Hopefully you have a job which you enjoy, where you feel valued and you look forward to your working day. But even the best jobs can cause us stress in our lives at times. It could be an increased work load, issues with pay or time pressures but work life can be stressful and it can be hard to switch off and not take those problems home. Our latest article looks at the statistics of how to deal with stress at work in the UK and how we can recognise and improve our stress levels.
The Health and Safety Executive has reported that workplace stress is costing the economy £5.2 billion each year, with a staggering 79% commonly experience work-related stress and they found that a total of 12.8 million working days were lost due to stress, depression and anxiety.
Symptoms of work-related stress
Work-related stress can affect both your physical and mental health. The signs of work-related stress can vary depending on your personality and how you respond to pressure and we may not always see this in ourselves. Some of these signs are:-
- Lack of concentration –
- Lack of confidence and second guessing your decisions
- Not feeling motivated or committed to your job
- Feeling depressed and anxious
- Feeling tearful or sensitive
- Feeling angry
What can you do reduce stress at work?
While stress at work is common, finding a low-stress job is hard (if not impossible). A more realistic approach is to adopt effective coping strategies to reduce stress at your current job. Feeling some tension is normal, especially if you’re facing a looming deadline or challenging assignment. But when work stress becomes chronic, it can end up affecting both your physical and emotional well-being.
There are six main areas that can lead to work-related stress if they are not managed properly. These are: demands, control, support, relationships, role and change, and it’s how we cope with these and make them more manageable which is important.
Learn relaxation techniques
Purposefully slowing down and being conscious of your surroundings can keep you relaxed throughout the week. Meditation, deep breathing exercises, and mindfulness all work to calm your anxiety. Start by taking a few minutes each day to focus on being present and enjoying a simple activity – whether that’s a short walk around the park or appreciating a meal at your desk.
Problem-solving is an active coping strategy that involves teaching people to take specific steps when approaching a roadblock or challenge which is causing stress and anxiety. Defining the problem, brainstorming potential solutions and finding a solution can make us feel accomplished as opposed to overwhelmed. If a large project seems overwhelming, focus on one manageable step at a time, rather than taking on everything at once.
Try to make small steps toward setting boundaries between work and your life, such as not checking email in the evenings or weekends, not going back to your computer in the evening, or keeping a standard work schedule. And set aside time when you don’t use your phone or computer, such as not checking email, texts or social media.
Connect with people
A good support network of colleagues, friends and family can ease your work troubles and help you see things in a different way. The activities we do with friends can help us relax and relieve stress and talking things through with a friend may also help you find solutions to your problems.
For further information on how to deal with stress at work, please contact us here.