Are you stressed out at work?
Most people experience some stress in the workplace, some people especially those working within the emergency service sector experience more than most. Any job can have a stressful element, even when you love what you do. In the short term you may experience pressure to meet deadlines or fulfil a challenging obligation. But when work stress becomes chronic, it can be overwhelming – and harmful to both physical and emotional health. You can’t always avoid stress at work but you can take steps to manage it. Here are some tips…
We experience stress when we feel that situations are out of our control. What you need to do is identify what aspects of the situation you can control and what aspects you can’t. Do what you can and ask for help with the rest. No reasonable boss would be comfortable with you feeling pressurised and stressed so do ask for assistance when you need it.
Take deep breaths
When you feel overwhelmed and need to clear your head, a few minutes of deep breathing will restore your balance. Simply inhale for five seconds, hold and exhale in equal counts through the nose – it’s like doing a yoga class. This will calm you down and help you to relax thereby relieving some of your stress.
Are you creating the stress?
Learn to stop stressing by building your self confidence. It is easy to get caught up in other peoples perceptions of you, which you can’t control. Focus on your work rather than what you think others think about how well you are doing your job. The only person who matters in the workplace anyway is your boss and they would talk to you if they were not happy with your work.
Concentrate on your job
Most of us are interrupted constantly during the working day, while you may not have control over the interrupters, you can control your response, you don’t have to be rude just explain you have a deadline to meet and need to get on with your job. Don’t allow others to break your concentration otherwise you will really get stressed out.
Don’t push yourself too hard
Most of us go through the day using a ‘push, push, push’ approach, thinking if we work flat out we will get more done, instead productivity goes down and stress levels go up. Take regular breaks for tea and coffee and definitely go to lunch this will certainly rejuvenate you. Remember you are human and not a robot, you can only do what you can do and no more. A happy, unstressed worker is what all employers want.
Look after yourself
if you look after your body, it will look after you. Stress if more likely to occur if you are run down and not looking after yourself properly. You need to manage your diet and ensure you get enough sleep. A low sugar, high protein diet is good for energy. Anyone who says they only need four hours sleep a day must be a robot, most of us need at least seven hours to function well.
Read situations properly
Your perspective of stressful office events can be subject to interpretation often seen through the filter of your own self doubt. Step back and take an objective view, you’ll be more effective if you don’t take things personally. We are all paranoid at times but what you need to do is believe in yourself, if you have done a job as well as you can – what more can you do. If you have made a mistake – remember no-one is infallible.
When you are feeling frustrated or angry – chill out. Take a deep breath and hit the pause button. Never respond to situations in anger, think about the stressful situation you’re in and make rational decisions. If you loose your rag at work you will gain a reputation for being unpredictable. So relax, no-one has died, all situations are resolvable and there is no need for you to take anything that goes wrong or is taking longer than it should do to complete personally. Be chilled.
Put things in order
It is easy to get stressed when you have several different priority tasks to complete, so prioritise your priorities. When you have competing deadlines and changing priorities it is very important you define what you need to do first and why. Manage your to-do-list by focussing on jobs which will have the most impact first that way you will reduce your stress.
Don’t let other people bother you
Don’t be influenced by others, your stress is your stress, don’t take on anyone else’s stressful behaviour. Constant negativity needs to be addressed or if you are not in a position to address that person – try to avoid them. Nothing is worse than taking on other people’s problems and letting them affect you to the point or distraction, this will really stress you out.
Apparently 60,000 thoughts stream through your mind each day and negative thoughts are likely to stress you out. How do you solve this? Instead of being critical of yourself try bigging yourself up. Have positive thoughts this will motivate you to achieve all your goals.
We hope this has helped you, the key to it is to accept that stress is not just in the workplace it is part of life, it’s how you deal with it that makes you stronger.