Reducing Work-Related Stress

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I’m sure if you take a look around your office right now you may see some individuals who appear to be stressed. Work-related stress is the silent killer, it quietly eats away at you, until one day when it snaps. Does any of this sound familiar? Stress can bring about some physical side effects, headaches, increased blood pressure, upset stomach, chest pain, and even fatigue – to name a few.

Being able to recognize the signs of stress and how to manage it is critical. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration in the US. Stress costs the USA $190 billion in health care bills every year. Yes, that’s right $190 billion!! Over 65,% of adults admit that work causes them major stress problems.

How to recognize bad stress

Not all stress is bad; you have good stress and bad stress. Stress in small doses, good stress, can help you perform at your peak. Bad stress happens when too much good stress builds. Some of the causes of this bad stress are:

• Feelings of anxiousness of being fired or laid off.
• Access in workload and hours due to budget cuts
• Unrealistic management expectations on you.
• Pressure to produce all the time, at your peak.

How do you know your stress is getting the best of you?

• You become depressed; you’re easily irritated or withdrawn.
• Loss of interest in your work; apathy has set in.
• Unable to sleep; feel tired most of the time.
• Lack of concentration.
• Muscle tensions, stomach problems, and headaches.
• You begin to seek out vices such as drugs or alcohol.

Fortunately, there are some positive things you can try to change the way you feel to manage stress levels before they overwhelm you:

• Form Positive Relationships: They won’t solve the problems, however being able to communicate with a neutral person such as a friend will lessen the stress.
• Exercise: By exercising, you release endorphins which boost the mood, it will also take your mind off stressful thoughts.
• Eat nutritious, healthy foods: For many, food can become a “safe place.” How many times have you went home after a stressful day and devoured a pint of ice cream? Try and avoid these types of behaviors. Stick to carbs like whole-wheat bread, vegetables, high fiber foods, superfoods that have antioxidants in them and lean proteins with plenty of omega-3, as they are thought to be excellent for stress and depression. Avoid alcohol because it is a natural depressant.
• Get some sleep: Stress can cause restlessness making it hard to sleep at night. Not having enough sleep you are unable to face the next day with its problems and stresses.
• Prioritize yourself and your time: When you feel overwhelmed, stress can happen to you. It is important to clarify your goals and set deadlines. I often find it helpful to make a to-do list. This helps to keep tasks in prospect and allows you to plan accordingly.
• Eliminate bad habits: Your outlook has a big impact on how you can cope. If you are negative, you need to change your mindset to break bad habits that are keeping you back from performing at your best. You have to stay positive, resisting the need to be “perfect.”

There is no denying that stress is a massive problem in this country. Fortunately, you solve stress in the workplace by altering yourself. By following the suggested tips, you will be able to get your stress levels under control as well as a peace of mind. The breakthrough will come through for you – then you will see some positive things coming your way.

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