Work stress: Learn how to reduce this in order to find happiness
Have you been feeling quite tired lately? Is your mood constantly changing? Do you have physical pain or mental exhaustion? If you’re feeling any of these discomforts, then you might be suffering from work stress. Nowadays, we can suffer stress due to multiple reasons, but the amount of hours we spend working might be the main reason but the amount of sleeping hours can also affect us, so bear in mind that work stress is a serious issue.
Do you know what stress is? Stress is an organism’s response to a stressor such as an environmental condition. Stress is the body’s method of reacting to a challenge… It has an adaptive function, and in small doses, it forces us to adapt to new situations. However, when the stress situation is quite usual then, it might lead to an overload, which will cause problems in our personal relationships, in our motivation, our performance and even in our health.
Now that you know what stress is, let’s have a look at some ways to reduce work stress:
1. Establish good relationships with your colleagues.
When there is a good environment, people are much happier and calmer. If you feel valued by your colleagues, and if they help you when you need it and if you feel useful, we are pretty sure that your stress levels will decrease. In case you feel that there aren’t good vibes in your company, here we show you some tricks to improve the relationships with your colleagues:
- Be more kind
- Avoid taking things personally
- Do not talk about rumours and don’t criticise other colleagues and get rid of workplace gossip
- Be polite to everyone, even to those you don’t like
- Try to solve your problems with other team members
2. Organisation is a key element
If you get overwhelmed because you do not have time to finish your task then this might be due to two reasons: either you try to cover too many tasks or you might have bad organisation.
Before asking for help, the first thing you should do is get organized, start by organising your workspace and then do your tasks. Check how many activities you can perform, and check the time it takes to do each one, which ones are a priority etc. Here you can use different techniques to learn how to organise everything. These will be very useful for you.
3. Learn to delegate
Are you in charge of marketing, sales, cleaning the toilet, interviewing and cooking? If you have more than three jobs in one position, then you might be doing half-tasks, perhaps you are not trained in all areas and it is possible that this burden is leading to a stressful situation. You know what they say “if you want to do something right, do it yourself”, but often this is not true, learn to delegate and we are sure that you will reduce your work stress.
4. Respect those schedules
A few days ago, in a newspaper, it was said that Lidl had fired an employee for working more than necessary. This news that first seemed from a fake newspaper, has made employees and employers think, bringing up something very important: we must respect our schedules. And, we are not only talking about clocking in and out but also about taking a break every two hours at least, going to the bathroom, going for water, talking to co-workers for a while and, if possible, going out for a walk down the street or at least you should get some fresh air by looking out from a window…
5. Avoid taking work home
As soon as you finish your task, let it go. In many jobs, you can take home a large workload, either a physical or emotional one and this is one of the main causes of work stress. You have to avoid this even though it might be quite complicated. In order to disconnect from work, one of the best thing to do is to encourage leisure, sports or relaxation activities such as yoga or Pilates, you can also watch a film or play an instrument.
6. Learn to say ‘’no’’
If you have a large workload, and if you cannot delegate it and you know that you are being well organized, this is the right time to say ‘’no’’. Although it may be difficult, it is possible. Talk to your manager and let him/her know that you currently have too much work to do, or ask him/her about the priority tasks and the secondary ones, so that you can organize these again and stop getting more work until your amount of work decreases.
7. Improve communication inside the company
Good communication is essential for any company. To encourage communication there are several tricks that are quite useful:
- Create teams, trust will be created between members, and communication will be improved.
- Avoid the fragmentation of means, by this we mean, if you talk by whatsapp, mail, internal chat, letter and by post, it is very likely that you will not find that report that you need, since you will not be able to know where it is. Face-to-face conversations are always the best option, but if you can’t do so, choose one of these channels to talk about an important issue.
- It is also important to encourage transparency about what is going on inside the company.
- Finally, “team building” is a great idea that a lot of companies tend to carry out in order to improve relationships between colleagues.
8. Eat healthy, play sports, and rest properly.
These three things must be the most recommended things throughout history. If you eat healthy, play sports and sleep properly, your anxiety levels will be reduced which will reduce your work stress. They say that oranges and yogurt are some of the best foods to lower your anxiety. But, as you probably know, practising sports releases endorphins, so you will be happier.
9. Talk to your boss or HR manager
If you have carried out all these tips and you still feel work stress, it is time to talk to your manager. Explain your situation, that you feel overwhelmed, stressed and that your health is being affected by it. You can go to the doctor’s or ask for a small vacation, but if you are still feeling that work stress then you might not be in the right environment. There are some jobs out there in which you have to overcome great levels of stress and not everyone can face this.
10. Relaxation techniques
There are loads of different techniques, but these are the most popular ones:
- Breathing, concentrating on our breathing and focusing on the diaphragm is a perfect exercise to relax. You can do this by lying on your back or sitting on a chair. Put your hand on your chest and the other one on your belly, breathe for 3 minutes and try to move the abdomen more than the chest. Breathe in through the nose and breathe out through the mouth…
- Meditation, It is very positive to combine breathing with meditation, there are those who use mantras that are repeated while meditating, such as “I feel at ease with the world” or “I feel chilled”.
- Jacobson muscle relaxation, It’s about relaxing the muscles little by little, focusing on each part of the body and breathing deeply.
- Mindfulness, a lifestyle to connect with oneself. It is recommended to do between 5-20 minutes a day different practices in order to be more calm, an example is to have breakfast in a quiet place, without television or telephone, in order to enjoy the food, and drink, do this and you will notice the difference. Check this video about mindfulness, which explains how to meditate in a minute.
We hope these techniques will help you control and lower your stress levels a little. In the meantime, and to make your day a little more bearable, we recommend you to visit the following article which gives us 15 ideas to improve our productivity at work. See you soon!