What Is Stress Management? Why Is It Important To Cope Up With Stress?
You’ll see a lot of people putting “stress” on stress management nowadays.
As a healthcare professional, I’m glad that’s happening. Bad management of your stress can lead to a world of problems. So, you’d want your stress to go away. But the solution doesn’t arrive unless we recognize it as the issue and talk about ways to prevent it. Of course, it’s not always possible to prevent stress from occurring. But even faced with those odds, there are ways to channel your stress in a productive manner.
So, yes, we’ll talk about some of that in this piece today. But before we delve into the concept of dealing with the issue, let’s talk about what the issue is. I’ll write down here what I think, and you can of course, leave your thoughts in the comments section at the end.
So, What’s ‘Stress”?
For a logical definition, it’s your body’s natural physiological response to the pressure placed upon it, through a situation that you may perceive as challenging. As a result, you experience things like increased heart rate, faster breathing, tense muscles, and sweating.
And in simpler words, that weird feeling you get that forces thoughts like “I don’t have time for this”, “I need to do everything perfectly”, or “What if I fail?”, into your head.
Yet, while it may not seem like it, stress can actually be helpful in short bursts.
As for what causes it, there can a multitude of driving factors at work.
Maybe your deadlines are too strict. Otherwise, you could be worried about your family. Or you might have financial issues. In fact, sometimes it can also be due to some other underlying health issues.
What’s Stress Management?
In short, the way you deal with stress. In fact, a combination of the ways you deal with your stress. In other words, you could say it’s a range of methodologies you can use to reduce your stress. As a result, you aim to gain take back control of your mental health.
Why do you do it? Basically, to set your life straight by reshaping your approach to dealing with challenging situations.
Now, before we go further, let’s get one thing straight.
Everybody gets stressed
So, rest assured. You’re not alone. Regardless, I understand that in a stressful situation, it’s only natural for you to assume bad outcomes of your situation.
But you don’t have to worry about it too much. If you’re feeling stressed right now, try doing this exercise with me to calm yourself.
- Step 1
Stop what you’re doing
- Step 2
Take a deep breath in and hold it for 5 seconds
- Step 3
Now slowly breathe out
Repeat the breathing process at least 3 times. I hope you feel a little better through this simple exercise.
Of course, that’s not all that it takes. You’d feel the burden of anxiety and stress holding you down in many places. However, many working individuals see workplace stress as the center of their life’s problems, as it may affect both their work and personal lives. So, we’re going to take a look at how you can cope with your workplace and make the best of every situation for positive outcomes.
But why stress in the workplace? Let’s discuss that in a bit of detail.
Why Workplace Stress Management Is Important
To begin with, your productivity depends on you leading a healthy and supportive work life. So, it’s not just your work that’s being affected, but also your health.
As an experienced healthcare professional, I understand that many people have the capacity of performing significantly better at their jobs. You see, the potential is nearly always there. But one of the things that get in the way is the stigma of a situation feeling too stressful. The fear of not getting things done properly or on time can cause you unnecessary stress.
In fact, the WHO (World Health Organization) has recognized said stress as a global health challenge, deeming it a leading cause of workplace absenteeism and decreased productivity.
So, it’s not just a problem you face individually, but one faced by millions across the globe.
In today’s demanding work environments, it’s been holding people back more than ever.
And behind high levels of professional stress buildup, like with other forms of stress, there can be a number of varying reasons. To name a few, these can be extensive workload, inability of saying no, difficult colleagues, job insecurity, lack of support, and work-life balance issues.
Regardless of the exact reason, you seriously need a long-term solution that works. Because a solid grip on your challenges through reliable methods helps you remain stress-free for much longer.
To shed more light on that, the following are some of the reasons you need to strategize the way you deal with workplace stress:
Maintaining Your Health
As we’ve discussed earlier, high levels of stress negatively affect your physical and mental health. Generally, that could translate to minor issues like anxiety, burnout, and possibly depression as consequences. But that’s not always the case. In fact, for some people, unchecked stress levels can even lead to more serious problems like experience heart disease. This makes it vital for you to efficiently manage that stress to maintain your well-being.
Staying Productive At Work
You’re not the best you when you’re stressed. How does that add up? Well, once you let your stress take over, you start to your concentration. In turn, that results in lesser work done, which demotivates you further, and the cycle continues. In the end, that leaves you with a less impressive job performance. But if you know how to properly declutter, you can steer your way toward success!
Preventing Exhaustive Burnouts
A surprising amount of people experience burnout at work due to an inflexible workload or a toxic environment. These burnouts thus cause a ton of physical and emotional exhaustion, which affects their work, socialization, and household relations alike. However, a good plan can help reduce your stress levels regularly, thereby preventing any sudden mental outbursts or shutdowns.
Satisfaction With Job Performance
Even without stress, it’s possible you may not like your employer(/s) for other reasons. But when you’re going through it, you might start to resent them regardless. So, since you dislike your boss(es), you feel less and less connected to your job as well if it was something you loved to do. However, a good coping mechanism can help you stay cool-headed, thus maintaining your job satisfaction and engagement with your work.
