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6 Steps to Combat Work Stress

When occupational stress becomes chronic it can be detrimental and damage physical and emotional health, and this situation is also more common than desirable, American psychologists point out.

The following steps are taken by the US institution to manage the stress associated with work.

1. Identify what stresses you at work  

Keep a journal for a week or two to identify which situations create the most stress for you and how you respond to them. Record your thoughts, feelings, and information about the environment, including the people and circumstances involved the physical situation, and how you reacted. Aspects like if you raised your voice, if you decided to go for a snack or take a walk can help find patterns between what stresses.

2. Develop healthy responses

 Instead of trying to fight stress with fast food or alcohol, choose healthy options when you feel the tension rise. Exercise is a great stress reliever. Yoga can be a good option but any form of physical activity is beneficial according to Stuart Rubin. Also, find time for your hobbies and what you like to do the most. Whether reading a novel, going to music concerts, or enjoying your family, make sure you leave time to do the things that give you pleasure.

3. Set limits   

In today’s world of digital relationships, it’s easy to feel distressed about the possibility of being available 24 hours a day. Set some boundaries between work and personal life. This could mean not checking email from home in the afternoon or not answering the phone hours after the end of the workday. Setting clear boundaries between work and personal life reduces the stress associated with potential conciliation conflicts.

4. Take your time to rest   

 To avoid the negative effects of chronic stress and job fatigue, we need time to recover and return to our pre-stress level of performance. This recovery process requires ‘disconnecting’ from work activity when you are not working. Whenever possible take time to rest so you can get back to work ready to offer your best. When it is not possible to disconnect, at least disconnect your phone and focus your attention for a while on activities not related to work.

5. Learn to relax   

Techniques like meditation, deep breathing exercises, and mindfulness (a state in which you actively observe present experiences and thoughts without judging them) can help release stress.    Start with a few minutes each day to focus on a simple activity like breathing, walking, or enjoying a meal. The ability to consciously focus on a single activity without being distracted will get stronger with practice, and you will find that you can apply it to many different aspects of your life.

6. Talk to your boss   

Healthy employees tend to be more productive, so your boss has a clear incentive to create a work environment that promotes employee well-being.    Start by engaging in an open conversation with your boss. The purpose is not to present a list of complaints but to start with an effective plan to control those stressful situations that you have identified in order to better carry out your work.  

 Although some areas of this plan should be designed to improve your skills in areas such as time management, other elements could include identifying aspects that make you feel better in your job, such as clarifying what is expected of you, getting more help. From your colleagues, enriching your work with tasks that are challenging or meaningful to you, or make changes in your physical work environment to make it more comfortable and reduce stress.

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