Work-related anxiety has always been around, but in recent decades, it has hit an all-time high. The World Health Organization (WHO) has referred to stress as the epidemic of the 21st century. According to a study done by The American Institute of Stress, about 35% of adults in the United States have reported feeling stressed regularly, and 94% of workers stated that their jobs are a significant source of stress in their lives. You can’t always avoid stressors, but you can and should take steps to manage and reduce stress at work.
Common Sources of Stress
In order to reduce anxiety levels, it is essential to recognize significant stressors in the workplace. The following is a non-exhaustive list of some of the most common triggers for stress at work:
- Uncooperative team members
- Excessive workload
- Few opportunities for growth
- Work that isn’t exciting
- Lack of social support
- Not having control over job-related decisions
- Conflicting demands or unclear expectations
- Major organizational changes
- Difficult or demanding projects
- Lack of organizational communication
Effects of Stress
Stress can take a serious toll on your physical and mental health. It can lead to headaches, stomachaches, sleep interruptions, and more physical issues. Chronic stress can even cause the development of several mental health disorders such as anxiety disorder and depression. Chronic stress can also lower the body’s ability to fight off infection. Uncontrolled stress can also lead people into unhealthy coping habits such as alcoholism, over or under-eating, and substance abuse.
Burnout is also a potential effect of prolonged stress. Burnout occurs when you feel overwhelmed, emotionally and physically drained, and exhausted from stress at work. Some symptoms of burnout include loss of motivation, isolating yourself from others, and feelings of intense exhaustion. Burnout can cause a serious decrease in productivity, thus potentially leading to job loss.
Luckily, there are healthy tactics that you can use to overcome and manage your work-related stress!
Ways to Reduce Stress
Observe and Tackle Your Stressors
For a week or so, write down conversations, situations, or people that cause you to feel overwhelmed. Look for ways to resolve each one. Some triggers may be avoidable, but for the ones that aren’t, use some of the following tactics to lower your stress response.
Only answer work emails and calls during certain times of the day. This can allow you to settle down outside of work hours. Additionally, schedule breaks during the workday to let your mind relax. Stretching during this time is a great way to help your body stay active throughout the day!
Monitor Your Physical Health
Eating well and sleeping well are key components of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. A mixture of healthy eating and regular exercise helps the body to smoothly function and fight disease. Proper sleep allows the body to recover and recoup from a stressful day.
Know When to Seek Help
Accept advice from your trusted friends and family. You may even be able to seek help from a mental health provider through your employer’s employee assistance program.
Try some of these tactics today to start reducing your stress at work!
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