Friday, March 27, 2009

Can You Keep It Together At Work?

Work related stress seems to be a part of the American culture, but for many Americans stress on the job diminishes their productivity, safety, and health.  With the rash of layoffs across the nation, many people are being asked to do much more at work.

In fact, a recent Gallup poll found that 80 percent of workers feel stress on the job, and nearly half report needing help managing their stress. It seems to be a topic that never goes away.

The problem is that while a little bit of stress and energy is good—too much has very negative effects. The symptoms of stress really have a broad spectrum:
  • Apathy
  • Low morale
  • Boredom
  • Anxiety
  • Frustration
  • Fatigue
  • Depression
  • Anger/irritability
  • Physical problems (headaches, stomach problems)
  • Absenteeism

In an ideal situation, the organization you work for can help to create an environment that reduces stress at work. But even in an ideal situation, your stress is determined, in large part, by you. So here are seven different actions you can take that will help you keep your stress in check. You'll be surprised how simple they are.
1. Try to make small changes to your job. Adjust schedules or meetings days- focus on the things that are most stressful.

2. Take short breaks throughout the day. If you feel the stress building, take a walk down the hall, go outside and sit down, let your stress level come down.

3. Crawl out from the clutter. Organizing your desk alone can help give you a sense of control which will reduce stress.

4. Make friends at work. Having one or two people you know and like and can talk to when you are stressed can help balance the stressful times.

5. Revamp your expectations. It’s ok to work hard, but if your goals are unrealistic, you won't succeed- and not succeeding is stressful-Back off a little and be successful.

6. Reward your actions. You may not always get a bonus when you do well. But treating yourself for a job well done will help keep your outlook positive.

7.  Finally, set your priorities.  Jobs will come and go - family, close friends and health will not. If your job is ruining your relationship with your family or friends or is harming your health, it may be time for a new job.

We live in a hard driving, competitive culture and right now it is driving harder than ever before. These tough times can create an environment that can get out of hand and have very negative effects on our mind and body. It’s up to us as individuals to deal with it.

No comments: