Do you have trouble sleeping or suffer from constant headaches? Are you always tired, experience chest pains, heart palpitations or muscular tension? Well, these are some of the physical symptoms of excess stress. Stress doesn’t only impact your body, it also has an effect on your mind. The psychological symptoms of stress may include irritability, anxiety and even depression.
Understanding the impact of stress at work
We spend the majority of our time at work with our colleagues. In most cases, we spend more time at work than we do at home with our families. If you don’t enjoy what you’re doing and you’re always under pressure to deliver, you could experience anxiety and helplessness. When you combine this with the general demands of life, like negotiating traffic, caring for your family and managing your finances, you could find yourself stressed out and depressed. Stress doesn’t only impact the individual; it could reduce overall productivity of the business and result in an unhappy home if irritability, intolerance and aggression manifest themselves. These behavioural symptoms can compromise the quality of your work and your personal life.
Seven tips to alleviate work-related stress
- Exercise regularly Exercise refocuses the mind on your body’s movement rather than obsessing over your worries. It can be a form of active meditation that has a calming effect on the body and mind.
- Form positive relationships Much of the stress we go through can be relieved by simply talking about it. This is why positive relationships at work are important.
- Eat healthy foods Avoid “stress eating” or “comfort foods”. Sugary or fatty foods make us feel lethargic, adding to our listlessness and exhaustion. Instead, try to eat foods that are rich in carbohydrates that fuel our brains to enhance concentration and focus.
- Get enough sleep Lack of sleep inhibits your ability to cope with even normal amounts of stress, and negatively affects your mood and outlook. It can’t be emphasised enough… get sufficient sleep!
- Prioritise and organise Do it or risk a chance of feeling overwhelmed. Make time to sit with your manager to set clear objectives and realistic deadlines.
- Daily detachment Switch off work and let go of the day’s events and worries at the end of each workday. Create and adhere to a leisure and relaxation process that puts you in charge of your mood.
- Seek help Some companies offer emotional support to employees. However, if this isn’t available at your workplace, consider speaking to a professional counsellor that can help you manage your stress.