Fighting stress effectively at work Fighting stress effectively at work

At some point in our lives, we all experience some type of work-related stress. When this interferes with our daily routines, however, it is time to intervene. 

Client meetings, supervisor demands, problems with co-workers, deadlines and excessive workloads are all causes of stress, whatever your profession may be. While this condition may be widely accepted as an inherent part of work, there are times when what is considered to be “normal” can become too much and people’s quality of life drastically reduces.

The consequences of experiencing work-related stress are not only related to mental exhaustion, but to physical exhaustion as well. According to the American Psychological Association (APA), the short-term effects of stress can manifest in excessive sweating, headaches, acne, changes in our eating patterns or heart palpitations. Over time, stress affects our ability to concentrate and can cause fatigue, irritability or depression. In order to fight these symptoms, the APA provides a few simple suggestions that are beneficial to all:

Identify the trigger: When you are stressed, identify what has triggered this feeling. Write down what you believe the cause is and how it made you feel. This will allow you to recognize what issues you need to face.

Develop a healthy response: Letting your frustrations out by eating, drinking or by arguing with others will not make you feel better. Exercising or doing any type of physical activity, such as taking a short walk around the office, will be much more beneficial to you.

Set limits: A healthy practice is to set a schedule for responding to work-related issues, you do not need to be available 24/7. Some ways to refuel your system are to turn off your cell phone, not check your e-mail and get out of the office.

Learn to relax: Practicing meditation or breathing techniques can be very useful to calm the mind and keep thoughts or concerns around work far away. Other activities that require all of your attention such as walking or enjoying a good meal can also be helpful.

Develop good relationships: As with conflictive individuals, interpersonal relationships can be a source of stress themselves. Seek out people that you can trust and that make you feel better when you are stressed. They can give you advice or provide you with a new perspective and perhaps help you solve your problems.