The A-B-C-D of Managing Stress at Work
Many factors contribute to make a typical work day fairly stressful. To a certain extent, stress tends to boost the human productivity, but after it passes a certain point it can become debilitating. The person suffering from severe stress gets incapacitated and is unable to work well. Learn how to deal with stress before it makes you unable to function normally at work.
The first step to managing stress at work is being aware of what situations cause it. It could be one or a combination of the following – too many meetings, inefficient team mates, busy work that takes up time but shows nothing for it, an aggressive boss, coworkers who expect you to help them with their work, short deadlines with unrealistic expectations, clients who just like to be difficult to please, and so on. What you need to do is identify these specific stress factors, and then be aware when they come into play in your work place. Once you are aware of the stress building you move to the next step.
Learn short techniques that help you calm down. This could include silently counting till ten, taking deep breaths, or doing stretches to release the physical sensations of stress. It can even help to train your mind to use a relaxing word. For instance you can use the word “beach” and associate feelings of being laid back and relaxed every time you think the word beach. Find out which technique works best to help you balance the stress that you feel, then practice it repeatedly till you are able to use it to control the stressful stimuli.
Some things are important, others are urgent, but not everything that is urgent is necessarily important. You need to identify what is important for you to accomplish each work day. Have a “to do” list for the day and mark out the things on the list in order of priority. This helps you beat unnecessary stress caused by clutter. Eat healthy meals even if you have to eat out or at the office. There is a tendency to feel more stressed out if you are hungry, so keep a fruit or an energy bar in your office drawer to beat stress. Drink lots of water to stay hydrated and stress free.
You do not have to kill yourself doing everything. It is alright to delegate some of the work on your plate to juniors or other coworkers, who are willing to help you. Be aware of your key result areas and focus only on those while at work. Being a perfectionist in everything is going to cause you undue stress. Learn to accept “good work” rather than always striving to do “excellent work” all through the week. If you do not have the time to take on a new project, have the assertiveness to say a firm “No.” This is better than saying “yes” and then being unable to deliver at the given deadline. It will also allow you to manage your stress levels better.
In conclusion, the A-B-C-D of stress management will allow you to handle your professional and personal life with minimal stress. To recapitulate, be aware of the stress as it forms then balance it using stress busting strategies. Control your actions and delegate things that you do not have time for to live a stress free life.
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