Manage Your Stress Levels at Workplace
Career related stress not only affects your productivity but it also affect your physical and mental well being. Every person takes stress on it own way. But it is very important for everyone to curb it at a very early stage before it starts affecting your emotional intelligence.
Identify signs and symptoms
A sailor can control the ship but certainly have no control over tides. In the same way, your body is like a ship which you can control but you definitely cannot control everything that is happening around you. Everytime something unusual happens, your body responds to it in its own way. And, when it comes to career related stress, symptoms are very evident. At the beginning, we often tend to ignore all the signs, which we should not. If you think you have sleepless nights, apathy or even stomach problem… you must be alarmed, these could be symptoms of stress. Here I am listing some common signs;
- Social withdrawal
- Loss of interest in work
- Lack of concentration
- Inclination towards alcohol or nicotine
- Headaches or tense muscles
- Anxious and irritated behavior
- Weight gain or loss without changing diet
- Increased minor accidents
- Forgetfulness and confused behavior
It’s pretty obvious that when we are talking about career related stress, we are talking about work related pressure. Peer pressure, performance pressure, fear of getting laid off are some of the common reasons; but stress at workplace has many more reasons. Let’s talk about them one by one.
Adapting a new environment.
Transition is the most difficult phase of a career. If you are landing in your first work place or has recently changed your job, there is an unintentional performance pressure on you. However, not necessarily your company is demanding extraordinary outcome, but it’s your own conscience. You now have a new set of people to work with, who may behave friendly or rivalry with you. But, but, but… you must understand that everything takes a time. Just give yourself sometime to understand new work culture, new people and their behaviour. Even if you are facing rash behavior in office, just try to be calm and analyze people’s behaviour around you. Understand the fact that a company invest its resources for hiring you and you deserve to be here… and they won’t fire you in a snap of time. So, try to be relax and take your time to absorb that is happening around you.
Conflicting job roles
It often happens in small to medium scale companies that a person hold more than one job responsibility. One in which he proficients and many other in which he doesn’t. If you have a job role that is not meant for you but you have to play it and that too successfully, it is natural to have performance pressure. In such scenarios, it is very important to talk to your immediate manager or HR manager. Either you must ask for skill based assistance that would help you to cope with different job roles. Or you must talk about your psychological or physiological pressure that you are facing. You should ask for some time to grasp the understanding of roles that doesn’t belong to your skillset.
Imbalanced professional and personal life
For a peaceful life, it is very important to have perfect balance between personal and professional life. Long working hours may affect this balance. Especially, if you are working long hours without any motivation like incentives or promotions… that adds more frustration in your behavior. This behaviour disturbs environment at home. In such situations, first of all, talk to your family about workload that you are facing. They will definitely understand your problem and support you in your tough times. Second, talk to your immediate manager and find a good way. You may ask for telecommuting for a few days, that would help you escaping intense office environment.
Lack of understanding between team mates and rivalry is the commonest reason for stress. But keep one thing in mind, not everyone in your office is same. If you have bad elements around, you must have good elements as well. Just find out people with whom you can match your frequency. If you feel any sort of peer pressure, just talk to people around you who are trustworthy. Don’t gossip or backbiting, just pour out everything that is bugging you. This is indeed a good stress buster.
How to handle stress?
Career pressure sometimes generates negativity in you, it affect your psychological health to an extent that you don’t want to cure it anymore. Before you reach at this level, it is better to identify the warnings and start taking measures.
Let the things flow
Do not try to control everything. If something has passed, let it go. If you could not perform well on some assignment, there are many more chances to prove yourself. Also, you cannot control behavioural aspects of people around you. If someone has habit of throwing sarcasm, he won’t change it just for your sake. So ignore negative things that irritate you.
Clean up your work station
A cleaner environment brings positivity in the attitude. If you find everything on your place you will have less frustration of finding lost stuff when they were needed the most. The more organization you imbibe in your behavior the more things will start getting sorted out.
If you like something, say it; if you don’t like… have the guts to say it. Make your communication a powerful tool. Express yourself. The more you try to manipulate things to be likable by others the more you get trapped in your own mess. This does not mean to adopt a rude behaviour. Never shirk in putting up your point.
Join a stress busting program
If you cannot handle things on your own, ask the experts to help you out. Join a professional stress management program.
Short term behaviours
Short term stressful situations can be easily coped by adopting some quick stress busting techniques. Say, you had an argument with your colleague leading to a disturbed situation, in such a scenario, a short break may relax your temperament. Some of these techniques may help releasing your short term stress
- A short break from workplace
- A few minutes of meditation
- A rigorous physical activity like 20 sit-up, running over treadmill etc.
- Munching a chocolate
- Talk to an attentive listener
- Have a cup of coffee/tea alone
It is always important to cultivate a social climate to keep the stress level low. Talking to different type of people helps you in releasing work pressure and focus on your productivity. So, never take a back from any negativity around you. Cope with it patiently, silently and calmly.