Six Ways To Overcome Stress At Work

Updated October 3, 2022 by BetterHelp Editorial Team

In today’s world, work is an ever-present factor in the lives we lead as human beings. Many people dedicate decades of their lives to building a business or maintaining a career or job position. Now, there’s nothing wrong with being passionate about your work; however, when work-related stress arises, this can most certainly be problematic.

Like all other forms of stress, work-related stress is dangerous. Sadly, Psychology Today reports that work stress is on the rise. These spikes in stress are largely attributed to professional demands, workplace environments, and a series of other factors. Nevertheless, the specific reasons or contributing factors behind stress at work doesn’t make it any less dangerous.

Why is Work Stress So Dangerous?

Stress At Work Is Common, But It’s Important To Address It

The needs to overcome stress at work and develop healthy stress management techniques are in higher demand than ever. With that being said, an understanding of why work stress is so dangerous also remains deeply imperative.

Knowing the existing threats which stem from stress at work plays a role in overcoming this stress, as does knowledge of stress management.

It Leaves You More Vulnerable to Other Mental Health Issues

The American Psychological Association documents the link between stress at work and overall feelings of powerlessness. Feeling powerless can be crippling enough, but it also increases afflicted individuals’ likelihood of experiencing depression, anxiety, and other related issues. Make no mistake, work-related stress is not the only cause or factor linked to emotional and mental health issues; however, stress at work most definitely doesn’t help anyone.

Your Physical Health Can Suffer

Similarly to mental and emotional health issues, stress at work can also engender serious physical health issues. Headaches, trouble sleeping, and even a weaker immune system are just a few of many horrific examples. Stress is infamous for its adverse impacts on physical health; this is yet another reason why stress at work is so toxic. If you are someone who already suffers from physical health issues, then work stress can worsen these issues or increase your susceptibility to additional ones.

The Quality of Your Work Will Decline

Because of the negative impact that stress at work has on your mental, emotional, and physical health, the decline of your professional productivity is inevitable. Ironically, when the quality of your work declines, this can lead to even more stress, hence creating a vicious cycle. This cycle can be tough to break free from; depending on how long it goes on, stress at work can have serious impacts on your professional and economic future.

With all this in mind, having knowledge of stress management techniques and strategies to reduce stress is paramount.

The Best Ways to Overcome Stress at Work

The dangers of work stress are haunting and very real; however, there is some light at the end of the tunnel. With the right decisions, information, and steps forward, you can overcome stress at work. If you believe that you may be approaching workplace stress, then the following six ways to beat work stress can also be of value to you.

Make Sure You Have — and Maintain — Professional Boundaries

Taking on too much is one of the leading causes of stress at work. Thankfully, you can save yourself from this trap by having professional boundaries in place. Boundaries are advisable whether you work in an office, maintain your career remotely, etc. Not checking your email or taking work calls after certain hours are great ways of setting boundaries; likewise, you should make sure that your time away from work enables you to mentally recharge and make the most of set boundaries.

Try to Maintain Positive Working Relationships

Similar to a lack of professional boundaries, poor work relationships can also engender stress at work. The nature of your professional relationships may not always be in your complete control, although, you certainly play a role. Doing your part to get along with clients, customers, colleagues or superiors can make a difference. Positive working relationships can not only help with stress management, but they’re also great for your career.

Speak Up if You’re Having Issues

When faced with stress at work, putting your head down and suffering in silence can be tempting. However, this doesn’t solve any problems; it certainly doesn’t contribute to stress management or overcoming stress at work.

If you are dealing with stress at work, speaking up about it comes highly recommended. Of course, there is a time, place, and proper way of going about doing this; the specifics will inherently depend upon your profession, manner of working, and much more.

The point, though, is that letting someone know what you are going through is important. If you don’t feel comfortable speaking up about this at work, then considering telling a friend or loved one outside of your profession.

Whatever you do, don’t just suffer in silence and wait for stress at work to go away.

Take a Break

Sometimes, simply knowing when to take a break is one of the simplest and most effective stress management techniques. Small opportunities such as eating away from your desk, and taking a walk around the block can be beneficial to your wellbeing. Apps that promote mindfulness and meditation can easily be fit within a two-minute work break.

Believe it or not, breaks have benefits extending beyond stress management and overcoming stress at work. Better professional performance is another incredible benefit that can come from taking breaks from time-to-time. Contrary to the narrative which asserts endless work as a winning strategy, clearing your head can make you better at your job and able to overcome stress.

Reconsider Your Occupation

Believe it or not, stress at work is sometimes caused by immersion in the wrong occupation. This is not the case in all cases; however, there are many stories of individuals who have left certain occupations for others and found happiness. If you believe that stress at work is caused by your current job, then it wouldn’t hurt to ask yourself if a change is in order. You just may find that reconsidering your occupation is the stress management strategy that you needed.

For some individuals, their current job does not reflect their values and that causes distress. Evaluate your values and assess if this could be the case for you. Is it worth staying in your current job if it means it does not fulfill your values? Could you meet your values in other avenues while maintaining your current job? Such as if you value helping others and you feel your current job role does not allow that, could you volunteer to fulfill this need.

Take Note of Specific Stressors

Cognizance of specific stressors at work is imperative to healthy stress management. When you know what’s negatively impacting you, you can take steps towards finding solutions.

If your interactions with other people at work are causing stress at work, then minimizing these interactions or improving the relationship could be advisable solutions. On the other hand, if stress at work is engendered by the environment, then seeing if you can work remotely or in a different environment are potential solutions.

A Final Word on Stress Management in the Workplace

The National Institutes of Health describes stress at work as one of the most neglected parts of peoples’ mental health. This makes access to stress management techniques more imperative than ever, in spite of what the specific causes may be.

As you take steps to achieve stress management, there are some important details you should remember. First and foremost, stress management does not happen overnight. It also takes time to determine which strategies are best for you.

Next comes implementing these strategies on a regular basis and waiting for positive outcomes. As you carry out the stress management techniques that are best for you, you may also learn more about yourself as an individual. In the long run, this process can foster both stress management and personal development.

Resources for Additional Help and Support

Stress At Work Is Common, But It’s Important To Address It

The journey of overcoming stress at work and developing stress management techniques can be a handful. Depending on the nature of the situation, you may feel confident in your ability to manage things on your own. If this is the case, then there’s nothing wrong with that; however, if you feel as though you could benefit from additional help and support, then you should know about available resources.

To date, working with an online counselor is an effective way to get help. Whether you’re dealing with stress at work, trying to achieve stress management, or facing an entirely different hurdle, an online counselor can help you change your life. 

Should you decide that you’d like to work with a professional, you are advised to sign up for online counseling with BetterHelp. No matter what you’re dealing with, you can rest assured that a BetterHelp online counselor will hear you out, provide valuable insight and support you. Furthermore, working with an online counselor can help you grow, learn more about life, and develop long term stress management strategies.

Sometimes, life can get tough. When this happens, access to the right information and resources can serve you well. Remembering that you are capable of overcoming stress at work or any other obstacles is also beneficial. Ultimately, the decision to work with an online counselor is up to you. However, should you decide that online counseling is for you, BetterHelp will be here for you every step of the way.

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