Work-Related Stress & How To Cope
It’s almost impossible to avoid work-related stress completely from the workplace. At one point or another, we’ll all find ourselves stressed about something. Sometimes it’s deadlines, other times important meetings or we catch ourselves with too many tasks to handle on our own.
But just because we can’t eliminate stress from our lives entirely doesn’t mean that we should let it consume us.
Remember: too much stress can have a negative impact on both your body and your mental health. It can leave you feeling depressed, unsatisfied in every possible way, sleep-deprived, more susceptible to sickness, and so on.
All in all: it ain’t a pretty sight.
In order to avoid this, we need to learn to manage and deal with our stress effectively. Whether you decide to do this on your own or seek out help from a personal online coach – that’s completely up to you.
There’s a lot of people out there who are willing to help you manage your work-related stress, so why not let them?
If you decide to deal with your work-related stress on your own, you can test some coping strategies as you like and find out what works for you and what doesn’t. I’ve got a couple effective ones listed for you to help you get started and work towards feeling less stressed out.
1. Take a Deep Breath
This might sound pretty simple and even a little bit ridiculous, but don’t knock it until you tried it. When you start feeling overwhelmed, tense and stressed out, take a moment to breathe in-and-out to restore your balance.
Take a breath, hold it for a couple of seconds, and then slowly let it out through your nose. Repeat this a couple of times, if needed, until you’re calm and ready to move on with your day.
Yoga and meditation are both based on this method, so it’s no wonder that breath control can help us out when we need it the most. So, the next time you find yourself angry and annoyed, head over to your desk or the bathroom, and just breathe.
2. Don’t Keep It All Inside
Holding in your emotions is never a good thing. Sure, you shouldn’t fall apart in the middle of a meeting, but if you feel like you have too much to do and can’t accomplish everything, talk to your boss. Opening up like this is not easy, but it can really affect your stress levels greatly.
When you get this chance, tell your boss exactly why certain tasks are more challenging than others and offer suggestions that will be beneficial for the both of you.
Naturally, you should be able to talk to your friends and family about what’s stressing you, too. Don’t be afraid to rant, cry, and ask for advice — you will feel better once you let it out all out. However, the best thing to do is try to solve the issue with your boss first.
3. Learn How to Say ‘No’
This is probably one of the most difficult things you’ll learn in your life. Saying ‘no’.
A lot of us are so scared we’ll get reprimanded or fired if we stand up for ourselves in our workplace. But the truth is that there’s no use in being overworked and tired — you will only feel more anxious and be a lot less productive.
It might take some time to adopt this habit, but it can be done. Don’t forget to be polite no matter what, but be firm too — once you say ‘no’, don’t let other people sway you. Explain why you have to refuse a certain task and tell them that another assignment will only affect the quality of your work.
4. Take Breaks as Often as You Need
When we have a deadline looming on the horizon or a number of tasks we need to finish, we tend to skip out on our much-deserved breaks. In turn, we become stressed out, frenzied, and less focused as the day goes by.
It’s important to stand up from your computer during the day and, for example, take a short walk. You can also call your loved ones to see how they’re doing, hang out with your colleagues and talk about something other than work, or just grab a quick coffee from the kitchen.
What’s important is to have a couple of breaks during the day to relax.
These moments can help you refocus and you can even meditate a bit when you’re alone (remember the breathing exercise we were talking about earlier?). It’s important to look after yourself, so don’t hesitate to take all the breaks you need.
5. Don’t Set Unrealistic Goals
Being ambitious is just fine, but sometimes it can lead us to set unrealistic goals for ourselves, which can leave us feeling anxious and stressed.
Imagine a situation where you try to reach a goal and you fail to do so. You get discouraged, berate yourself for failing, and soon enough start feeling the weight of the world on your shoulders.
Research has shown that people who adjust their goals according to their abilities tend to feel less stressed, can plan better, and are more productive when it comes to performing their tasks. This doesn’t mean that you should aim low, but just that you need to have goals that will motivate you, rather than cause you stress.
6. Have Enough Time for Yourself
The key to reducing all that work-related stress in your life is taking good care of yourself—both physically and mentally. This means having enough time for yourself.
You should always make time for your favorite pastime activities, whether it’s walking your dog, hanging out with your family and friends, or simply writing in your journal. Doing more of what makes us happy can relieve the stress we’re feeling on a daily basis.
Exercising regularly, eating healthily, and sleeping well can also help us go a long way in battling stress. According to the American Psychological Association, physical activity helps our brains cope with stress better, so anytime you start feeling bad, get up and start moving! Your body and your mind will thank you for it.
It may sound cliche, but your health really is everything. It’s something you can’t get back, which is why you need to try to reduce stress as much as you can and work towards a more positive thinking. Don’t let your work-related stress take control of you—fight it with one of these methods or use any available online. The most important thing is to focus on yourself and keeping your mental and physical health intact.