Managing Stress at Work
by John Riddle
Stress in the workplace is a serious health problem, according to medical
researchers. It is estimated that 75 to 90 percent of all visits to
primary care physicians are for complaints and conditions that are, in some way,
stress-related. Every week over 115 million people take some form of
medication for stress-related symptoms. It does not matter if you are a
vice president, a secretary, a data entry clerk or even the CEO of the company.
Stress does not discriminate, and can strike anyone on the job.
A survey by Northwestern National Life Insurance Company found that twice as
many workers today consider their jobs “highly stressed” compared with workers
in the 90s. The survey also found that about one third of respondents
seriously consider leaving their jobs because they feel their jobs are too
stressful. About one out of every seven workers will actually quit to
escape the stress.
The official definition of stress is a condition that occurs in response to
actual or anticipated difficulties in life. Stress at home is difficult
enough to work through, but for millions of people who find their source of
stress is at work, life can be a real nightmare.
Many people complain that their jobs are too stressful, and that stress, if
left untreated, can lead to a wide range of medical problems, including high
blood pressure, sleep disorders, back pain and more. In addition, stress
can play a role in circulatory diseases such as coronary heart disease, sudden
cardiac death and strokes. Stress can increase your blood pressure,
constrict your blood vessels, raise your cholesterol level, trigger
arrhythmias, and speed up the rate at which your blood clots.
If you are feeling stressed on the job, keep these tips in mind:
- Get enough sleep – Studies show that lack of sleep can contribute to stress.
You will feel better on the job if you are not tired and exhausted.
- Eat your breakfast – Even if you have to get up fifteen minutes earlier, it is
important to eat something nutritious in the morning.
- Get some exercise – The next time you are feeling stressed during the day, take
a few moments and “get moving.” Do a few jumping jacks, walk around the
block, try doing a few arm and leg stretches, and within a few minutes that
stressful feeling will start fading.
- Focus on a positive attitude – Your attitude is your most prized possession, and
is something that you and only you own and control. No one can take it
away from you. Keep a positive attitude, and you will be helping to keep
stress out of your life.
- Don’t sweat the small stuff – Learn what is important in your life and let the
rest of the problems fade away.
- Learn how to relax – Take a deep breath and let go of the tension. Read a
book, watch a funny movie or go for a quiet walk. You will soon discover
that your stressful problems are a thing of the past.
- Avoid stressful
situations – Don’t get caught up in other people’s
problems and stressful situations. You have enough of your own stressful
times to deal with.
- Learn how to manage your time –
Many people are stressed because they have trouble completing tasks on time.
Look at your schedule, and set your priorities.
- Learn how to deal with conflicts
- When dealing with a difficult situation, keep your cool. When tensions
are elevated, stress results.
- Learn to eat healthy – Stop
eating junk food for meals and snacks, and start eating healthy. Your body
will cope with stress a lot easier. Reach for a piece of fruit instead of
that bag of chips.
- Learn how to express your
emotions - Talking to a friend or a co-worker about your feelings is a great way
to combat stress. Don’t keep your feelings bottled up.