It’s no surprise that most people are stressed about their work. In fact, one-quarter of employees list their job as the most stressful thing in their life, according to the American Institute of Stress. Work stress is a huge problem that can impact the quality of your life, both day-to-day and in the long run.
So, what can we do to resolve stress in the workplace? Let’s map out what we can do – in this article, we’ll focus on what we can do as individuals to mitigate work stress.
1. Identify Stress Triggers
To understand what is causing you stress, you have to understand what the trigger is. It may seem obvious to you – perhaps you are overworked, underpaid, or have too many deadlines. The triggers of your stress may also be less noticeable. It can be useful to track your stress levels and the events of your day using a journal, so that you can correlate the triggers to your stress levels, suggests the Mayo Clinic.
2. Start Your Day on the Bright Side
Give yourself enough time at the beginning of the day to physically and mentally prepare for your work. Eat breakfast, take your time in getting ready, and prepare anything that you need throughout the day to make your day easier. If you don’t need to worry about where you’ll be getting your lunch or snack, or if you’ve packed a critical project, then that will be one less task on your mind. Verywell Mind suggests that a little bit of extra planning in the morning may alleviate some stress in your day that could be mitigated just by being prepared.
3. Don’t Skip Lunch and Breaks
In a study from 2000, The American Institute of Stress found that half of the employees surveyed skipped their lunch and breaks and worked straight through their day, often for as long as 12 hours. This long workday, with no break, definitely leads to additional and unnecessary stress. Piling on the work without taking a break is a recipe for even more stress, and it’s a vicious cycle. Stop the cycle by giving yourself breaks throughout the workday – and talking to your employer if they aren’t allowing you adequate break time.
4. Build a Boundary
Boundaries are necessary for all aspects of your life so that you can respect your personal time and space. They’re especially essential to incorporate within your workday. You need to be comfortable setting boundaries and telling someone no if you don’t have the time or bandwidth for a specific meeting, project, or plan. The APA also recommends setting clear boundaries between your work and home life to help reduce stress.
5. Resolve Conflicts
Interpersonal and team conflicts can be a constant source of friction and stress in the workplace. Our assessment, reports, and app provide you with the tools you need to understand your coworkers at the deepest levels so that you can resolve underlying conflicts and work seamlessly together.
6. Use an App to Hack Workplace Stress
There are many mindfulness, meditation, and stress-busting apps on the market that you can download and try out. Find one that is the right fit for you, so that you can utilize it during the day during particularly difficult moments of stress. Make stress-busting a habit throughout your workday.
7. Reframe Negative Thoughts
The Harvard Health Blog suggests this excellent technique for beating stress during your workday: reframing negative thoughts. When a negative thought creeps into your brain (such as, “I’m going to fail at this upcoming presentation”), try to reframe that thought. Really think about any evidence that you have to support the idea, and determine if the thought is led by facts or emotion.
8. Talk it Out at Work
When you can identify your triggers, and those triggers are related to issues with your work, be sure to let your supervisor or HR department know.
9. Relax Outside of Work
Make sure that work doesn’t become your entire life. It is easy to fall into the trap of thinking about work 24/7 – but you need to maintain hobbies and find activities you enjoy on your time off.
10. Get Extra Support
Utilize the resources around you to get extra support when you need it. Try talking to your friends or family members, or use an employer-sponsored program (such as an EAP). The APA suggests contacting your doctor or a mental health professional for additional support.