Stress in the workplace is not something to be taken lightly. You might reason it’s something you and every other worker is forced to deal with, and everyone just has to get used to it.
But there is the normal stress that ebbs and flows throughout a workday; then there is chronic stress, a condition that affects more than a third of all workers. It costs businesses billions of dollars each year in lost productivity and medical bills. And it costs workers like you their quality of life both at work and away from it.
Unlike those everyday stressors, which can be handled with stress management behaviors, chronic stress (stress that never leaves) can result in serious health conditions – anxiety, insomnia, muscle pain, high blood pressure and a weakened immune system. It can even lead to heart disease, major depression and obesity. Research even shows a connection between chronic stress and abuse of addictive substances.
If all these findings lead you to believe it’s important to manage workplace stress, consider these suggestions.
Stop Acting as if You’re Invincible
As a teenager (and even before) you did a lot of crazy stuff. Remember that steep and winding road your parents told you to stay away from as you left the house with your sled? You headed right for it! Or how about soon after getting your driver’s license when your dad warned you about the perils of speeding? As soon as you hit the open road, you were determined to find out how driving 70 miles an hour would make you feel!
Why did you do these and other dangerous and stupid things? You felt invincible. And the truth is you might not have completely outgrown that idea. How else can you explain working 60-plus hours a week, involving yourself in too many after-work activities, all the while trying to be the perfect partner and parent? We still believe we’re invincible!
But here’s a news flash: We aren’t. We’re vulnerable to sickness and burnout, so we need to learn to pace ourselves for the long road ahead.
Eradicate Stress on Your Body
Since your body responds to stress by making you sick, you need to start by energizing your body to disrupt the response. Here are three effective ways to do it:
- Get your blood flowing and release those feel-good endorphins by getting up and moving.
- Eat right. Dump the junk food and start eating more whole foods, fruits, vegetables and fish to give your body more omega-3 fatty acids. Proper nourishment helps to fend off the effects of stress.
- Sleep enough. Work stressors have a more detrimental effect when you’re sleep-deprived. Shoot for eight hours every night.
De-Stress Your Mind
Since stress begins in your mind, you need to end it here:
- Just a few minutes of meditation each day can help you control the thoughts that instigate stress.
- Say “no”. Being overcommitted is a recipe for chronic stress. Learn to set priorities and stick with them.
- Staying focused on your purpose. Remember why you’re working. Lead a balanced life, feed your creative side.
Is a new job one of the solutions to your chronic stress?
We’re here to help you. Contact Pro Resources for the light industrial or technical/professional position you’re hoping to find. We’ve been in business for over 30 years, so let us use our expertise to help you find your next job.