Stress has been defined in different ways over the years. Originally, it was conceived of as pressure from the environment, then as strain within the person. Workplace stress is a more common issue than ever.
Stress is the psychological and physical state that results when the resources of the individual are not sufficient to cope with the demands and pressures of the situation. Thus, stress is more likely in some situations than others and in some individuals than others.
Excessive stress can undermine your ability to achieve your goals, both as an individual or an organisation. For these reasons, it has almost become a part of the job description to learn how to deal with stress at the workplace.
What Causes Workplace Stress
The workplace is a major source of pressures which lead to stress, and structural and social resources to counteract stress. Learning how to deal with stress at the workplace is vital.
General Job Related Factors
The workplace factors that have been found to be associated with stress and health risks can be categorised as those to do with the content of work and those to do with the social and organisational context of work.
Those that are intrinsic to the job include long hours, work overload, time pressure, difficult or complex tasks, lack of breaks, lack of variety, and poor physical work conditions (for example, space, temperature, light).
Additionally, many people experience workplace stress due to bullying.
Role Related Factors
Unclear work or conflicting roles and boundaries can cause stress, as can having responsibility for people.
The possibilities for job development are important buffers against current stress, with under promotion, lack of training, and job insecurity all being stressful experiences. There are two other sources of stress, or buffers against stress:
- Relationships at work,
- The organisational culture.
Managers who are critical, demanding, unsupportive or bullying create stress. A positive social dimension of work and good team working reduces it.
An organisational culture of unpaid overtime causes stress. On the other hand, a culture of involving people in decisions, keeping them informed about what is happening in the organisation, and providing good amenities and recreation facilities reduce stress.
Organisational change, especially when consultation has been inadequate, is a huge source of stress. Such changes include mergers, relocation, restructuring or “downsizing”, individual contracts, and redundancies within the organisation.
Work-Home Conflict Stress
Increasingly, the demands on the individual in the workplace reach out into the homes and social lives of employees.
Long, uncertain or unsocial hours, working away from home, taking work home, high levels of responsibility, job insecurity, and job relocation all may adversely affect family responsibilities and leisure activities.
This is likely to undermine a good and relaxing quality of life outside work, which is an important buffer against the stress caused by work. In addition, domestic pressures such as childcare responsibilities, financial worries, bereavement, and housing problems may affect a person’s robustness at work.
Thus, a vicious cycle is set up in which the stress caused in either area of one’s life, work or home, spills over and makes coping with the other more difficult.
Women are especially likely to experience these sources of stress, since they still carry more of the burden of childcare and domestic responsibilities than men. In addition, women are concentrated in lower paid, lower status jobs, may often work shifts in order to accommodate domestic responsibilities, and may suffer discrimination and harassment.
Additionally, younger people are more likely to struggle to strike a good work life balance, due to more insecure jobs and more pressure to stand out from their peers.
How to Identify the Causes of Stress
As much as work stress is a common phenomenon, it’s relatively difficult to spot. This is mostly because some of the sufferers experience it on a daily basis, so it became the new normal.
However, there are some usual signs to look out for if you suspect you may be feeling “off” and in turn seek help on how to deal with stress.
1. Relaxation Headaches
Because we became so accustomed to stress that the lack of it would cause actual physical pain. In other words, when you experience a sudden drop in stress levels, you may get a migraine. This is why this kind of headache is often referred to as a “weekend headache”.
2. Sore Jaw
A sore jaw can be a sign of teeth grinding, which usually occurs during sleep and can be worsened when you’re stressed out. Ask your dentist about a nighttime mouth guard—up to 70% of people who use one reduce or stop grinding altogether.
Of course, this isn’t exactly a way to deal with stress, but it does alleviate a serious symptom.
Dreams usually get progressively more positive as you sleep, so you wake up in a better mood than you were in when you went to bed. But when you’re stressed, you wake up more often, disrupting this process and allowing unpleasant imagery to recur all night.
4. Bleeding Gums
According to a Brazilian analysis of 14 past studies, stressed-out people have a higher risk of periodontal disease. Chronically elevated levels of the stress hormone cortisol may impair the immune system and allow bacteria to invade the gums, say researchers.
Stress increases the inflammation that leads to breakouts and adult acne.
