Everyone at some point in our life has suffered stress at work. The pressure, the rush, the responsibilities … a wide range of factors that, even though we are lucky enough to do a job that fulfills us, present stressful elements.
Come in, run, do this, go there, pay attention to details, do not forget, do the other thing, go out. Back to start. Human culture has been drifting, since the second half of the twentieth century, towards a conception much more focused on work and individual effort as ways to achieve success. Since ancient times, the basic norm was “work to live” exchanging part of your strength, time, and skills of stove repair for a livelihood that would allow us to have a certain standard of living. But little by little this idea has been reversed and now what we usually find is “living to work”. Even when the so-called millennials are once again aware of the importance of free time and the pleasures of life, work stress remains one of the most serious problems today.
Stress is our body’s response to threats or challenges that arise in our day-to-day lives through a physiological response that usually alters our way of thinking or acting. From a genetic point of view, stress was the reaction that made our primitive ancestors prepared for complicated situations and knew how to react and survive (that is why their descendants are more likely to have this type of reaction).
It is precisely this greater capacity for reaction on the part of our mind and body that stress can be highly beneficial for us. The correct levels cause extra activation that can make us think more clearly, focus more on details, or work faster. The problem comes when stress levels are too high, we feel that we are not able to cope with the threat posed to us and our body becomes blocked. This situation, which can lead to serious diseases and disorders, is known as distress.
Identify what stresses us
What causes you the most stress? According to the American Psychological Association, identifying which situations create the most stress for us is essential to be able to combat it. An ideal way to do this is to write down our thoughts and reactions to everyday situations on the agenda (for example, if you ended up raising your voice in a personal or work discussion). Finding patterns between what stresses us and what cannot help us know how to combat it or how to react to them.
Many people struggle with stress by gorging themselves on fast food or even alcohol to get some peace and quiet in the face of stress. Well, the American Psychological Association recommends combating it with healthier options such as exercise, either at a calmer level such as yoga or a more intense level such as spinning or aerobics. Another way to fight daily stress is to take time to do the things we like the most like reading a book, watching a movie, or spending time playing video games.
The American Psychological Association states that establishing limits between personal and work life is very necessary. Current technology gives us the possibility of being available to both, 24 hours a day and that can only create anguish and stress. Setting limits such as not checking work email from home or putting the phone on silence after a certain time will help us combat stress caused by work.