How to Manage Stress at Work? | Heart Health
No job does not involve stress. The cause of the stress may be external – the pressure to meet expectations, deliver results, overcome obstacles, and much more, or the cause could be internal – the need to prove you are a winner, both in your own eyes as well as in the eyes of others. If there is no stress, it is not a job – it is a relaxing activity.
No matter how much you love your job, there will always be elements of stress to be dealt with. A reasonable amount of stress can be good – it keeps you alert and enables the release of the physical and mental energy you need to perform. However, when the stress becomes chronic or when it casts a shadow on your enjoyment of your work or becomes a hindrance to your performance, it harms you, not just with your work but in all aspects of life. Work-related stress cannot be compartmentalized – it spills over into social activities, personal relationships and every thought and action. In the end, it affects your quality of life and overall well-being.
Stress is not just a mental problem. It causes metabolic changes in your body and over time these can result in serious health concerns such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, ulcers and much more, most of which impact heart health and which, if allowed to continue, may lead to cardiac diseases, heart attack and stroke.
It is not possible to completely remove stress from the workplace. As already said, some amount of stress is a stimulant to improved performance. But excessive stress has the opposite effect. There are various ways to manage workplace stress so that you can consistently achieve high-performance levels while ensuring that the pressure and tension do not overwhelm you and produce the opposite effect.
Managing Workplace Stress
- Keep a diary and make an honest record of the situations that cause you the most stress and how you deal with them. Record the words and actions of others and all your thoughts and emotions. In a few weeks, this journal will tell you what the causes of your stress are and what triggers the tension. Once you know this, it becomes easier to take an objective view of the situation to find ways to negate the stress.
- Everyone is subjected to negative emotions. When they develop in you, try and ask yourself why you are feeling this way. Understanding the cause can help reduce the negative impact. Try to find the humour in situations. This will help produce a positive outlook.
- When you know what your stressors are, you can find ways to overcome them. Binge eating, alcohol consumption, drug abuse, smoking and other such activities are not stress busters. On the contrary, they create more stress and problems than they solve.
- A regular exercise routine or yoga sessions are excellent for stress relief.
Read Also: Yoga And Stress Relief
- A healthy diet strengthens your body and mind. Eat nutritious and balanced meals and avoid excessive consumption of tea, coffee and snacks.
- Find time for hobbies like reading, going out with the family, playing games, cooking, painting and so on. These types of activities are excellent for stress relief.
- Develop a regular daily routine outside of the workplace. Try to eat your meals at regular times and go to sleep at the same time every day. Ensure that you get enough quality sleep.
- We live in a connected world where you are never disconnected from work and other pressures. Emails, phone calls and messages can come at any time. Establish work boundaries. Setting these boundaries is a personal matter but actions like not checking emails after dinner, not answering the phone after a fixed time and so on will help you separate your work and personal life which will in turn give you some relaxed time away from work stress. Find the boundaries that work for you and the type of job you have, but ensure that you can unplug yourself from your work when you are at home.
- Find ways to recharge. Disconnecting from work is a valuable, but passive, course of action. You also need to find ways to recharge self–positive action. Use holidays as they are meant to be used – as time away from work where you do other things. Make use of your vacation time and go to new places and try out new experiences. This will help you to place work at the back of your mind and when you do return to the workplace you will have a refreshed and energized perspective of your work.
- Find relaxation methods. Meditation, breathing exercises and listening to soothing music are among the many activities that allow the mind and body to unwind and relax.
- Talk to your colleagues and seniors at work about the pressures you feel. Ensure that it does not sound as if you are complaining. Instead, make it an objective assessment of the pressure you feel and discuss how a stress reduction can improve your output and performance.
- If these and other de-stressing actions and methods do not give you the relief you need, consider getting help. Talking to your family and friends about the pressure on you will reduce your stress levels and the support you receive from others will give you additional strength to deal with the stress.
Stress, and its effects on you, should never be ignored. If the de-stressing techniques listed here, or others you have tried are not effective, you should contact medical professionals. There is no need to feel embarrassed about seeking professional help. It is not a sign of weakness. Think of it as similar to getting medical treatment for a muscle sprain. Just like how that is no cause for embarrassment, neither is this. If stress is affecting your life or if you think that stress is causing cardiac or other health issues, go to a multi-specialty hospital where you will find all the specialists needed to diagnose and treat your condition, including cardiac specialists, if your heart health is being affected.
Also Read: Common Tests To Diagnose Heart Disease
The sooner you accept that work stress is affecting you, the sooner you can avail help in dealing with it and bring back peace and equilibrium to your life.
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