You may spend many hours at work every week, and naturally it can take up a lot of space in your life. Unfortunately, many people experience anxiety and stress related to their job. There are several factors that can be responsible for increased stress in employees, but there are effective ways to manage and reduce stress.
How to know if you are stressed or anxious?
Here are the most important signs linked to stress:
- Increased fatigue or insomnia
- Changes in your appetite
- Gastric problems
- Cardiac palpitations
- Difficulty concentrating
- Hot flashes
Other symptoms are also possible, but these are the most common. Unfortunately, if you have stress reactions at work you will often see them at home too. They can affect your life and your relationships, which is why it is important not to ignore them.
What is your stress level?
Your stress level can vary in a month or even a week, it’s normal. However, it may be a good idea to check in from time to time. If you stop at least once a week and take the time to analyze your mental state and compare it to the last time you did this exercise, you will have a better understanding of how your stress level is evolving. Has it increased steadily since the last observations? Is it stable? Can you relate specific events to influencing your stress level?
How to better manage your stress?
- Find the reasons of your stress
You’ve taken the time to check your symptoms and stress level, now you have to find the reasons behind your stress, in order to better control your reactions. Has there been any changes at work? New colleagues, new boss, a big project you're working on? Lack of time to accomplish everything in one day? Finding the source of the stress is another step in the right direction.
- Eliminate the stress factors if possible
Obviously at work we don't have control over everything. But if you are able to identify causes of stress that can be eliminated or reduced, it is important to do so as quickly as possible.
For example, if the arrival of a new boss makes you anxious, try making time with them to introduce yourself, talk about expectations, and humanize the relationship. If you need more time in your day, think of tech tools like GOrendezvous to help you save precious hours every week.
- Establish clear boundaries
It is important to set clear boundaries and to enforce them. If you don’t wish to work overtime, if you find that the work climate is harmful or if you see any other work-related problem, do not hesitate to speak about it with your boss, your union or human resources.
- Take time for yourself
At home, we are often as busy as at the office, and it can be difficult to decompress after a busy day. It is still important to find time for yourself, even if it is not a lot, having a moment of relaxation allows you to reduce your stress.
Think of something you like to do that makes you feel good like reading a book, listening to music, taking a bath or meditating. It may be simple, but it will certainly have a positive effect.
- Practice mindfulness and meditation techniques.
This way you will be able to use those at work when you feel overwhelmed. There’s also guided meditation apps (like Headspace) that can help you.
- Find external help
If you don’t see any improvement or if your symptoms worsen do not hesitate to consult your doctor or a psychologist, they will be able to guide you. You can find a professional here.
- Take good care of your body
Several symptoms of stress can present themselves physically. Improving your diet and exercising will help reduce symptoms and give you more energy. Getting about 8 hours of sleep a day is also important to reduce stress and be alert. Try to relax before sleep, 30 minutes without screens before bed helps calm the brain and allows you to fall asleep faster.1
- Remember what you love about it
Sometimes it's easy to take things for granted and forget how important they are to you. If work makes you tense, think about what it brings you. Whether it's salary and benefits, your coworkers, projects that inspire you or other things, take a moment to appreciate the positive and remind yourself of the reasons why you chose this job.
Of course, a little stress is normal, pressure can help some people be more efficient, but you have to know how to recognize the signs of stress and exhaustion in order to maintain a good quality of life. We hope these tips will help you reduce your stress at work.