Work stress is a problem for even the most organized employee or executive.
It remains an ongoing problem in many work environments across the United States, which is reflected in recent data.
An American Psychological Association (APA) study indicated more than one-third of working Americans said they experience chronic work stress. However, only 36 percent noted their organizations provide sufficient resources to help them manage work stress.
To help you plan for your unique work stress, we’ve put together four tips to help.
Monitor your stressors.
There are many common causes of work stress, including:
- Excessive work.
- Lack of career growth or advancement opportunities.
- Unclear performance expectations.
- Low salary.
- Limited social support.
Conversely, those who identify and track their work stressors can understand the root causes of these issues and focus on eliminating them altogether.
“Keep a journal for a week or two to identify which situations create the most stress and how you respond to them. Record your thoughts, feelings and information about the environment, including the people and circumstances involved, the physical setting and how you reacted,” the APA recommends. “Taking notes can help you find patterns among your stressors and your reactions to them.”
Try to complete a single task at a given time – you’ll be glad you did! This will help you finish an assignment to the best of your ability. And after you’re done, you then can move on to the next task.
In addition, business psychologist Sharon Melnick, Ph.D. notes creating a distraction- and interruption-free workspace often is ideal, particularly for those who want to reduce their stress levels.
“Most of us are bombarded (with interruptions) during the day,” Melnick tells Forbes. ” You want to have preset criteria for which response you want to make (to work interruptions).”
Find time to relax.
All work and no play can make anyone feel exhausted. Find time to relax.
+ “Techniques such as meditation, deep breathing exercises and mindfulness (a state in which you actively observe present experiences and thoughts without judging them) can help melt away stress,” the APA points out.
+ “Start by taking a few minutes each day to focus on a simple activity like breathing, walking or enjoying a meal. The skill of being able to focus purposefully on a single activity without distraction will get stronger with practice and you’ll find that you can apply it to many different aspects of your life.”
Spend a find minutes each day outside the office. By doing so, you’ll be able to relax and recharge throughout your work day.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Stress can be complicated, and regardless of how much online research you perform, you might struggle to fully understand it.
But it is important to understand that you’re not alone, and those who ask for help from friends and colleagues may be able to discover new strategies to better manage stress day after day.
“Accepting help from trusted friends and family members can improve your ability to manage stress. Your employer may also have stress management resources,” the APA notes.
Furthermore, those who continue to feel overwhelmed by work stress may want to consider booking an appointment with a psychologist, as this professional will be able to provide you with the support you need to control your stress going forward.
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