By Tony Jacowski
This is probably one issue for which you may not need a survey to confirm. Nearly everyone feels stressed at work. Workplace stresses are not that different from domestic stresses. You feel stressed when there are high expectations, changes in responsibilities, possibility of job loss or even when you are standing at the threshold of a promotion. In short, even a small everyday event can add to your stress at work.
Stresses lead to losing your temper, increases in blood pressure, speeding up of respiration and ultimately affect your work efficiency. Psychologists have argued in recent years that workplace stresses are the result of learned helplessness when a person understands that his actions have been useless and loses hope. It is also true that such persons are emotionally dependent on others for morale.
Beating Workplace Stresses
It is very common to feel stressed when there is a heavy workload. In this section, let’s look at available ways to beat stress at offices.
• Reduce Workload: In this fast paced world, working beyond one’s limitations has more or less become a religion. Some people do this because they love their work, and some do this out of compulsion. While there is always a chance to improve your production for the same effort that you put in, you need to understand your limitations. Everyone needs relaxation to recuperate and get their batteries recharged. Reducing your workload is not about avoiding work but delegating it or spacing it out evenly over time.
• Break The Monotony: Routines that don’t challenge you can sure stress you out, especially when you need to get things done. Accountants are perfect examples of this. An exhausted mind is likely to give out at some point. Give yourself a break from work; go on a short trip with your family or friends. A vacation can refresh the mind and prepare you for the weeks and months ahead.
• Avoid Confrontation: Confrontation at the workplace is the result of frustration. It is dangerous to have confrontations, no matter if the opposite person is your subordinate or your boss. Instead of reducing stress, it might add it, especially if you realize it was the result of your mistake. Avoid confrontations; when you must, evaluate the situation carefully and if you still want to go ahead, do it in private.
• Recognize Stress Early: Recognizing stress before it is too late can help you avoid feeling burned out. If you notice that you are being overlooked for a raise or a promotion or being taken off of a prestigious assignment, try to see the positive side of things. The goal may not be to ignore you. Discuss the matter with your boss, politely and calmly. At the very least, you will have cleared your mind.
• Create Friendly Atmosphere: A light-hearted comment or a joke at the right moment can immediately reduce any tension in the air. Additionally, your coworkers will see you at your best and will inevitably lighten up as well. It’s hard to be upset when you’re laughing.
• Exercise: This really has a magical effect on your mind and mood. Releasing stress by means of exercise helps you think more clearly and reduces tension. The very people you didn’t like earlier may appear differently.
Beating stress is not difficult if you work towards it diligently. Realizing that stress only hampers your career should help you to channel your energy in the right direction.
Tony Jacowski is a quality analyst for The MBA Journal. Aveta Solutions – Six Sigma Online ( www.sixsigmaonline.org ) offers online six sigma training and certification classes for lean six sigma, black belts, green belts, and yellow belts.
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