Does your job cause you stress? If so, you’re in good company. Some 80 percent of workers suffer from job stress, and about 40 percent feel that they could use some help in managing it.
Because job stress varies so much depending on the workplace, the number of strategies used vary as well. Here are some suggestions when dealing with workplace stress:
Stress Management Techniques
Simple Things You Can Do
- Hit the gym — exercise can help reduce anxiety and workplace stress. Even a 10 minute walk can help reduce stress and increase oxygen intake. You use up more oxygen when you’re under stress, and if you don’t get enough, you can experience anxiety.
- Take deep breaths — along the lines of exercising, your body needs more oxygen when you’re stressed out. When people are stressed, they tend to breathe shallowly and may even hold their breaths. This robs the body of oxygen. By breathing deeply you’ll supply more oxygen to your brain, which will help you think clearer.
- Make your desk into your happy place — you spend nearly 8 hours in the same spot daily. Your workspace can be dreary or positive. Placing nonjob-related items around your workspace as cues for happiness can greatly improve your morale. If you only see job-related materials around you, it may stress you out.
- Don’t get overwhelmed — when working on a particular job, only focus on that particular thing. Don’t have the other work visible, if you can help it. Create a list with all the jobs you have to do for the day, and when they’re completed, mark them off. You’ll be able to go back and see how much you’ve done and get a feeling of accomplishment.
Getting beyond Office Politics
Often stress in the workplace occurs because of coworkers or the boss. Here’s how to handle it:
- Confront the bad coworker — if your coworker is being difficult, you need to confront him or her with your boss present. Document the situation and be sure that management knows there is a problem. If the problem continues, you may have to consider a department transfer or speak with the human resource department.
- Talk with your demanding boss — your boss is being difficult or too demanding, the next step is to meet with him in the nonconfrontational way and see if there is anything that can be done to fix the problem. Stick with the issues and be sure to document everything that was said. If necessary, you may need to have human resources involved.
- Looking beyond the job — if you’re still stressed out, maybe you should be preparing for a different job, or looking for a different position. If you feel trapped in your current position, it’s going to cause stress. Get training or learn a new skill; go back to school and learn a new trade. There is no such thing as job security in this economy, which means it is vitally important to not pigeonholing yourself into one particular job. By giving yourself the freedom of choosing other work, you can greatly reduce your stress.