How to Reduce Stress at Work

With workplace stress reaching alarming levels, it's crucial to recognize its common sources, like uncooperative teams and excessive workloads. The impact of stress goes beyond the office, causing physical and mental health issues, from headaches to burnout. To tackle this, first identify stress triggers and work on resolving them. Setting boundaries, managing your physical health through diet and exercise, and seeking help when needed are essential strategies. It's time to take charge of your well-being and reduce work-related stress. Explore these tactics to start your stress reduction journey today!
stress at work

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 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. This stress can manifest as sleeplessness, restlessness, headaches, and more, making it difficult for individuals to live their lives. Luckily, there are several strategies employees can use to reduce their work-related stress, improving their overall quality of life.

Common Sources of Stress in the Workplace

Work-related stress is all too common. From tight time crutches to poor colleague relationships, it is no wonder the modern workforce is plagued with anxiety. Understanding the source of stress is crucial to mitigating its effects. One of the most common sources of stress is heavy workloads and tight deadlines. These factors can make employees feel overwhelmed, contributing to anxiety, burnout, and poor quality of work. Conflicts with colleagues and supervisors can also be a significant source of stress. These conflicts can arise for a variety of reasons. However, they all result in a tense and uncomfortable work environment. 

Employees who feel micromanaged or have limited control over their work or job future may feel heightened stress. A lack of autonomy in the workplace can make employees feel disempowered and disconnected from their work, negatively impacting job satisfaction, creativity, and overall well-being. These employees may also feel stress from job uncertainty or organizational changes. Fear of job loss can similarly lead to decreased motivation and productivity. Finally, poor organizational leadership, including a toxic work culture, can significantly impact employee stress levels. Negative leadership or culture can increase turnover rates and contribute to burnout. 

Effects of Work-Related Stress

Stress can take a severe toll on your physical and mental health. It can lead to headaches, stomachaches, sleep interruptions, and 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 severe 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 at Work

Here are some strategies for managing work-related stress and improving overall well-being!

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.

Develop Healthy Coping Mechanisms

Coping mechanisms like exercise, picking up a new hobby, listening to music, or walking can help you clear your head and reduce stress. These activities can also contribute to your overall well-being.

Set Boundaries

Setting work-life boundaries, though sometimes difficult, is crucial for managing stress. 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 critical components of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. A mixture of healthy eating and regular exercise helps the body to function smoothly 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!

How Can We Help?

Work Health Solutions offers comprehensive healthcare solutions for your medical needs. Our qualified team treats patients and employers alike and always provides top-quality service. Our quality service is backed by years of experience working with academic and research institutions, corporate healthcare, Fortune 25 companies, small government, and local businesses. Reach out today with any questions about how we can assist you!

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Work Health Solutions

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Work Health Solutions is dedicated to preserving a safe work environment and improving existing programs and care for local, regional and national organizations.

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Dr. Michael Tenison

A series of notable accomplishments distinguish Dr. Michael Tenison’s career in medical operations and healthcare management:

  • Successfully led medical operations at a national healthcare provider, focusing on optimizing healthcare delivery and patient outcomes.
  • Oversaw the regional medical practices in key markets like Oregon and Northern California, ensuring consistent, quality medical care and service delivery.
  • Demonstrated exceptional leadership in building and mentoring a large medical provider team, enhancing team performance and patient care standards.
  • Implemented strategic company policies and protocols, significantly improving center efficiency, clinical quality, and patient experiences.
  • Played a pivotal role in financial planning and identifying growth opportunities for healthcare services, contributing to the organization’s overall success.
  • Served as a primary point of contact for regional employer clients and insurance companies, fostering strong relationships and effective communication.
  • Maintained high medical care and case management standards through diligent supervision, chart audits, and performance metric analysis.

Dr. Matt Feeley

Dr. Matt Feeley is a renowned figure in military aviation medicine, with a robust background in occupational and environmental medicine from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. 

  • Former Naval Flight Surgeon, exemplifying his expertise in aerospace medicine and commitment to military health.
  • Served with distinction at NSA Bahrain and HSM-37, earning the COMPACFLT Flight Surgeon of the Year award for exceptional medical service.
  • Supported U.S. Marines VMFA-323 aboard the USS Nimitz, MACG-38, and VMU-3, demonstrating versatility and leadership in diverse medical environments.
  • Broad interests and significant contributions in global health, corporate medicine, and aerospace medicine, highlighting his multidisciplinary approach.
  • Proven track record as a dynamic leader, well-equipped to face the challenges in a fractional medical directorship role with innovative solutions.

Dr. Glen Cheng

A physician-attorney with a dedication to healthcare innovation, informatics, and digital health.

  • Currently spearheads employee health protection and promotion within the VA Pittsburgh Health Care System.
  • Trained in residency at Harvard, achieving board certification as a physician; also a licensed patent attorney with experience as FDA regulatory counsel.
  • Co-founded Acceleromics, a consulting firm providing clinical and regulatory guidance to digital health startups.

Erin Davis

 Chief Clinical Officer at Work Health Solutions, certified in Adult-Gerontology (AGNP-C) and Athletic Training (ATC).

  • Oversees clinical operations and ensures high clinical standards across the company’s national field staff.
  • Former Manager of Clinic Operations and Occupational Health Nurse Practitioner at Stanford University Occupational Health Center (SUOHC).
  • Specialized in treating occupational injuries and illnesses, and provided medical surveillance and travel medicine consults at Stanford and SLAC National Accelerator Lab.
  • Dedicated to sports and occupational injury treatment and prevention.
  • Assistant Clinical Faculty at UCSF, mentoring students in clinical rotations within the Adult Gerontology and Occupational and Environmental Health Program.
  • Holds leadership roles as Treasurer and President Elect of the California El Camino Real Association of Occupational Health Nurses (CECRAOHN), affiliated with the American Association of Occupational Health Nurses (AAOHN).

Dr. Robert Goldsmith

Expert in benefits design and onsite innovation with specialization in the pharmaceutical industry.

  • Previous role as Executive Director for Employee Health at Novartis Services, Inc., leading health services and clinical support.
  • Instrumental in creating an integrated healthcare system at Novartis.
  • Former private practice in internal medicine in Stamford, Connecticut, and Medical Director consultant for GTE Corporation.
  • Transitioned to GE as a Global Medical Director in 2000.
  • Holds a medical degree from Albert Einstein College, an MPH from the University of Connecticut, and completed training at Greenwich Hospital and Yale-New Haven Medical Center.
  • Assistant professor in the Department of Medicine at the Vagelos School of Medicine, Columbia University.
  • Serves as a team physician for high school athletes in Stamford.
  • Published works on occupational health risks, primary prevention, and exercise-induced asthma.