Five ways to reduce stress at the workplace
Dealing with stress in the workplace becomes crucial as it causes a lot of physical problems from headaches to heart attacks.
While talking about problems affecting employees at the workplace, visible problems like targets, deadlines and work environment are discussed. Stress, the invisible problem caused by the visible ones is often not acknowledged as a problem at all. So much so that, in a study conducted by Optum two years back, 46% of employees in India surveyed mentioned that they suffer from workplace-related stress. What’s even more disturbing is that the percentage is constantly on the rise.
Why should stress be taken seriously?
Stress is not just a mental health issue as it is commonly misunderstood. Too much of stress can cause physical illnesses too including a headache, nausea, increased blood pressure, heart problems and eventually death. That begs the question, how do we deal with it?
Identify your stress triggers
The first step towards reducing stress is identifying what acts as trigger factors in the first place. It would be helpful to keep a journal and take notes on what makes you feel stressed every day. That can be reviewed once in a week or once in a fortnight to understand your trigger factors. This, in turn, will help you in addressing and eliminating those factors.
Maintain healthy relationships
Developing and maintaining a cordial relationship with your co-workers is essential to avoid any unnecessary friction. If you have an issue with a co-worker, try resolving it immediately. This helps in preventing any kind of miscommunication or friction.
It is essential to maintain healthy relationships not just with your co-workers, but also with friends and family. Being open about your problems in the workplace to them will help them steer you towards the right course of action.
Know where to draw a line
As much as it's important to maintain a cordial relationship with your co-workers, it is also important to set boundaries or in other words draw a clear line. One should refrain from sharing too much about their personal life and discussing views on sensitive subjects like politics and religion. This will go a long way in preventing conflicts and friction.
Take care of your health
Research studies dating back to 1980s have often found that physical stress often results in mental stress. So it becomes important to maintain a healthy lifestyle by eating nutritious food, having eight hours of peaceful sleep and a positive attitude towards everything around you.
Additionally, take holidays from work as and when they come, plan them wisely and disconnect yourself from your work for the time period. Doing yoga, breathing exercise or meditation regularly has also proven to be helpful.
Be realistic about your goals
It is important to find a balance between what is expected of you and what you can realistically accomplish. Instead of promising a lot of things beforehand which you may not be able to achieve, be honest and realistic about your targets. If your boss’s expectation is something you don’t think you can meet, explain it to him/her clearly so that they know what to expect from you. Being organized helps a lot in having measurable clear goals and prioritizing them.
On the other hand, it is also important to set a boundary for the number of hours you are going to work in a day. Despite the demands of your work, you should work only for a fixed number of hours to maintain physical and mental health.
Lastly, even a workplace with no trigger factors would induce stress if you lead a sedentary lifestyle. So try going for occasional breaks once in two hours and a walk during your lunch time.
If none of this works and you are still stressed at work, it is a sign for you to consider changing your job.
Employers on the other hand, should understand the importance of having a healthy work culture, listen to the difficulties that their employees face and take them on occasional trips to keep them energized.