The issue of stress is not a laughing matter. Several studies have shown that excessive stress can cause many physical ailments such as headaches, increased blood pressure, upset stomach, chest pains, and even insomnia. Stress is also a precursor to mood disorders such as depression and anxiety.
According to the American Institute of Stress, stress costs businesses over $300 billion each year. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration also consider stress as one of the major workplace hazards.
Workplace stress is not even isolated in specific industries. In fact, more than half of the workers in the country agree that work is one of the primary sources of stress.
Over the years, both management and workers across various industries have teamed up to find ways to alleviate stress in the workplace. Though easier said than done, making efforts no matter how big or small they are towards stress reduction in the workplace is always better.
1. Give Time for Wellness
Of course, we need to work hard. But it should not be in the extreme that we compromise our overall health and well-being. There are many things you can do to make your workplace setting a healthy and sustainable environment. These are some of what you can do:
- Add greenery to the scene. Add indoor plants to your office, in workers’ desktops, and lounge areas. Aside from its aesthetic value, having plants inside the office helps improve air quality while boosting everyone’s mood in the office.
- Embrace natural light. Getting some sunshine in the office can do a lot of wonders. It helps improve mood and increase productivity. On top of that, utilizing natural light means reducing energy usage. This means saving on utility costs.
- Weekly office activity. It is daunting to think that you are always on your work computer. Stating at the screen for hours on end is exhausting.
Thus, a scheduled weekly activity with your co-workers is a must. For instance, you can plan a team-building activity and go to an indoor golf driving range for some fun.
2. Organize and Prioritize
Feeling overwhelmed is one major stressor. In a workplace environment where you have so many tasks at hand, it is important to know your priorities and stay organized. These are some things you can do to get all things done without overwhelming yourself:
- Clarify your goals. Before you could prioritize anything, you need to set clear objectives. Take time to talk with your manager to clarify what your job-related goals should be. The goals you have set will be the benchmark in evaluating your everyday progress.
- Two or three things at a time. Trying to get all things done at once is not effective at all. Plus, it only gets you worked up and stressed. Instead, focus on two or three things each week. Remember, it is always better to do things slowly but surely.
- Set a deadline for yourself. Set a realistic deadline for every task you have. Even when it does not have a specified deadline, it always helps if you mentally think it has one.
- Utilize your calendar. Lastly, make sure you plan your week in your calendar. Create a to-do list. While it is not always that we follow through with our schedule, it always helps if we have something that guides us.
3. Nurture Healthy Relationships
It is not easy to make friends in the workplace. But it is not impossible. A study showed that it only takes 200 hours of spending time together before people can consider themselves “close friends.” The time you spend in the office with your workmates can help build lasting friendships.
Nonetheless, the time spent on team-building activities also helps speed up the process of forming friendship bonds. The activities you all undergo, like solving puzzles, racing through scavenger hunts, and other physical and mental games, help foster relationships formed organically.
4. Kick the Bad Habits
Stress management at work requires changing your negative mindset to a positive one. How you view everything around you impacts how you cope with the stress you encounter.
It is not always that what we want goes according to plan, and that is okay. You can only do so much. Strive to do your best, but do not fear mistakes. When something goes wrong, see it as a lesson. Remember, your failure does not define you.
In line with that, learn to understand that many external factors are things that we cannot control. Most of our anxieties are springs from uncertainties of things that are beyond our control. Rather than overthinking them, focus on those you control, like your attitude and effort.
While stress in the workplace is a significant problem everywhere, it is not left unsolvable. You can take some steps to ensure it doesn’t worsen your health.