Workplace Stress: Causes, Symptoms and Solutions

Two things are true about workplace stress; it’s common and it’s drains you both physically and emotionally. It can occur for many reasons and affect anyone in an organization, be it managers or frontline employees. Some workplace stress is normal, but excessive and ongoing stress is harmful as it starts affecting your productivity and performance.

Most employees in North America are suffering from this issue nowadays. According to a survey conducted by The Globe and Mail on 2,700 readers in 2014, work was the biggest stressor for Canadians, with money and family issues trailing at second and third places respectively.

Causes

There are many reasons why employees feel stressed at work. Major ones are:

• Employees are expected to work more with fewer resources
• Excessive workload
• Lack of work appreciation and growth opportunities
• Performance pressure
• Disagreements with the superior or co-workers
• Fear of losing the job
• Lack of work satisfaction
• Unfair pay scale

Symptoms

Excessive stress at work doesn’t just vanish when you leave for home. It persists even after the work hours are over. You can feel irritated, angry, or disconnected from your surrounding at home as well. The alarming fact is, most of the sufferers don’t realize that they are suffering from excessive stress. Look for these warning signs if you’re facing issues at your workplace.

• Anxiety and depression
• Feeling helpless
• Loss of interest in work
• Restlessness
• Fatigue
• Difficulty in concentrating
• Insomnia
• High blood pressure
• Overeating
• Drug or alcohol abuse

Solutions

Managing stress is necessary or else it can affect your mental and physical health. People suffering from stress at work often look for solutions to overcome this issue. Here are some tips you can follow for reducing stress and maintaining a positive work-life balance.

1) Engage in Relaxing Activities

The best way to deal with stress at work is to engage yourself in some relaxing activities such as meditation, spending time with friends or watching movies with your loved ones. Focus on taking care of your physical health by adopting healthy eating habits (Omega-3 diet) rather consuming fast food or alcohol to deal with anxiety.

2) Take a Deep Breath

When you feel stressed because of something or someone in your office, clear your head and take a few deep breaths. Deep breathing helps you maintain your cool and increases concentration. Inhale for 5 seconds, hold your breath and exhale for 5 seconds. Try out this mini-meditation to restore your balance.

3) Sleep Well

Sleep is the biggest healer. If you’re sleep deprived, you’re increasing your chances of getting more stressed. People suffering from workplace stress often complain that racing thoughts about workload keep them from falling asleep. Leave everything for a few minutes and concentrate on your breathing for 3 to 5 minutes. Listening to some soothing music will also help you fall asleep faster.

4) Don’t Overcommit

Avoid committing to too much work back to back. Prioritize the tasks and complete the ones that can be accomplished in a day’s shift, leaving time for your personal life. Over-commitment can leave you with the stress of completing more work in less time.

Workplace stress should be addressed with great care and patience. Remember your personal life and health are more important than your professional life. If your stress issues have reached a severe level, then don’t hesitate in contacting a therapist.

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