How to overcome stress in the workplace?
All people suffer from stress, there’s no question about that!
I have never met anyone in business who hasn’t encountered stress in one form or another. Facing challenges and overcoming setbacks are par for the course in the highly competitive world.
From the moment we are born, we are under pressure : to take our first steps, to learn to read and write, to do well at school/college/university, to find a job, to buy a home, and to have a decent burial when we kick the proverbial bucket; the pressures in life are endless!
How to overcome stress in the workplace?
Job stress, the #1 cause of stress in the U.S., is a leading factor in poor health and reduced creativity and problem-solving ability, costing American Businesses $300 billion dollars a year.
Top 5 Causes of stress
- Job Pressure: Co-Worker Tension, Bosses, Work Overload.
- Money: Loss of Job, Reduced Retirement, Medical Expenses.
- Health: Health Crisis, Terminal or Chronic Illness.
- Relationships: Divorce, Death of Spouse, Arguments with Friends, Loneliness.
- Poor Nutrition: Inadequate Nutrition, Caffeine, Processed Foods, Refined Sugars.
Stress and Work
- 41% say they “feel tense or stressed out during the workday” an increase 36% just a year earlier.
- 38% of employees can’t stop thinking about problems like emotional, health, financial and job concerns.
- Just 58% of employees say they have the resources necessary to manage stress.
- The most-stressed employees developed heart problems at a 79% higher rate than their less-stressed peers.
- Stress is the most common cause of long-term sickness absence for employees.
How does Stress Effect Creativity?
- Stress signals the body that there is a threat or danger, triggering “fight or flight” response and disputing the rational parts of our brains.
- This results in “tunnel vision” which narrows our ability to see multiple viewpoints of a problem.
- Under stressful conditions, we get fixated on re-working a specific detail of a project, rather than exploring other options.
- On days of the most extreme time pressure, works are 45% less likely to come up with a new idea or solve a complex problem.
Effects of Stress on Your Health
- 75-90% of all doctor office visits are for stress-related ailments and complaints.
- Stress can play a part in problems such as headaches, high blood pressure, heart problems, diabetes, skin conditions, asthma, arthritis, depression, and anxiety.
- 54% say that stress or anxiety increased theirs about falling asleep at night.
How Employers can Reduce Job Stress
- Align the workload with the capability and capacity of workers
- Make room for workers to grow and use talent in their positions
- Ensure all workers know their job responsibilities
- Let workers have a say in changes related to their jobs
- Make sensible work schedules
Google Case Study :
How the World’s Most Successful Tech Company Helps Employees Manage Stress and Be More Creative
- Offices feature open physical space for idea exchange and collaboration.
- A community atmosphere means that if you’re stressed, there’s someone to help and take up the slack.
- Subsidized massages.
- Free yoga and pilates classes.
- A course called “Unwind: the art and science of stress management“
- A health consultation and follow-up with a personal health counselor.
How Employees can Reduce Stress
- Develop a stress inventory by keeping track of situations, people, and events that cause you stress. After a week, begin to evaluate solutions for each item.
- Improve your time management skills so you feel less under the gun.
- Keep perspective by getting other points of view, taking breaks, having an outlet, and taking care of yourself.
Coping with Stress in general
- Take a daily DHA Supplement – DHA or Docosahexaenoic acid in an Omega-3 fatty acid that is a central building block of brain tissue.
- Exercise Most Days – In studies with mice exercise led to a more improved performance on cognitive tasks than exposure to enriched environments with lots of activities and stimulation.
- Do Yoga, Meditate, or Pray – These activities can activate “the relaxation response,” which lowers blood pressure and heart rate and lowers subjective anxiety.
I hope this blog post helps you a little bit to understand how stress affects our health and creativity at work and some tips to reduce this affects and manage stress.
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One of the best ways to finish this blog post is this quote from Kevin Roberts, CEO Worldwide, Saatchi & Saatchi
Focus, commitment, and discipline are at the heart of my stress management program, and if you rigorously, relentlessly, and joyfully implement these, you never lose the ability to cope. Stress, worry, regret, pain, and guilt are all emotions that must be managed, reduced, or eliminated and replaced with positive behaviors.