Whether meeting a tight deadline or handling a disgruntled customer, most of us have felt overwhelmed at some point in our careers. Feeling stressed now and then isn't a major concern. In fact, it can help keep you motivated to stay on track.
However, unmanaged long-term work stress can significantly affect our health and wellbeing, causing fatigue, insomnia, substance abuse, high blood pressure, and heart disease, among many other things.
Learning healthy coping strategies at your current job can help you effectively manage stress and keep burnout at bay. Not sure where to start? We put together 7 ways to help you reduce stress at work.
According to the American Psychological Association (APA), work-related stressors often are a result of:
No matter your level of experience or the industry you work in, you're likely to feel overwhelmed from time to time. Effectively managing job-related stress can benefit your overall health and happiness, professionally and personally.
Knowing how to handle stress is challenging when you don't know exactly what's causing it. There are many possible causes, so with some self-awareness, you can nail down which factors are driving your stress to create a plan to eliminate or reduce them.
For example, the long commute to and from work is starting to wear on you. A solution would be to talk to your manager or boss about the possibility of working from home on certain days of the week.
You woke up to pouring rain, your kids missed the bus, you forgot your coffee, and your car’s battery died because the headlights were accidentally left on. Starting the day stressed has a habit of carrying through to the workplace.
While things will happen, having a solid, realistic morning routine can help eliminate the stress that can set the tone for the day. Start with meditation, journaling, a nutritional breakfast, and positive self-talk. You might just find that some of your triggers disappear.
Whether it's your desk, your calendar, or both, clutter can cause chaos. Look around and see where clutter might be causing stress for you at work. From there, you can implement different ways to stay organized, such as:
Organizing yourself can help you avoid the adverse effects of clutter and help you become more efficient with your work. But remember, striving for perfectionism isn't the goal, nor is it productive. Focus on doing your best!
Unplugging at the end of the workday can be challenging for many of us, especially with how accessible information is on our mobile devices. But being connected 24/7, whether by phone, email, or text, can significantly affect stress.
There will be times when you need to communicate with coworkers or your boss after work hours, but making it the exception, not the rule, is a key to reducing burnout.
Not clear on workplace expectations? Do your job responsibilities keep changing? Unclear requirements are one of the main contributors to burnout.
If this is you, it's beneficial to talk with your boss about expectations and strategies for meeting them.
From lowering heart rate and cortisol levels to increasing productivity and positive thoughts, research shows that music can tremendously impact alleviating stress.
If you aren't already, try listening to music before, during, and after work to feel more calm, cool, and collected when faced with on-the-job stressors.
If trying the above steps still isn't helping manage your stress, talking with a mental healthcare provider might be the best option. Counseling can help you learn other effective ways to handle stress inside and outside work.
Many companies offer an employee assistance program (EAP) that sets you up with a mental health professional virtually or in person.
Stress from work can be all-consuming, unhealthy, and detrimental to your physical and mental health. However, it doesn't have to be when managed successfully. Address your triggers, set boundaries, listen to some good music, and know when to seek help.
Here at Spirtune, we strive to create a more enjoyable, modern, and accessible approach to mental health and stress management in and out of the workplace by combining neuroscience with music therapy. Download our app to get started today!