Stress at work

How to handle stress at workplace?

Stress is the biggest factor that deprives a person of achieving success. If not handled properly, it will ruin relations with coworkers, family members, and other social networks. and will.. When it comes to stress ratio, people with all ages, gender and demographic location face it. In this article we will discuss some techniques which will help on how to handle stress at workplace.

Stressed people are more prone to health issues and cause more expenses to organizations. They become less productive and take more sick leaves than others.

World Health Organization (Who) has stated on their site that a healthy job is likely to be one where the pressures on employees are appropriate in relation to their abilities and resources, to the amount of control they have over their work, and to the support they receive from people who matter to them.

Reasons why people get stressed at workplaces.

  • High demand increases pressure.
  • Lack of motivation or support.
  • Different kinds of harassment.
  • Sexual abuse.
  • Changes in the workplace and lack of job security.
  • Thinking errors.
  • Fast-moving technology, etc.

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) report shows that

  • 40% of workers reported their job was very or extremely stressful
  • 25% view their jobs as the number one stressor in their lives
  • 75% of employees believe that workers have more on-the-job stress than a generation ago

Every individual has own capability to produce results. What is slow for you may be fast for someone else and vice versa. The pace of work, level of knowledge and speed of task accomplishment are different, depending upon their ability, availability of resources and Authority level.

How to handle stress at the workplace?

Keep a record of the event which triggers the stress.

Every time you feel stressed, write it in a journal. Write down the event which triggered the stress, note minute details of the event. What was the situation before and what thought appeared when the situation occurred? Note your mood and behavior changes. Observe your feeling before the event occurred and thoughts appeared in your mind. Keep track of people involved in the situation?

Do not react to the situation immediately.

If possible delay your response, it will give you time to think about how to react in a positive way.

Once in our company, the Sales Director was hired because of a new position emerged. I helped him to achieve all the knowledge required to do his tasks and supported him from time to time on his day to day business.

One day he sent an email to my boss, who happened to be boss for both of us, keeping me in CC. In that email, he blamed me for not being loyal to the company and wrote that I was planning to take his position as Sales Director. This thought of his was based on his assumptions due to one incident which had happened earlier in the morning.

When I read this email, I became annoyed, especially after working for more than a decade I was labeled as disloyal by a newcomer. I wrote a big response to that email to keep my opinion and condemning him for not having a clear understanding of the event. But before clicking on the send email button, I thought to delay my response and give some time to myself and think why did he do what he did and what could be the result of my immediate response. Later I went to my boss and discussed with him the event and he told me to ignore that email. Imagine, my quick reaction could ignite my colleague more and a war of emails could have started between me and the Sales Director in front of our immediate boss.

Sometimes, your delay in response gives you time to think and prepare your action plan to handle the situation.

“It’s not what happens to us, but our response to what happens to us that hurts us.”

Stephen R. Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change

Learn how to relax in the workplace.

When you feel overwhelmed, take small breaks. Do not sit for a long time. consider moving around. If your cabin is closed, get out of the cabin every hour. Meet people around, discuss topics of interest. If your workplace is where you can play or have fun. Use such facilities. I have come across many organizations that allow their employees to relax, play some indoor games during their duty hours.

Always think positive.

Negativity has a very bad impact on productivity. Less Productivity triggers stress too. Positive attitude toward duty, coworkers and all events give a better tool to handle stress.

Have good relations with your colleagues.

If you have any kind of issues with your colleagues or if you think you are not being treated properly, note it down. Do not keep it to yourself. It will increase your pressure and keep you boiling all the time. Talk to them, discuss with them. Ask for an appropriate time to discuss. Prepare yourself for discussion in order to keep all you have a positive and fruitful outcome.

Stay away from negative people.

Negativity is contagious. If you take precautions, you can catch this habit very quickly from other negative thinkers. Negative people can change your belief in you, your environment, your job, and your social and personal life. They may kill your best opportunities that lie ahead. Such people may induce a fearful environment about the job situation, company, economic situation or political situation. They will keep talking about people or politics. Sometimes, it is difficult to get out a situation where negative people are stimulating their mindset in you. But keeping a positive attitude can help you taking charge of the situation and get out of such conversations in a timely manner. Remember people with negative mindsets are the biggest hurdle in your productivity and they may influence your emotions, ruin your good mood, and in the long run destroy your career too.

Sometimes, it is difficult to get out a situation where negative people are stimulating their mindset in you. But keeping a positive attitude can help you taking charge of the situation and get out of such conversations in a timely manner. Remember people with negative mindsets are the biggest hurdle in your productivity and they may influence your emotions, ruin your good mood, and in the long run destroy your career too.

But keeping a positive attitude can help you taking charge of the situation and get out of such conversations in a timely manner. Remember people with negative mindsets are the biggest hurdle in your productivity and they may influence your emotions, ruin your good mood, and in the long run destroy your career too.

Surround yourself with positive people.

In the same context stay around people with a positive mindset. Positivity is contagious too and it will reflect in your daily productivity. Optimistic people will show you a good picture out of every situation. Even in really difficult circumstances, they keep their positive attitude and instead of surrendering to the situation, their critical thinking ability presents them the upper hand on the situation.

Talk to your boss.

If you think you can not keep yourself motivated, talk to your boss.

One day one of my colleagues was in big stress. When I asked him, he said, he is overwhelmed with work. The work is too much and he is not getting enough paid as per his work. When I asked him, if he has discussed this matter with his boss, he denied having any discussion. The next day I met his boss and explain him the situation. He was not aware of this matter and asked my colleague to see in his office immediately. Sometimes, we think our supervisors know all our situations and they can take care of our business and motivational needs, but these can be our assumptions and don’t help in most cases. The next day, this person called me and informed me, he had discussed his situation with his boss and he agreed to revise and increase his salary.

