Stress: We’ve all been there, we’ve all experienced it, but what can we do to manage stressful situations within the workplace? Employees that are more productive tend to be happy, healthy and stress free.

While experiencing some stress in the workplace is completely normal, we all have stressful situations whether it be tight deadlines, confusion with a task, dealing with a difficult client/customer, but it’s excessive stress which can interfere with your overall performance, lowering your productivity and negativity impacting on your mental health.

A few common signs of workplace stress include:

  • Feelings of being overwhelmed and unable to cope
  • Pessimism
  • Anxiety
  • Loss of interest in work
  • Muscle tensions or headaches

Here are a few tips to help you manage and control your stress levels both within and outside the workplace.

Prioritise and organise your work
Firstly, and most importantly, don’t over commit yourself. While it’s great to push the boundaries and show your dedication by putting your hand up to take on more work or help out, you need to remember there are only so many hours in the day or week.

Prioritise your tasks – always work on your high priority tasks first, you don’t need the stress of potentially not meeting a deadline, followed by those less enjoyable tasks to ensure the rest of your day will be more pleasant. If you’re faced with large projects that tend to overwhelm you, then break it down step by step, after all you can only do one section at a time.

Say goodbye to your negative thoughts and behaviour
It’s true your stress levels will increase dramatically when you are trying to cope with a swarm of negative thoughts or bad behaviours. Changing the way you think will have such a positive impact on your thoughts and work.

  • Reverse your negative thoughts – focusing on the downside of a situation will only help drain you of energy and motivation. Always try to think positivity about your work and don’t be too hard on yourself.
  • Avoid perfectionism –always aim to do your best, because in the end no one is perfect and if you continue to set unrealistic goals for yourself you’ll be consistently setting yourself up to fall short.
  • Look for humour – humour is a great way to lighten up the mood in the workplace and reduce stress, whether you’re sharing a joke or funny story with your colleagues a smile or a laughter will always help. Don’t take everything to seriously, this helps to create stressful situations.

Remember exercise and nutrition are key
Don’t neglect your physical health no matter how busy or stressed you might become at work. Employees who tend to support their physical health with good nutrition and regular exercise tend to be more resilient to stress. Taking care of yourself is super important as it’s the small things that can increase your energy and make you feel better.

  • Make smart food choices – what you consume can have a massive impact on how you feel during the day
  • Make time for regular exercise – whether you go to the gym, go for a walk it’s the physical movement that can help you regain your balance when you’re struggling with stress by increasing your energy, lifting your mood, sharpening your focus and relaxing the mind.

If workplace stress is interfering with your performance, health, or even your personal life, then it’s time to take action. If your stress exceeds your ability to cope it will actually do more damage to your mind and body alongside your job satisfaction.

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