Work stress is very common. And many of us can be quite blasé about it. However, we should not be so flippant as work stress can often lead to significant health consequences, like colds and flues, to more serious complications like heart disease.
We need to take a closer look into understanding work stress to help us better manage it and take positive actions.
Here are the things that we should consider:
Signs of stress
The first step in understanding stress is to know the signs of it. Well, signs of stress vary from person to person. But recognising your own personal signs can help you take proper actions.
The most common signs of stress include tensing your jaw, grinding your teeth, getting headaches, sleeping problems and feeling irritable or short tempered.
Rethink negative thoughts
When we are stressed, we tend to rationalise negatively or see things as worse than they really are. It sometimes impairs our judgement and affect our positive mood. When you think you are worrying too much over something, or thinking negatively about it, it is advisable to ask yourself these questions:
Am I overestimating the likelihood of a negative outcome? Am I overestimating how bad the consequences will be? Am I underestimating my ability to cope?
Being aware of this can help you avoid making harsh decisions or actions that can further lead to a more stressful situation. Think positive thoughts!
Prepare yourself to stressful situations
Do you have a big presentation coming? Is the deadline of your report coming? Do you need to see a big client? These are just some of the stressful situations that can elevate our chances of getting work stress.
Whilst we cannot avoid these situations, it is better to prepare and condition our mind to these scenarios to help us better manage our stress.
Work on developing skills you need to tackle these situation or rehearse the situation before you have to perform on the actual day. You can do this by imagining yourself successfully handling the situation or setting up real-life rehearsals.
According to research, good time management can decrease stress, increase work and life satisfaction, and improve health.
Some of the time management strategies that you can do are setting goals, prioritising and planning tasks, writing to-do lists, using a diary, setting reminders for jobs that need doing, delegating tasks, and grouping similar jobs that can be done together.
Stress can affect your immune system and overall health. Eating healthy food, getting regular exercise, and avoiding the use of alcohol, tobacco etc are just some of the ways that you can keep yourself healthy.
Health body equals healthy mind and you are less likely to be effected by stress or pressure.
Take time to relax
We are not robots. We are humans that need to relax and rest. So if you feel that work is dragging you down, take time to relax. You may go on a vacation for a day or two. You may also practice meditation. Meditation, if practiced regularly, can help reduce stress levels and allows our body and nervous system to settle and readjust to a calm state.
These are just some of the things that we can do to better manage work stress. Don’t ignore the signs and take our health for granted. A healthy mind and body will help us be more productive. If you have other things that are not on this list, feel free to share it in the comments below.
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Have a healthy, productive and stress free week to all of you!
Crisel Fernandez – Consultant