Everyone needs to work and sometimes, work is one of the major contributors of stress in life. Workplace stress can lead to serious health issues. When you love your job, it sometimes is even more difficult to be aware that you are under stress. Work stress is easier identified when there is pressure at a job you don’t like and you are under challenging deadlines
Other times work stress can result from being a high achiever, a top performer and the resident “I can do it all” personality in your work place or business. They are also those most likely susceptible to work stress and ultimately burnout. This is one of the cases where having a deep passion for the job leads to tasking work loads and unhealthy pressure to succeed. This eventually leads to burnout.
Burnout resulting from chronic work-related stress eventually leads to physical and mental exhaustion, detachment from the life outside the office and emotional stress. Once burnout sets in, productivity reduces and you ultimately become a shadow of yourself.
There are many stressors at the workplace that most workers don’t even know are working against them. Workplace stress manifests in several ways; emotionally, physiologically, behaviorally and psychologically. The signs are many and we will look at some.
The body reacts adversely to workplace stress and this could be characterized by signs such as muscle spasms, insomnia, a general feeling of tiredness, splitting headaches, high blood pressure and constant body pain.
These are the quickest to become apparent as it becomes increasingly difficult to meet deadline and be sociable with co-workers. There may also be a lot of anxiety, worrying and a feeling of powerlessness to change their ways. Unfortunately, most people suffering from work stress have trouble articulating their feelings to others. They also suffer from a lack of attentiveness and may be forgetful. Eventually, they would just not be able to function at work any longer.
Sadly, all these signs transcend from the work place and find their way to the personal life and may begin to cause issues with friends and loved ones.
There are many ways to manage workplace stress. It requires first of all accepting that there is a problem and taking active steps to fix it. Here are some steps that have proven effective in addressing workplace stress issues.
With the help of a personal journal, you can track your work patterns and identify the moments when you feel the stress the most and what the signs are. By writing down your feelings, thoughts and surroundings at that moment, you will be able to identify the patterns that your stressors take and how you react. This is an important step in getting better.
Instead of drowning in fast food, alcohol or coffee, you should actively make better life choices that will help reduce your stress levels. Take up a new hobby, start to exercise, yoga helps to calm the mind and body. Whatever you do, take some time to be with your favorite friends and family. You can even take time away from work during stressful situations to read a book, see a movie or take a short trip to your favorite places. Find your happy place.
You cannot work all day. You need to have rules that will help you to demarcate work and life better. Simple rules like no phones during dinner or no emails after a certain time will help you to destress for some time. Initially, these periods will come with a lot of anxiety. Over time, you will find refuge in those times and regain control of your life.
You need the support of your friends and family to help you better manage your stress. It is also a good idea to make use of your employer’s stress management assets at work. This could include books, online resources and work stress counseling sessions. Work stress counseling is important because it involves working with a professional to understand how you best function, your stressors and develop strategies to remove unhealthy habits and stress-inducing behaviors. If you feel overwhelmed at the office, you may want to speak to a work stress counselor who will help you to better manage stressful situations at work.
Work stress counseling focuses on providing an avenue for employees to talk about issues bothering them and helping them find a way to solve their problems. Work stress counseling also seeks to give employees a chance to better manage their issues. It is not an advice session and is more self-empowering for employees, helping them make their own life decisions.
Work stress counseling also helps employers to have a healthier workplace. Depending on the size of the organization, work stress counseling could even be a full-time unit where all employees are mandated to spend some time every now and then.
We all experience work place stress in one way or another. The important thing is to accept that and figure out ways to manage it efficiently. As an employee, if you need help finding the best coping mechanism for you, work stress counseling will go a long way in refreshing your demeanor and helping you become productive once again.
Heather Oller is a licensed Orlando therapist at Orlando Thrive Therapy, Coaching & Counseling who specializes in counseling Orlando couples, individuals, and families who are seeking changes in their lives. She has been a mental health professional for over 17 years and is a practicing Orlando counselor that specializes in conflict resolution for couples. You can contact her for an appointment or call 407-592-8997 for more information.