From demanding clients to difficult coworkers, it’s easy to get stressed at work. And according to the CDC’s National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, workplace stress is at an all time high. Research has shown the percentage of Americans who claim to typically feel stressed on the job ranges from 30 to 41 percent. Not only does stress take a toll on your health by increasing the risk of chronic headaches, heart attack, strokes, anxiety, and depression, it also greatly decreases your productivity. According to the American Institute of Stress, stress costs the U.S. industry well over $300 billion a year in lost productivity, insurance, claims, health costs, and on the job accidents.
No matter how hard we try, completely eliminating stress is mission impossible. However, there are effective strategies to manage stress in order to increase health, morale, and productivity.
5 Ways to Minimize Stress in the Workplace
Identify stress factors.
The first step to dealing with stress is to identify the source. You need to know exactly which things about your work make you stressed and what the stress feels like both physically and mentally. Do you get extremely tired? Does it make you have headaches? Do you get dizzy? Once you know the triggers and your symptoms, you can start determining whether it’s something that can be fixed or managed better.
Being aware of your stress level and reacting before you become too overwhelmed can help reduce stress-induced consequences according to stress expert, Elizabeth Scott.
Though venting is often a huge pleasure and a way to get frustrations off your chest, science shows that loudly airing your issues is actually a terribly way to reduce stress. According to PsyBlog, “Venting emotions can actually cause them to become more powerful, rather than allowing them to subside.” In other words, letting out your emotions in a raw blast of emotion, actually causes you to become more passionate about them, thus causing more stress. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t talk to others about the emotions you’re feeling. You should just do so in a more constructive way than a break room complain session.
Though it sounds too good to be true, research has shown that simply rethinking or re-conceptualizing stress as a response that prepares you for taxing situations can turn stress into a positive, performance enhancer. In a study conducted by PsyBlog, participants that were shown research on how stress can be enhancing reported increased productivity and fewer psychological problems over the next few weeks at work.
The more time you have to worry about stress, the more stressed you get. Make a list of activities that you enjoy and are relaxing. When you start to feel overwhelmed by stress at an inactive moment, do one of the activities on the list to help occupy your mind. It’s important to find the sweet spot between being too busy and having nothing to do but worry.
Be more confrontational.
According to psychologists, most stress doesn’t come from current issues or problems; it comes from worries about future or present unknowns. The most common response is to deal with these anxieties by ignoring them. In order to reduce stress, you have to confront these crazy worries head on. Try writing down the thoughts in a stress journal. Sometimes transferring your deepest thought and feelings from your head to paper helps reduce recurring unwanted anxieties.
If you’ve tried all the methods in the book and are still suffering from severe stress, it may be time to consider a job change. Let the experienced recruiters at BOS Staffing help. For more than 35 years we have helped match candidates just like you to jobs that really suit them. Contact us today and we’ll work together to find just the right match.