Do you find yourself tired and snappy at work? And are you sometimes overwhelmed with work? You’re probably suffering from workplace stress, a serious problem in today’s fast-paced world that is only increasing as people deal with job insecurity, tight deadlines, and long hours.

Take Raj, for instance. He is a creative artist who is under immense stress because he works with a short-tempered project head and also has a demanding client. Balancing these two people is tough, and Raj is losing his creative spark.

Raj is not alone. He is one of many suffering from workplace stress today. Workplace stress cuts across industries and if you ignore the warning symptoms, it can lead to chronic physical or mental problems.

Workplace stress also results in other problems such as reduced productivity, higher attrition, absenteeism, fatigue, irritability, errors, sleep disorders, and aggressiveness.

Reasons for stress at work

It’s important to understand the reasons for workplace stress to be able to reduce stress levels. Some of the common causes of stress at work are:

  • Heavy workload
  • Pressure to perform
  • Tight deadlines
  • Long working hours
  • Low job satisfaction
  • Lack of support by management or colleagues
  • Job insecurity
  • Strained relations with seniors
  • Conflicts with colleagues
  • Bullying or harassment in the workplace

How to manage stress at work

Today, many companies are waking up to the hazards of stress-related problems. They are also taking steps to address these issues to prevent stress at work.

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos said in an interview, “Stress primarily comes from not taking action over something that you can have some control over. I find as soon as I identify it, and make the first phone call, or send off the first e-mail message, or whatever it is that we’re going to do to start to address that situation—even if it’s not solved—the mere fact that we’re addressing it dramatically reduces any stress that might come from it.”

Stress can be effectively managed and prevented with appropriate measures.

Workplace stress management strategies

Let’s look at some ways of preventing and managing workplace stress:

  1. Identify the root cause

One way of overcoming stress is to identify and analyze the reason for your work-related stress. What triggers your anxiety? How do you react to stressful situations? What are your physical and mental symptoms of stress? Keep a stress inventory. This will help you eliminate the root cause of your stress.

  1. Set your priorities

Another strategy for stress management is to schedule your day in such a way that you maximize your energy and focus. Set up a schedule for all your tasks. This will help you stay focused and not feel overwhelmed. Prioritize your tasks. Following realistic goals will help you stay calm and not feel stressed about failing to meet your target.

  1. Take breaks

One of the most effective ways of managing work stress is taking short recovery breaks as you work. They are highly rejuvenating. Take some personal time out from your busy schedule. A coffee break or chat with a friend will do. Escape to your favorite places on weekends to refresh yourself.

  1. Learn to let go

“Breathe. Let go. And remind yourself that this very moment is the only one you know you have for sure,” says Oprah Winfrey. Teach yourself to accept change and think about how you can turn it into an opportunity for growth. Don’t let the stress overpower you.

  1. Follow a healthy lifestyle

A sound mind in a sound body is the ultimate winner. So maintain a healthy lifestyle. Eat nourishing food. Sleep well and exercise regularly. Relaxation techniques such as yoga, meditation, and deep breathing work wonders. You can do these at your workplace as well.

  1. Take expert help

Do not hesitate to take help from experts. Check if your company has a counseling facility or an employee assistance program. Do not be and feel lonely. Create your social network and communicate with others.

To become the best version of yourself, work towards being a stress-free professional. Harappa’s Leading Self course helps you understand yourself so you can manage mental blocks and harness your hidden potential.

Explore blogs on topics such as stress managementhow to overcome stress, the stress cycle, and how to relax in our Harappa Diaries section to learn how to lead a stress-free life.

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