Does stress affect your efficiency at work? Has the stress in your workplace been a roadblock to your success in your business or career?
As a Naturopath with over 22 years of experience, I consider stress to be a major underlying cause of many failures at work. There is no doubt that our work life, career path and business responsibility can be extremely challenging these days. Hence, learning ways to overcome stress in the workplace has become essential.
Based on 2011 data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, fifty-five percent (55%) of workers suffering from stress, or even other mental conditions, take more than 5 days of sick leave in a row.
It is reported that absentee rates are increasing in Australia, as many working individuals increase alcohol intake, cigarette smoking, caffeine consumption or binge eating as an attempt to overcome stress. However, these habits are merely ways to pacify the symptoms; they don’t take care of the underlying problem.
I have to say that most of my clients who are working have high stress levels. Sadly, most of these clients also have very poor stress management skills. To make matters worse, by the time many have finally finished their long, hard-working years, they find that high stress during their working life caused their health to fail, which inhibits them from enjoying their retirement.
If we take a good look at stress at work, we can observe it’s nearly always preceded by periods of prolonged demands, with high challenges, conflicts, being overwhelmed, frustration and fatigue. We can almost always see an array of accompanying stress symptoms, such as are listed in the following table:
|Signs and Symptoms of Stress|
You may experience a few or many of these stress symptoms depending on the degree of your exposure to stressors. You will probably have more symptoms if your stress level is high, which may affect your efficiency at work. However, this varies for every individual. Some people have impressive stress management skills that they use to easily cope with stress, and still remain productive despite the pressure in the workplace.
If we think about it, it’s essential that we learn how to overcome stress if we want to be successful in our careers or businesses. To be successful these days, it’s more about working smarter rather than harder.
To guide you, here are the seven essential keys to help you overcome stress in your workplace.
7 Essential Keys to Help You Overcome Stress in Your Workplace
Your ability to recognise stress symptoms is an important part of managing stress at work. However, there can be times when you no longer differentiate a stressful day from what is normal, particularly when you are constantly exposed to stress. At that point you may consider stress to be a familiar feeling, sometimes even a normal part of your daily life. Thus, it is necessary to understand the keys that will help you overcome stress successfully, specifically at work, whether you recognise the symptoms or not.
Essential key to help you overcome stress #1. Become aware of the effects that stress places on you
Stress has a serious impact on your health, relationships, work life, performance and other aspects of your life.
Assess your stress levels and identify the problems that cause you the greatest stress. Consider appropriate ways to resolve your stress levels, and choose to implement those changes while monitoring your increased success, all the while enjoying less stress.
Essential key to help you overcome stress #2. Stay healthy.
Working while you feel unwell is stressful. Illness makes you less efficient at work. Aside from the physical and mental limitations that illness imposes into your work performance, you will also have apprehensions that you are becoming a burden to your workmates, particularly if you are working with a team in which your efficiency has a direct effect on the workload of everybody else. Therefore, develop healthy habits to keep you away from various diseases. A healthy body is a healthy mind, with clearer thoughts, greater enthusiasm and more of a ‘can do’ attitude.
Essential key to help you overcome stress #3. Be well organised.
Isn’t it stressful when you cannot find a certain file you urgently need for an important business presentation? How about misplacing an important document that a big time client just signed? Mixing up your schedule, missing out on significant meetings and messing around your work stuff is such a headache!
Hence, the third essential key successful professionals and business people need for overcoming stress while enduring a hectic schedule is to be well organised. Successful people are well rehearsed and prepared with proven and efficient systems in place.
Essential key to help you overcome stress #4. Be passionate and have fun in your chosen career.
What makes you busy? Is your career in line with what you really want in life? Are you passionate with your work?
Sometimes you easily get stressed and emotionally unstable at work when there is high pressure in terms of deadlines and quality. However, when you love what you’re doing, everything unpleasant is turned into a motivation.
This is the fourth essential key to help you overcome stress: have a highly desired career, with passion, and fun. Otherwise, you may find that your high resistance to going to work each day will contribute to your stress.
Essential key to help you overcome stress #5. Create an inspiring environment at work.
The fifth essential key is to create an inspiring environment in which to work. With a good environment comes a high work ethic and good communication with your workmates. Valuing your work most likely leads to you being passionate about it. It also inspires you to perform at your best. Moreover, good communication in the workplace reduces the risk of conflicting interests and promotes a more efficient workflow, which means less stress.
Essential key to help you overcome stress #6. Be committed to your personal growth and development.
Are you satisfied with the current level of your skills and capabilities? Have you ever thought of enhancing what you are capable of? Some people tend to be stagnant in terms of work skill. They limit their capabilities based on their current job description, which hinders the possibility of learning a new skill or furthering their skills to the next level. When changes involving work skills occur, it becomes a stressful situation for them. To overcome this stress, you need the sixth essential key, which is commitment to your personal growth and development. It includes discovering what is most important to you about your work, and in your life. Remember to keep improving your skills and your character. Personal development helps boost your confidence and quality of life. It breeds self-empowerment.
Essential key to help you overcome stress #7. Learn how to transform stress into success.
The seventh essential key is to learn how to transform stress into success. It is the art of using the excitement of stress to enhance your performance. Successful people have some handy techniques up their sleeves, to boost self-confidence and to remain positive even under challenging situations.
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