9 Smart Ways to Tackle Work Stress

9 Smart Ways to Tackle Work Stress

By: Erin Venable | July 02, 2017

Work and stress seem to go hand in hand. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by your workload, but stress is bad for your mental and physical state. Having a lot of work, difficult coworkers, or a high pressure assignment can all demoralize you at work and you shouldn't put up with it any more. Don’t let the strain of your job ruin your well-being. Use these 9 helpful tips to manage your workload stress to be happier and healthier.

1. Find and Track Your Stressors

One of the best ways to tackle workplace stress is by identifying all of the factors causing you to feel overwhelmed. Knowing what the cause of the problems will enable you to deal with the problem directly and then move forward. Tracking your stressors, once you have identified them, is another important part of the de-stressing process. The American Psychological Association (APA) advises stressed individuals to “keep a journal for a week or two to identify which situations create the most stress and how you respond to them.” Tracking your stress is a great way to overcome your problems to find balance and happiness in your job.

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2. Talk with Your Team or Manager

It is easy to feel like you can’t talk to anyone about your high pressure work, but having a meeting with your team or manager can make things clearer and less painful. When you have a lot to get done and you feel anxious about finishing everything, talk with your teammates to see if there is a different way to approach the work. Your team may be more flexible than you realize and by working with them you may find your stress levels decreasing. Meeting with your manager or boss is another option when you are stressed. If you know exactly what is giving you the anxiety, tell your manager about it directly and see what solutions they suggest. Your boss doesn’t want you stressed or overwhelmed and they may have some great advice or alternative solutions to help relieve your stress.

3. Go on a Walk (Outside if Possible)

When you are dealing with a large or high pressure workload, you may feel stuck and overwhelmed. Getting away from your workstation to move around, disconnect, and possibly go outside, will help break up that strain. A change of scenery, even if it's just for a few minutes, can do wonders for your mental state. CNBC says “Even is you only have 10 minutes to take a break, get up and go for a walk.” You will be able to settle your anxiety and feel better returning to your work once you have had a chance to process and breath.

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4. Make New Connections

When you have a lot to work to deal with, having a strong support network can help you cope. Talking to others to air out your struggles and work through them is good for your mental state. Making new friends and connections can also feel exciting. It can help you approach your work with new vigor. Having others to check-in with throughout the day can help break up the workday and make it easier to overcome with any trials that arise.

Stress is a part of everyone’s work experience, but that doesn’t mean it’s something you have to suffer through.

5. Spend Time on Self-Care

Work can feel extra stressful when you aren’t doing enough to take care of yourself physically. HuffPost suggests a number of options to improve your physical state to better tackle stress like eating the right foods, exercising, and getting plenty of sleep. They are all great ways to get your body moving and fighting mental strain. Incorporating the fresh foods into your diet can bring you extra energy. Exercising can give you more energy and help you release endorphins, which add to your positive feelings. Getting more sleep can help you feel refreshed to approach your problems with new energy. Taking care of your body first can help improve your mood and well-being at work.

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6. Prioritize Your Work

When you have a lot of work to get done, it’s natural to feel overwhelmed. You may even want to shut down completely. Resist the urge to throw in the towel by prioritizing your work into lists of tasks. When you break a project down into its parts, it is much easier to get it done and avoid freaking out. Determine the objectives you need to accomplish, organize them by their priority level, and then get to work checking items off the list. Don’t let your workload make you feel out of control. By breaking it down and prioritizing it, you will be able to get everything done in no time.

7. Curate a Relaxing Playlist

Music is a powerful tool to work through difficult situations while feeling relaxed. Compile a list of songs that help you feel relaxed and productive, without getting distracted, and you will find it easier to deal with stress. If you want to make sure you are listening to music at work the right way, check out our article Top 6 Tips and Tricks for Listening to Music at Work. Choose the right music to help you feel less stressed when you’re overwhelmed at work.

alt text Photo credit Gavin Whitner

8. Take Frequent Breaks

When you have a lot on your plate, your instinct may be to focus on work and push through hours of concentrating without pause. It may feel like a good idea to get things done by hyper-focusing like that, but in the long run it will only cause you more stress. The more pressure you put on yourself to work for hours without a break, the more overwhelmed you will feel in general. Give yourself some time limits. Just like dividing your projects into smaller objectives, by breaking down your working time into smaller increments, you will better manage everything you need to accomplish. Breaks will help you clear your head and allow you to feel refreshed once you return to your task. Your breaks don’t need to be long or include a walk every time. Just take a few minutes to disconnect from your work to feel happier and less anxious in the long run.

9. Think Positive

When you feel stressed about your job, it is easy to get overwhelmed by negative thoughts. If you want to feel better about your situation, you have to ignore those negatives and focus on the positives in your life. Forbes describes the power of good vibes by saying, “positive thoughts help make stress intermittent by focusing your brain’s attention onto something that is completely stress-free.” Get your positive vibes going to help overcome those stressed-out thoughts you may be having.

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Everyone feels stressed out at work at some point. Often, your job saddles you with more responsibilities than you have time to deal with and high-pressure tasks pop up all the time to be dealt with. But, while stress is a part of everyone’s work experience, that doesn’t mean it’s something we all must suffer through. There are a number of things that you can do when you’re feeling overwhelmed at work. Consider these 9 strategies for overcoming you work stress and improving your well-being.

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