Work stress is unavoidable even if you love what you do, but there are steps you can take to keep job stress to a minimum, advises Nakshi Satra, founder, Inha Wellness.
In the modern workplace, stress is one of the most unnerving hurdles of employee engagement.
Feeling some pressure is normal, especially if you are facing an upcoming deadline or a challenging project.
When this work stress is prolonged, it can have a damaging impact. It ends up hindering both your physical and emotional health.
Workload, lack of job security, and personal problems team-up and overwhelm employees, draining down their self-esteem and satisfaction levels.
The negative consequences of stress are so detrimental that it has been declared a World-Wide Epidemic by the World Health Organization.
Work stress and pressure have damaging effects that range from relatively benign (like getting a cold or flu) to potentially serious (such as heart diseases and metabolic syndrome).
Long-term exposure to unmanaged stress can take a toll on your body and mental health.
As per a recent study conducted by Oracle and Workplace Intelligence, the rising levels of mental stress have impacted working professionals in India more than most places in the world. Such facts and statistics are indeed alarming.
While work pressure is common, finding a low-stress job is tough.
In our fast paced era, it is nearly impossible to find a work structure that entails no stress at all.
However, you can adopt a more realistic approach by developing some coping strategies to reduce stress at your current job.
Work stress is unavoidable even if you love what you do, but there are steps you can take to keep job stress to a minimum.
1. Create a stress-free zone at work place
Underestimating the intensity with which stress affects you is very easy.
Many people do not realise that the various stressors operating in their surroundings are burdening them.
It's only when it slowly piles up and is converted into negative outbursts, people understand the gravity of the situation.
To avoid this from happening, observe yourself and make a note if you feel emotionally exhausted and pessimistic by the end of your work day.
Your workplace should support your sustained well-being throughout the day.
This will pull out more productivity by creating a safe spot/corner or space and gradually become the core of spreading the stress-free vibrations across the board.
2. Note down your stressors
Identifying and recording stressful situations can help you understand what is bothering you more.
It is always better to know the factors that hamper your mental peace, rather than staying oblivious about them.
Your stressors need not be prominent situations, they can even be subtle sources of tension, such as an uncomfortable workspace or a long commute.
Try and identify the common stress factors that exist and address them at the top-management and head of the department levels.
3. Work on your time management skills
Planning is a great step to stay organised.
Once you have chalked out everything you need to do and the way to move forward with your task-list, you will notice that a significant part of your work stress no longer exists.
If you are not aware of exactly what is expected of you, or if the requirements for your role keep changing with little notice, you might become extremely stressed.
To keep such situations at bay, make sure you attain clarity from your managers and those in charge.
You can also overcome procrastination by setting aside specific time blocks for deep concentration work.
4. Introduce a mindfulness culture
If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed by work very often then it is a testament to the fact that you need to set aside some time for self-care.
Mindfulness is the practice of becoming aware of all your thoughts. It helps you differentiate between the various decisions you make.
It tells you whether your decisions are solely emotional or they are practical, keeping in mind all the pros and cons that come with every situation.
It allows you to see situations for how they exactly are. This practice can be introduced via different ways like yoga, breathing, meditation techniques, and exercises, among others.
5. Feedback system
Maintaining a clear and honest communication flow during any kind of teamwork saves you the time of correcting someone's work, reduces errors caused by miscommunication to a minimum and ensures smooth and stress-free working in the long run.
Take monthly feedback from all team members, thereby making them feel heard and valued.
6. Reward system
There has been a lot of research into how receiving recognition and praise can affect an individual as well as his/her performance.
Rewarding and recognising your true talent and potential leads to greater engagement and self-developed motivation, which increases retention and facilitates a positive environment at workplace.
7. Addressing the workplace
It is useful for an employer to discuss and share any important workplace matters with all the employees.
A workplace forum should be used as a way to discuss and resolve issues together.
It also provides a way for the employer to present their ideas to employees, and listen to their views and any concerns. It leads to employees feeling included and heard.
8. Be your own best critic
An internal negativity is just as likely to stress you out as an external event.
Instead of being harsh and critical of yourself, try pumping yourself up.
Encouraging thoughts will motivate you to scale greater heights and ultimately train you to inspire others.
Compete with yourself to be a better version of you, rather than competing with peers at work.
9. Try Chromotherapy
There has been a standardisation of colours in terms of colour therapy and how each colour has a significant meaning.
Colours can have their impact and associative memories, and they can either elevate your mood or simply become a trigger.
Colours can thus deeply impact one’s overall health as well as act as mood stabilisers.
Use vibrant colours in the workplace that are energizing for the brain to stimulate and reflect in work productivity.
Add colour choices to the survey with 3 options each, allowing your employees to decide. You should have the maximum colour options for workplace motivation.
10. Word buzz
In this system, elements of positive words are installed around, and seeded via communication.
You can introduce the words that you want your employees to use frequently via this technique. These could be weekly or monthly buzzwords, the company wants to adapt.
With these ideas in mind, take a deep breath and embark on the journey of effectively fighting stress!