There is no doubt that we live in very stressful times and even if recent data shows that the global economical crisis is stirring to its end, it’s no less true that employees in the U.S. are still overly concerned with their future and their career paths. Last year studies showed that
an average of 83% of American workers say they feel stressed out by their jobs
with the main stressing factors being low pay, work overload, annoying co – workers, commuting, the mismatch between the desired career path and the actual job, poor work – life balance, lack of advancement opportunities and fear of being fired. If you are to look at these workplace stress inductors with a tad of cynicism, you might say that there is nothing new in this picture, as from the dawn of times people always found reasons to feel stressed at work. However, workplace stress has a lot of negative effects on peoples’ lives, threatening their working abilities, their personal lives, their health and psychological comfort. And since we spend most of our lives at work, the stress emanating from there is considered one of the major causes for subsequent illnesses and personal problems. There are some happy workers out there, don’t get us wrong, but the unhappy ones make the topic of this article today. There are some means of managing and lowering workplace stress and we will look at four of them, urging people to take them into account, even if they are very hard to put in practice sometimes.
1. Build a wall between work and personal life
Easier to say than to do, but it is a must if you want to keep both your professional efficiency and a healthy personal life. Psychologists insist on us focusing on the work while at work, whereas home, we should concentrate on family, friends and hobbies. Bringing the work at home is detrimental, of course, and it is recommended in engaging in pleasurable activities together with close people in order to lower the stress levels. Having fun and having hobbies sounds easy, but in reality is harder than one can imagine.
2. Talk to a professional
Discussing your work problems with your family is a two – cut blade: it can strengthen a relationship and help you find solutions from a fresh, objective perspective, but it can also unnecessarily burden the partner with your problems, bestowing high levels of stress on the entire family. There should be a balance in your sharing the work problems and some specialists recommend people to alternate between talking to the family with talking to a working counselor who can help with some professional advice.
3. Spice up the working life
This may sound like a contradiction, as we said that while at work, you should concentrate only to the work, but this doesn’t mean you have to become the next company’s robot. Engaging in relaxing activities together with the co – workers is proved to improve your working mood, strengthen the personal relationships with the colleagues and lower down the stress, as a friendly and fun working environment can do wonders to the worried mind. Go to lunch with your co – workers, take part to the company’s small events and celebrations, don’t turn down a team – building and use the breaks to engage in meaningful and relaxing conversations with the others. A model employee and a happy one isn’t the isolated hamster – on – wheel, but the one who can tell a joke, take a joke and be open to new experiences.
4. If you need a vacation, take it
In the last years, people were so concerned with their finances, their future and their work that they forgot about one of the simplest, most humane actions that is necessary in order to survive yet another year of workplace stress: the vacation. While it is understandable that you’d rather pay your rates and taxes instead of lying in the sun on a beach, that beach may be healthier to you than the thought of having all the bills paid. We are not instigating towards financial irresponsibility and you should definitely not go on a vacation when the bank threatens to take your house away, but short trips outside the town, a visit to the country side, a city break in the weekend, these are just as many means to keep you healthy, balances and more efficient at work, as your brain got to rest and do something else for a change.
These advice on lowering workplace stress look very good on paper and sometimes they don’t work like a charm, but you should start at some point to find means of coping with stress instead of letting yourself suffocated by it. After all, a low – bat, exhausted, stressed and inefficient employee is not what companies are looking for.