Strategies for Making Peace with Stress in the Workplace

Feeling stressed at work isn’t anything new. Stress affects everyone. But stress management in the workplace is starting to become a familiar buzzword in many corporate circles.

In a role such as director of human resourcing, taking steps to provide a stress-free environment for your employees is hard. A lack of stress management in the workplace contributes to illnesses, absenteeism, and employee turnover. Safety Poster has a vast selection of resources to help you create a workplace culture that increases motivation – before the signs of physical and mental stress start to take over.

What do the signs of physical and mental stress look like?

One popular survey indicated that workplace stress costs the nation something close to $300 billion each year in terms of health care, work absenteeism and rehabilitation. Since stress can’t be eliminated entirely from the home and workplace, minimizing the toxic environments and situations can help.

Here are common signs and symptoms of stress:

  • Persistent Headaches
  • Constant Feeling of Fatigue
  • Trouble Sleeping
  • Poor Concentration
  • Forgetfulness
  • Racing Thoughts
  • Lack of Social Interest
  • Short Tempered 

Although stress doesn't show immediate side effects like other harmful environmental toxins, that doesn't mean it shouldn't be taken as seriously. Unhealthy levels of stress over long periods of time can cause serious health issues such as high blood pressure and heart disease.
How can you help your workplace manage stress?

Here are 4 easy ways you can help both your workplace AND yourself deal with  stress:

1) Show them empathy. Empathy is the ability to experience and relate to the emotions or experiences of others. In the workplace, empathy is about showing respect for employees and co-workers. Recognize your employees – after all, we’re all human beings and have lives outside of work. Make it a point to treat others with empathy – it’ll go a long way.

2) Focus on helping others. Studies indicate that one of the best ways to reduce stress is to focus on others. When we are stressed, our bodies release the hormone oxytocin, which stimulates our desire for social connection. In the workplace, you could seek out opportunities to mentor others – or use the time to express sincere thankfulness to employees for helping others.

3) Always start conversations with positivity. Positive words can go a long way, even when it’s hard to find something positive about a particular situation. The next time you start a meeting, email, or talk to someone in the workplace, mention something positive. Setting a positive tone will have a dominant effect – not right away – but it’ll pave the way for more positive discussions.

4) Focus on your next step. You can reduce stress by not getting stuck in one project. When you get stuck on a project you think about the problem, rather than the solution. Take a deep breath and focus on how you’re going to tackle the project at hand. Managing people were never meant to be easy and when you’re stressed out. What are your next steps, how are you going to finish your desired goal safely and accurately?

At one point or another, we’re all under the stresses of life –, especially in the workplace. You can combat stress like a pro with the tips above and by creating clear and measurable objectives that keep you on track.

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