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Today, a vast number of professionals face stress in the workplace. As a result, their health is at serious risk, not to mention their productivity. Factors that can cause workplace stress include: low salaries, excess workload, few opportunities for growth, lack of engagement, lack of social support, little control over job-related decisions, and unclear performance expectations. Whatever the cause might be, it’s important to combat workplace stress, or else you’ll eventually fall ill and your work performance will suffer.
To help you prevent that from happening, here are several steps you can take to minimize workplace stress.
1. Identify stressors
First, determine which circumstances create the most stress and how you react to them. To accomplish this, record your feelings, thoughts, and any other information about the atmosphere at work. Taking notes will help you identify stressors so you can eventually respond to them in a healthier manner.
2. Develop healthy habits
Make healthy choices—get rid of the alcohol, smoking, and processed food. Get a lot of exercise and meditate regularly. With a meditation practice, you’ll have more control over your body and mind, and you’ll stay calmer under pressure. Also, spending time with family members, having sound sleep at night, and carving out time for hobbies can help you fight stress and bring more calm into your life.
3. Reward yourself
Reward yourself even for small achievements. This will make you feel good about yourself and, in turn, will reduce your stress level. One way to do this is by presenting yourself with personalized stickers when you achieve something at work or in your personal life. The stickers are a great way to remind you of your accomplishments, helping to keep you in a positive mindset and motivated.
4. Create boundaries
In a digital world, it’s too easy to be available for 24/7. As a result, you need to set boundaries in your professional (and personal) life. Leave your work issues at the office when you head home. Avoid answering calls during dinner. Stay away from devices when you’re with your family members. And strictly say no to the devices at bedtime.
5. Talk to your boss
Your health directly affects your productivity at work. Being less productive can trigger your chance of losing out on a raise or promotion; it can even get you fired. So, don’t be afraid to talk to your seniors, supervisors, or boss about the issues you’re having at work. Talk about your work atmosphere, incentive plan, salary increments, or promotion—whatever is directly linked to your work and productivity. By talking to seniors or your boss, you’ll get clearer about the issues affecting your work, and this will help you get rid of a lot of workplace stress.
6. Organize your workspace
Are you a naturally disorganized person? If so, try to change your nature—gradually. Getting organized can greatly reduce your stress at work, but you won’t change your nature overnight. First, take stock of your desk, office, or workspace. Then try to organize it better. Once you’ve done that, attempt to keep it organized. Eventually, you’ll see that you'll be able to quickly find things when you need them, making you more efficient, thus reducing some of your stress.
7. Get support
Sometimes you might find that you need outside help to combat stress. If so, don’t be afraid to go to friends or colleagues to ask for support. It’s likely that your firm has an employee assistance program. Through that, you can access stress management resources like an online counselor or mental health professional. With access to these resources, you’ll likely be able to decrease your stress level, as well as create a plan to fight stress in the future.
Smith Willas is a freelance writer, blogger, and digital media journalist. He has a management degree in Supply Chain & Operations Management and Marketing and boasts a wide-ranging background in digital media. You can follow him on Twitter.
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