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How to Reduce Stress at Work

When it comes to stress, it’s not a matter of if it will hit, but when.

For millions of people stress is the cause of everything from depression to disease. And with it so prevalent in our lives, more and more people are realizing they need to figure out the best way to deal with it – especially when it comes to how to reduce stress at work.

Effects of Stress and Your Health

It unfortunate, but stress from a day at work doesn’t just disappear when you leave for the day. Consistent work-related stress can harm your health.

RELATED: Read more about the effects of stress on your health

Stress from your job can contribute to short-term health problems including headaches, stomachaches, sleep-deprivation, a short temper and difficulty concentrating.

But it’s chronic stress that can cause the most damage.

Chronic, work-related stress contributes to anxiety, insomnia, high blood pressure, a weakened immune system, high cholesterol and a variety of other problems.

While stress is not always harmful – good stress can help you stay alert and focused – most people need to understand how to deal with their stress.

Common Sources of Stress at Work

There are a few factors that tend to play in to most of the stress caused during work including:

  • Wage/Salary
  • Excessive Workload
  • Limited Opportunities for Growth
  • Lack of Social Support
  • Conflicting Demands
  • Unclear Performance Expectations

Recognizing Stress

Before dealing with stress, it’s important to recognize what’s causing your stress. In many cases, people don’t realize they’re under stress until it begins to cause harm to their health.

Experts recommend one of the best ways to recognize where your stress is coming from is to keep a stress journal. As you feel frustrated, anxious, overwhelmed or any other negative feelings, write down the situation and/or challenge you’re facing.

Writing down your stressors can help you recognize patterns and triggers.

Once you recognize your triggers, you can begin to manage and reduce your stress better.

How to Reduce Stress at Work

Time Management

  • Balance your schedule
  • Don’t over-commit
  • Plan breaks
  • Prioritize tasks
  • Delegate
  • Be willing to compromise

Take Care of Yourself Outside of Work

  • Eat right
  • Get enough sleep
  • Spend time doing what you enjoy
  • Exercise

Understand You’re not Perfect

  • Resist perfectionism
  • Fix the small things
  • Think the glass is half full
  • Learn and let it go

Work with Others more Effectively

  • Improve your communication
  • Cultivate a social, friendly atmosphere

Resources:

http://www.helpguide.org/articles/stress/stress-at-work.htm
http://www.forbes.com/sites/jennagoudreau/2013/03/20/12-ways-to-eliminate-stress-at-work/
http://psychcentral.com/lib/understanding-recognizing-stress/