Smoothen your skin with a lotion containing skin-sloughing salicylic acid or bacteria-busting benzoyl peroxide, plus a moisturizer so skin won’t get too dry. If your stressed-out skin doesn’t respond to treatment within a few weeks, see your doctor for more potent meds.
A Japanese study of more than 2,000 people found that those with chronic itch (known as pruritus) were twice as likely to be stressed out as those without the condition.
Although an annoying itch problem can certainly cause stress, experts say it’s likely that feeling anxious or tense also aggravates underlying conditions like dermatitis, eczema, and psoriasis.
Anxiety and stress can cause stomach aches, along with headaches, backaches, and insomnia.
One study of 1,953 men and women found that those experiencing the highest levels of stress were more than three times as likely to have abdominal pain as their more-relaxed counterparts.
The exact connection is still unclear, but one theory holds that the intestines and the brain share nerve pathways; when the mind reacts to stress, the intestines pick up the same signal.
How to Deal with Stress in the Workplace
Workers today are intruded on seven times an hour and diverted up to 2.1 hours per day. Also, four out of 10 individuals are encountering insecure working conditions, and along these lines confronting uncertainty about their fates.
This might be the reason over 40% of grown-ups say they lie awake at night tormented by the unpleasant occasions of the day. All these statistics indicate the imminent need to learn how to deal with stress.
However, there are a number of ways to deal with stress:
Track Your Stressors
Keep a diary for up to 14 days to distinguish which circumstances make the most pressure and how you react to them.
Record your considerations, emotions and data about the earth, including the general population and conditions included, the physical setting and how you responded. Did you raise your voice? Get a nibble from the candy machine? Go for a walk?
Taking notes can enable you to discover designs among your stressors and your responses to them.
Develop Good Habits
Rather than endeavoring to battle worry with fast food or liquor, do your best to settle on solid decisions when you feel the pressure rise. Exercise is an extraordinary pressure buster. Yoga can be a phenomenal decision. However, any type of physical movement is beneficial.
Additionally, set aside a few minutes for diversions and hobbies. Regardless of whether it’s perusing a novel, going to shows or playing recreations with your family. Make a point to set aside time for the things that bring you joy.
Getting enough quality rest is also imperative. Fabricate solid rest habits by restricting your caffeine intake late in the day and limiting difficult activities, for example, PC and TV use, at night.
In the present advanced world, it’s common to feel strain to be accessible 24 hours per day. Build up some work-life limits for yourself. That may mean ignoring your emails home at night, or not picking up the telephone during dinner.
In spite of the fact that individuals have their own preferences with regards to the amount they mix their work and home life, making some reasonable limits between these domains can decrease the potential for work-life strife and the stress that runs with it.
Take Time to Energize
To keep away from the negative impacts of endless pressure and burnout, we require time to renew and refresh. This recuperation procedure requires “turning off” from work by having time when you aren’t even thinking about work.
That is the reason it’s important that you disengage every now and then, in a way that fits your requirements and responsibilities.
Whenever possible, take time to unwind and loosen up. You’ll return to work feeling revived and prepared to take care of business.
Learn How to Unwind
Begin by taking a couple of minutes every day to focus on a straightforward action like breathing, strolling or enjoying a meal.
The ability of having the capacity to center deliberately around a solitary movement without diversion will get more grounded with training and you’ll see that you can apply it to a wide range of parts of your life.
Talk to Your Boss
A great manager is life changing. Leaders who know how to support and motivate their employees are much less stressful than micromanagers or yellers. If you’re feeling stressed at work, sometimes a chat with your boss is the answer.
This is in everyone’s interest. Employers have an incentive to reduce stress in the workplace, as this means that their employees will be better equipped to do their jobs.
Get Some Help
Seeking help from trusted loved ones can enhance your capacity to overcome the pressures of daily life.
In the event that you keep on feeling overwhelmed by work pressure, you might want to speak to a professional, who can help you to deal with stress. Alternatively, if your stress is caused by your working conditions, you might want to speak to a union representative.
Reach Out to Others
Work related stress is a big deal, and causes serious problems. These can be both physical and psychological. Learning how to deal with stress both at work and at home, has become a necessity rather than a handy skill.
Next time you’re in the office, look around, look at your workmates, one or some of them can be suffering and don’t know how to deal with stress. Don’t stop at just coping, help others, reach out if even by sharing a simple article on the matter.