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 Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres on our open platform. We publish pieces as written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team and must meet our guidelines prior to being published.

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.

    Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

    You might also like...

    If your loved one is about to go to college, it may be important to talk with them about alcohol abuse.

    How To Manage Stress At Work

    by Matt Boyle

    Tips to overcome job stress which is best for mental health

    by Dave Devloper
    Beat Workplace Stress

    3 Simple Steps to Beat Workplace Stress

    by Rosie Wilson

    Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

    Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

    Thrive Global
    People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.


    We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.