How to recognize and manage work-related stress

March 23, 2011 in General by Aphrodite Bassil

More and more people are venturing into entrepreneurship these days driven by ambition, innovation and encouraged by the enormous support of organizations. The thrill of the “start up” adventure is a considerable source of adrenalin. However, the grass on the other side might not look as green as one would have thought it would. Before long, one might start to feel the pains and strains of the venture and what started as pleasurable could become a major cause of tension and stress.Work- related stress has increased considerably due to the economical crisis and its continuing impact on global economy causing both physical and emotional health problems, and interfering with productivity. The ability to manage the workplace stress can make a difference between success and failure on the job.  Long working hours, difficult working conditions, pressure and deadlines, tensed relations with co-workers are all major causes of stress.

The key to manage your stress is to recognize the symptoms and take immediate action to reduce it before it develops into chronic stress leading to anxiety and depression and starts affecting your personal life. If you have been feeling anxious, irritable, have trouble concentrating, suffer from fatigue and insomnia, muscle tension and frequent headaches, social withdrawal, loss of motivation and appetite, then it’s time to start taking care of yourself.

When at work, learn to prioritize your tasks and manage your time. Get it over with high priority and unpleasant tasks first, the rest of your day will look more pleasant. Don’t over commit yourself, delegate when possible and take regular breaks to sit back, relax and clear your mind. Approach your staff and colleagues, have a chat and share a laugh over a cup of coffee, you will be surprised how good you would feel after.

When you leave the workplace, it is highly recommended you exercise at least 30 minutes every day. Exercise lifts the mood and increases your energy levels. It uses up the stress hormones causing your symptoms to relax your body and mind. Change your eating habits and give privilege to fruits and vegetables while eating regular nutritious meals. Take a new hobby to keep your mind off your stress source. It is also a good thing to go out more and socialize, you can think of sharing your worries with a friend, the act of talking it out and getting support and empathy from someone else is often an excellent way of blowing off steam and reducing stress.

You may also try a good relaxing massage, reflexology and aromatherapy, all therapies providing a calm and quiet environment to help you wind down. You may wish to engage in yoga or meditation to improve your sleep.  At the end of each day, reflect on what you’ve achieved rather than worry about the next day and always remember to be good to yourself.