Tips To Manage Workplace Stress For Individuals
When you think about managing your stress levels, you obviously can’t do everything at once. But you do need to start getting organized with your exercise routine, eating habits, and stress reduction techniques recommended by your doctor or healthcare supervisor.
Now, what we’ve gathered from the information above is managing stress is a crucial part of your overall well-being. So, since we understand the health and productivity issues it brings, it feels like taking action in the now is more than necessary.
This is why mental health professionals like myself are here to help you cope with job-related stress in healthy and effective ways.
Some common strategies include the following:
Prioritize and Organize
So, to begin with, you should make a list of your tasks and prioritize them according to urgency and importance. You can do that using the Eisenhower urgent/important principle. This will help you feel more in control of the time and duration of the tasks at hand. Plus, you should divide larger projects into smaller parts. This can also be helpful in reducing the perception of burden.
Don’t stick to your screen or keep at work for 8 out of 8 hours of your shift. Take a bit of advice from KitKat when they tell you to take a break. Consider 5-10 minute short breaks between each hour of work. It’ll help you remain fresh throughout the day. Try things you don’t do during work like stretches, walks, or breathing exercises.
Learn to say “no”
Understand that while it may feel like you’re doing your job, you’re not hired to do everything at the company. So, at any point, if you feel overwhelmed, just say “no”. Take from the previous tips and prioritize your workload for important(/urgent) tasks. Denying requests can be difficult if you’ve bonded with a colleague, but sometimes you have to think about your own health.
Maintain a healthy work-life balance
Have a work-life, but don’t make work the purpose of your life. What you need to do instead is to find the right balance between work and personal time. If something’s urgent, go ahead and prioritize work. But don’t compromise your “me time” all the time. Remember to take out time for hobbies, family, and friends. You’ll find that this isn’t just something you’d appreciate now, but also something you’d love to look back upon in the long run.
You may have heard the phrase “Your body is a temple”. That’s true, and exercise is a great way to keep that temple in good shape. Of course, that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to work out till your muscles ache. You can partake in activities you like. Try walking, swimming, running, or yoga. Physical activities like these don’t just reduce your stress levels but also increase your stamina for work.
Practice relaxation techniques
There are many proven techniques that can help you overcome your mental health challenges. You can try deep breathing, meditation, or mindfulness methods for instance. If you’re interested in learning one of these methods in less time, you can try my Guided Meditation course. I’ve designed this course to help you gain a better understanding of your mental health with effective strategies for its betterment.
Finally, remember that it’s generally not best to take anything from the internet as is. There’s no replacement for a professional diagnosis and a customized plan that’s made for you. So, try to consult a knowledgeable mental health professional if you feel like stress is taking over. In the meanwhile, you can also reach out to friends and family members for support. Talking about your stress would also help you feel more supported and confident.
Creating A Stress-Free Workplace For Others
As I’ve mentioned earlier, stress is something nearly everyone goes through. Apart from yourself, it can also decrease the morale and productivity of others experiencing it. So, it’s important to consider taking the right steps to create a stress-free environment for yourself and your colleagues alike.
Let’s take a look at some of the ways you can do that below:
Encourage Open Communication
Show your colleagues that you’re there for them if they need support, so they can easily communicate their issues with you. You might be able to provide them with the comfort they need.
Promote Growth Opportunities
Provide your coworkers with opportunities for professional skill development where possible to help them overcome advanced tasks with ease via better insights.
Foster An Inclusive Environment
Try to give the people around you the comfort of inclusivity by respecting their values, and avoiding discrimination due to unconscious biases.
Share Their Workload
Whenever you can, try to help a buddy out if they’re overburdened with work. This can help reduce workplace stress levels by preventing burnout and also improve your team’s bond.
Reward Good Performance
If you’re in a managerial position, it’s always good to recognize and appreciate high performers. This will provide them with motivation to continue quality work thanks to increased job satisfaction.
Respect Their Personal Time
Allow your colleagues the freedom of spending their personal time on other things they’re passionate about by avoiding work-related communication during those hours.
Promote Health And Wellness
If you’re someone in power at the company, try to encourage healthy habits by offering resources for physical activities, and healthy eating habits for your co-workers.
Prioritizing Stress Management for a Healthy Work Environment
In conclusion, controlling your stress is essential for a healthy and productive work environment. Without it you may come across health problems, as well as decreased productivity and lower job satisfaction.
We’ve briefly discussed several tips for workplace stress reduction here such as time management, taking breaks, and seeking support. By implementing these across our professional lives, we can easily create positive work environments that benefit everyone involved.
Of course, there are just surface-level tips and techniques.
If you want to leverage in-depth methodologies, you should consider taking a comprehensive course that helps you master the art of turning stress into your fuel for productivity.
Don’t let stress take a toll on your health and productivity – invest in yourself and take a stress management course today!