Coping With Stress in The Workplace


No matter what you do for a living, it is easy to find stress in the workplace. Whether you work in a job that you know is too easy for you or you quite literally are living a dream passion, you will have stressful days. Even the most successful thespians, athletes, and musicians find days of immense and challenging stress. 

Stress at most jobs is unavoidable. It could be caused by a boss who is very demanding, or a co-worker who doesn’t pull his or her weight. Or maybe you have a typically stressful position, such as within medicine or law. By the sheer nature of your job, stress is going to be part of your day-to-day life. 

While some stress on the job can drive you to succeed and be healthy, too much can be very bad. It can cause many health problems and be detrimental. If you are too stressed out, you are very unlikely to get anything meaningful done. You tend to become short-fused, quick to anger, and unlikely to accept solutions. 

Because of this, it is important that learn effective stress management techniques for the job. While many stress-inducing factors may be out of your control, like dealing with your boss, or handling an irate client, there are ways to cope that could quite literally save your life.

Dealing with workplace stress – where do you start? 

The average number of hours of work has gone up eight percent in one generation—to 47 hours a week.  One out of five Americans work as much as 49 hours a week. This can be a great source of stress, not just at work, but at home too. Indeed, a high rate of divorces is credited each year to long hours at work.

Life can become hard to enjoy when you know every living day revolves around working. Working is a joy for many, but when your job becomes your life it is all-consuming. Instead of having hobbies or social activities, you spend your time working or preparing for work. This, as you might already know, is not healthy.

It is important to realistically assess the hours you work each week. Then, you need to ask yourself this: can you cut back and still get the job done? Can you delegate your tasks to co-workers? Can you develop a more flexible schedule?  

Where can you cut corners without hurting the end product? How can you work smarter, not harder? If you consider these options, your job-related stress can diminish significantly. It is not easy, but we often do not find solutions to make our work life easier until we actively go searching for them.

Overcoming a culture of excessive work is very much within your interest 

Overworking can cause many health problems. You might become sick more often, which will force you to call in sick at work. This then adds more work to your pile when you return, further increasing stress levels.  

Indeed, when you start missing days at work, it impacts on your colleagues as much as it does yourself. Work absenteeism is costing American companies a lot of money, which makes workplaces less productive.

Another part of this desire to work so much, though, comes from trying to keep your position. Americans also feel a great deal of stress because they no longer feel secure in their jobs. Layoffs and company bankruptcies have exploded in recent years, especially during the COVID pandemic. 

With very little job security, employees live in constant fear that they will not have a job the next day.   And because of this, people worry about their retirement funds. It is because of these factors that employees now have little loyalty to their employers, creating stress for all parties involved.

This also leads to people overworking themselves in a bid to prove their value to their employer. Ironically, though, a culture of excessive working is very much likely to lead to running out of energy and stamina. This then reduces work performance, which leads to disciplinary action and problems. Even losing your job. Can you see, then, why you need to find ways to cut down on your working hours?

Changing your outlook to match the modern world of work 

Because the workplace climate has changed, it is important that our own outlooks change as well.  Employees need to try to reduce their stress, even though they might not feel secure in their jobs. You therefore need to find a way to start looking for ways to protect your long-term future.  

That might mean opening a separate retirement fund and making regular contributions toward retirement.  If you work on being proactive, chances are your stress levels will decrease. You are burning the candle at both ends in the present; the least you can do is secure your future by putting away a few percentage points of your wage each month. The more you do this, the longer you do it, the more you start seeing stress melt away. Why? Because you start seeing money in the bank, helping you to avoid that anxiety that you MUST take on extra hours.

You should also spend as much time as you can looking into ways to make your job easier. If you work in a manual trade, look into tips and tricks that could save you time. Even if it only saves you an hour per day, that could be saving you 5-6 hours per week, and many more hours per month. Across a year, how much free time have you just found for yourself – all without hurting your income?

Look into ways you can be more productive, and look at how you can find a methodology for preparing for work. The more that you can do to work these little factors out, the easier it becomes to transform and adjust your entire outlook for your life moving forward in the future. 

Face the fact that you are in charge of your destiny, and take control of your future.  You will feel a sense of freedom, and less unhealthy stress.

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