Stress Management: How To Do It Effectively At Work
Everyone knows it; it pops up repeatedly in our professional and private lives when we don’t need it: stress. Everyday work, in particular, offers many stressors that not everyone always knows how to deal with. This article is about how to recognize and deal with stress in the best possible way.
A particular focus is on the question of which stress management methods can be learned quickly, really help, and can be easily integrated into everyday life.
Table of Contents
Stress – Something Purely Negative?
In the general parlance of this time, “stress” is understood per se as something negative. Those who are stressed have no time, are rushed, have to meet too many requirements at once, and let the quality of their performance suffer as a result. In short, They are under pressure from all sorts of stressors. There is also a positive form of stress, the so-called eustress. This motivates, is perceived as a challenge, and awakens our spirit. But that is not the point here. In the further course of the text, it is more about negatively felt stress, the so-called “distress.”
Why Do We Feel Stress At All?
The stress response is a useful device in the evolution of humans (and many other creatures). If there is danger or even just stress, hormones are released that put the body on alert. More energy is provided, alertness and attention are increased. This enables faster reactions and, in this respect, simply more performance.
However, modern people no longer experience stress from unpleasant encounters in the great outdoors but often at work. This becomes too much, there is not enough time, or the boss is generally not a pleasant fellow who constantly has something to complain about. More general circumstances, such as the threat of losing your job or being bullied at work, naturally increase the perceived stress even further. Then, your stress management fails.
With What Symptoms Does The Body React To Stressful Situations?
The main hormones released during stress are dopamine, norepinephrine, and adrenaline. In addition, glucocorticoids are increasingly sent into the bloodstream. The cortisone level also increases. But while all of these processes lead to increased physical performance in the short term, they tend to be harmful over a longer period of time if the cause of the perceived stress cannot be eliminated. And that’s often the case at work.
When it comes to the effects of stress, a distinction is made between physical and psychological effects.
The physical symptoms of stress include:
- Back pain
- Teeth grinding
- Anxiety and
- Increased irritability
As well as a generally increased activity, which can lead to insomnia, but also chronic exhaustion. Despite the actual increased performance under stress, symptoms such as concentration and motivation difficulties also occur in the very short term.
Stress Manifests Itself Differently In Everyone
How such stress manifests itself is different for each person, even if there are these overriding patterns. In this respect, the list of possible symptoms here cannot be exhaustive but only exemplary. While many suffer from insomnia, for others, it leads to an increased need for sleep, so some do not even want to get up in the morning, given the stress that seems unmanageable. Nevertheless, one should not limit oneself to the fact that tension always arises from a pressure situation or from being overwhelmed. Too little work, boredom, and a lack of challenge at work can also lead to severe stress, which can be experienced as just as tormenting as hardly finding adequate time for one’s tasks.
What Methods Of Stress Management Are There?
So, it means adopting strategies for dealing with stress, even if you can’t do anything about the external circumstances. Of course, this should be the first choice to reduce your stress level.
You can start at several points to reduce the stress you experience and to increase your knowledge of how to cope with stress. The first thing to do is how you deal with stress. These methods and tips are extremely useful and just as effective:
1. Consciously Take Breaks
What may not go down too well in many offices is, in fact, one of the most effective methods of being able to handle stress better and is, therefore, an important recommendation when dealing with stress. Anyone who consciously takes breaks from stressful work is much more efficient, concentrated, etc., afterward. Especially when the stress seems too great, it helps to gain distance for a few moments and switch off completely.
2. Sports And Exercise
Exercising regularly is a highly effective way of reducing stress. Whether it is endurance sports such as jogging or extremely exhausting sports such as badminton or football – the sports are all very similar in terms of their stress-relieving effect. It is, therefore, worth making sure that you integrate regular exercise into your weekly schedule. Exercising just two to three times a week works wonders in terms of stress management. And for those who feel too old or unfit for that, there is always the option of longer walks. Because not only exercise but also fresh air and direct sunlight help the body deal better with various stresses. It’s one of the best tips for dealing with stress ever.
3. Talk About It
Complaining to others may be an uncomfortable thing for many. It helps people immensely when they talk about their worries and burdens. It is not even necessary to strive for a solution to the situation – it is enough to speak out about certain stressors in order to achieve a little relaxation.
4. Learn Relaxation Techniques
In fact, there are many relaxation exercises that can also be used in the office or other workplaces to manage stress. This includes progressive muscle relaxation as well as conscious inhalation and exhalation. Both can be done in a matter of seconds in almost any situation and help effectively and quickly to keep emerging stress under control and to keep a clear head. Other techniques that are suitable for practicing at home can be yoga, tai chi, or autogenic training and meditation. Such techniques are also recommended to all those who are afraid of contact. They are enormously effective in their effect in coping with stress and alleviating the symptoms, and all are free or inexpensive, very easy to learn, and to carry out permanently.
How Can I Learn To Deal With Stress Better In The Long Term?
If you want to permanently integrate these measures against stress into your everyday life and make your stress management more effective, you first have to learn one thing: to only recognize stressors and burdens when they occur. This requires a good dose of mindfulness at work, which is not always available in the stressful everyday life at work. But if you train your senses, you quickly learn to recognize when there is a risk of being overwhelmed and, therefore, stressed.
The stress management measures outlined above, some of which offer very quick relaxation, are also very easy to learn, as mentioned, and can even be carried out in almost any situation at the workplace. As already mentioned, everyone experiences stress differently. In this respect, it is also true that everyone has to try out for themselves which techniques actually help them.
Once you have some kind of internal warning system installed, with a little practice and even more mindfulness, it becomes less and less likely that the stress will get over your head.
Also Read: The 10 Most Popular Project Management Tools