Love your boss.

In the corporate world, most of the time boss considered as biggest hurdle in an employee’s life, which prevents their financial and professional growth.

Generally, it is said that most of the people hate their bosses because they try to exploit the rights of their subordinates to grow in the organizations and do not appreciate to the extent employees have produced the results. One of the reasons, they think, they are there to get the tasks done and achieve the company’s goals. Some of them, do not credit employees for their achievement rather in front of higher management they show their achievements as their own strategic planning results.

Not every boss thinks that way, but at some or the other time, there is human natural feeling that appears, when they get any rejection from their team members, they dislike that employee’s such act. Without looking into the fact and analyzing how it can be resolved, in some cases, they show their wrong attitude to their team members, which causes damage in their relationships. And most of the time nobody likes a boss.

“I hate my boss”, this attitude can create more pressure on your daily work activities. If you want to love yourself, love your boss. No matter how his attitude towards your job is. After all, it is not the event that hurts you, it is the belief that you attach to the event that makes you feel the way you feel. I had a discussion about it with a couple of my friends, they disagreed on my views. According to them theoretically, it looks nice that you love your boss, even if he or she is rude to you and does not appreciate your efforts. But If you think deeply, practically also it is in favor of employees and in the long-run it releases the pressure of rat and cat race.

Maintain Personal life and Business life boundaries.

Set priorities in your life. When you are at the office, give your best to achieve your business goals, but when you are at home, enjoy yourself with your family. Smartphone sometimes can be overwhelming and may increase stress. Use it for as you are controlling it, do not let your mobile phone or gadgets control you. Checking business emails at home may increase your stress. Love your job and commit yourself to it when you are at work.

“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.”
Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs, Former CEO of Apple

Replace your bad habits with good ones.

Some personal bad habits add to the stress at the workplace. Procrastination is one of them. Some times we postpone our actions or decision in order to get comfortability and think that we will do this task later. When the deadline to submit the project or taking a decision approaches near, such delay top-up to stress level. You may consider some tasks to delay in order to think about it and maybe you can get better ideas on how to handle it. But making it a habit to delay every task is nothing but increasing our stress. Differentiate the tasks which needed quick action or which can be postponed for better results. Try to complete things which needed quick actions as it arrives on your list. It will help you to take the necessary steps in case you need to change your decisions later.

Prioritize your schedules.

Make a list of important and urgent things, important and unurgent things. Sometimes, we can’t distinguish between both and become a victim of consuming our time on unimportant things, which we think are urgent and important.

Focus on one task at a time.

Many people do multi-tasking and think it is the most efficient and productive way to achieve results. You may see some short term benefits, but for over a long period, it is harmful to the mind and ultimately impact on the body. Since such a category of people can’t focus on one job at a time, they always wander and become restless. They may attend calls in the middle of a meeting and do other activities while they are in the middle of a very important assignment. In the long run, multitasking will increase stress. Avoid being drifted by many tasks at a time and focus on the one which is very important and needs to be accomplished to reduce your stress.

Don’t expect perfection.

It is good to complete a job as professionals do, but having a view of if I need to get this job done, it should be perfect or I don’t need it, such attitude increases stress. Especially in interdependent jobs where your achievements and tasks are depending upon other team members or department’s work, it is too difficult to get things done 100 percent as we want it to be done. There is always some glitch or barrier. Accept such situations. Analyze them and see what you can do to reduce the errors.

You may need to discuss with others who are involved in the project, guide them and explain the importance of the assignment and how it will influence everyone’s interests. Discuss the best possible output and how you can have better results.

Do not fear failure or under achievements. Learn from mistakes, and at the same time put your best efforts to achieve your desired goals. Always appreciate team members for their sincere contributions.

Keep in mind that nobody is a born expert. You had to put some efforts to achieve such professionalism and expertise and you had to put your time too. You may have struggled in the beginning too. But after right practice, you have a professional approach to do things easily.

Act as a leader.

You may take an approach of teaching, coaching, guiding whenever necessary and possible. It will not only help in producing good relations, but also create harmony among each other. You will feel more comfortable and stress-free by believing in people and their ability to perform their tasks to achieve defined objectives. Remember, leader set a proper direction and help others to do rights things.

Delegate tasks.

Significantly, you will find people as a great asset when you delegate tasks according to their capacity and trust in their ability. After all, in Organizations, sometimes their job may be depending upon your task accomplishments. Respect, their ability and give credit to their participation.

Your pure belief in other’s abilities will bring trust and they feel motivated. It encourages them with courage and confidence and improves their ability to learn faster. It gives them immense faith in what they can do, they develop their intellectual approach towards you. You will find that they give their best performance and they will never let you down in achieving the objectives assigned.

Be happy and be content.

Don’t forget, Happier people are more productive. Being happy means being successful. People who are satisfied with their jobs are big assets to the organizations and they are less exposed to chronic stress. Don’t bring your office tensions at home, keep them at the office. Tomorrow, you have another beautiful day to work for that. Never be in a rush to accomplish tasks. Remember those who are in rush, most of the time tend to make mistakes. Enjoy work life. Remember, when you enjoy at work, you will enjoy yourself at home with your family too.

This information is not intended to serve as medical advice. If you experience symptoms which cause you concern, please consult your physician.

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Zuber Palawkar

Zuber Palawkar

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2 Comments

    • Thank you so much for sharing your reviews. I am glad that you like the article. Please keep visiting this site to see most recent updates on different topics which may interest you.

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