns.
For best results, consume a diet that is low in sugar and high in protein. A high sugar content can exacerbate stress and make it far more difficult for you to fall asleep at night. Try to avoid distractions at night that may prevent you from falling asleep. Keep your phone on silent, turn your TV off, and try simple breathing exercises to relax before bed.
Prioritize Your Tasks
If you have multiple tasks piled on your desk, it can increase the stressful feeling you are already experiencing. Rather than looking at your tasks as a whole, try to prioritize them based on importance. Breakdown your workload by tackling the shortest deadlines, first. Once you learn to prioritize your workload, you can start to alleviate stress.
At times, focusing on too many tasks at once can make you feel like you are losing control. The key is to avoid anything that might make you feel overwhelmed. If you find that you have too many tasks to handle with shorter deadlines, ask for assistance. You might even see if you can prioritize your tasks by extending deadlines whenever possible.
Identify Your Stressors
Sometimes you feel so stressed it's hard to determine the source of your stress. You may know your problem stems from workplace stress, but it's often hard to narrow down the root of the problem. Create a week-long stress journal and write down everything that causes you to feel even remotely stressed out or anxious.
You can identify different stress factors using your journal at the end of the week. For instance, your stress may be the result of your salary, a co-worker, an excessive workload, or performance demands. Once you narrow down the cause of workplace stress, you can work to eliminate the problem. If you feel your salary is the problem, talk to your boss about a potential raise.
Take Advantage of Therapy
Self-help is great. But now and again, you just need someone to talk to about the stresses of your daily life. Venting about the things that make you feel stressed can sometimes alleviate the problem. Talking to an online therapist can go a long way toward helping you eliminate workplace stress. Aside from the fact that you can discuss your feelings, a therapist can assist you with coping skills for stress.
Of course, not everyone has time for therapy appointments. Fortunately, online therapy offers a convenient way for you to gain access to an online therapist without disrupting your already busy schedule. Make an appointment to speak with an online therapist about your workplace stress. The Virtual Therapist Network offers several trained, experienced therapists ready to assist you in coping with workplace stress.