The society we live in demands that we work. And most jobs that exist for people come with some degree of stress or pressure, whether it is the pressure of a deadline or the stress of working closely with a colleague. Workplace stress might take place when you have a lot of work to do and not enough support from colleagues, or it might appear when you simply don’t feel that your responsibilities match your capabilities.
Ever felt you were ‘in the deep end’ at work, or struggling to keep up? This is an indicator of stress at work.
Now it’s important to note that stress can be a productive part of your work week, helping you meet deadlines and targets. But as soon as that stress becomes counterproductive or impacts on your mental health, it’s important to address it. Stress can not only impact on your personal relationships; it can cause health problems and increase your risk of injury and fatigue.
Common stressors include:
- Not having enough control over how you work – this can come from being micromanaged or having unrealistic deadlines
- Workplace bullying
- Not getting enough support from colleagues and management
- Not being recognised for your work
- Working consistent overtime with no reward or overtime payment
- A lack of clarity in your job role
- Discrimination in the workplace – whether due to gender, ethnicity, sexuality, or lifestyle
- Shift work
- Work that is emotionally distressing such as counselling or police work that involves distressing content
No matter why you are experiencing stress at work, know that there are solutions for you. We have brought together some of our top tips for managing stress so that you can move forward in your life with health and wellness. And remember, if you ever feel that workplace stress is becoming unmanageable, please call us at the Centre for Human Potential on (07) 3211 1117 or contact us online to book an appointment.
How to deal with workplace stress
- Form positive and supportive relationships with your colleagues and management
If you are suffering from workplace stress, there is a fair chance that someone else is suffering in the same way as you. It might be helpful if you go out on a limb and reach out to someone on your team or in the same task group as you. They could offer you some support in the form of a better process, or a new way of tackling tasks, or they could just be a sympathetic ear for you to talk to. It’s helpful to get support from your colleagues because they understand what you are going through. Your spouse or friends might sympathise, but because they don’t work alongside you, it may be harder for them to see how tough things are for you.
- Exercise as part of your daily routine
So, you have probably heard this before, but did you know that exercise is fantastic for beating stress? There have been countless studies which have taken place to explore the helpful effects of exercise on stress. If you already exercise, try including some yoga or stretching into your routine. Already doing that? Include mindful breathing into your practice and make sure you’re really putting 100% into your exercise and focus. If you don’t exercise at all, try starting out with a gentle 20-minute walk when you get home from work, or in the morning before you go to work. Try and work up to a 45-minute walk, and even a jog or a run if you’re physically well enough. This will work wonders for your stress and may help to mitigate some of the unpleasant anxiety associated with workplace stress.
- Eat well
When 3pm rolls around, do you reach for a chocolate bar or do you opt for something healthy like an apple and a glass of green tea? Do your body a favour and make sure you are only going for the healthy options. A treat every now and then is ok, but make sure you give your body the fuel it needs.
- Get plenty of sleep
Again, you might already be doing this – but if you’re stressed from work, it might be the case that you sometimes find it hard to drift off. Don’t let a lack of sleep contribute to your workplace stress – be sure to get enough zeds and wake up with plenty of time to get ready in the morning.
- Speak to management
If your job stress relates to not having enough support, then make a time to speak to your manager and work out a solution. Be honest with them and talk to your employer about how you are feeling and how your work is affecting you. They will appreciate your honesty and will be glad to offer a solution to your mental health.
- Develop healthy responses to your workplace stress
When something is stressing you at work, what is your usual response? You might start to feel panicked, or you might eat a chocolate bar. You might also respond to stress by doubling down and working even harder. Let us tell you now – these are all responses that will only add to your stress. By all means, engage in whatever behaviour feels appropriate, but just ensure that the behaviour moves you forwards, not backwards. A mindful approach, five deep breaths and a quick walk outside can work wonders at putting some distance between you and the problem.
- Engage in counselling
Workplace stress is not something you should have to go through alone which is why it’s important to have a support network. This might include a counsellor who is a specialist in stress management. They can help you to identify key triggers and can help you to develop the skills and techniques to manage your stress effectively.
Need help with managing workplace stress? Ready to gently but comprehensively regain control over your mental health? Call us to book an appointment with our stress management counsellors on (07) 3211 1117 or contact us online, and we will get back to you.