6 Ways to Handle Stress at Work

Are you stressed at work? Do you feel strained, anxious, worried and tense? These are just other ways of referring to stress. They all represent negative emotional states that are detrimental to your well being and it is important to know some preventative measures to manage them.

Attitudes and emotions can be contagious and the better you control your own levels of stress, the better others will react to you and the less the others’ negative stress will affect you. Stress affects people in a variety of ways and what someone may consider stressful someone else may not. The truth is we all face some degree of pressure in our jobs and this in itself may not be a bad thing as it serves as a motivator. Some would even say that they thrive under pressure.

It is virtually impossible to eradicate all stress from our work lives. We can however, learn how to cope and manage it better. The most important factor to consider is to remind yourself that you do have choices and there are aspects that you can indeed control.

How to handle pressure and stress in the workplace

6 P’s to Coping with Stress at Work

1. Plan
Start each day and week with a list of things you want to complete and achieve. This allows you not to have to worry about whether you are forgetting something or not. It is also a clear indicator of what you have achieved. Sticking to a schedule will mean you feel less overwhelmed. Last but not least, crossing something off a list once it is complete is immensely rewarding.

2. Prioritise
Have a clear understanding of your workload and concentrate on the tasks that are most urgent and linked to your most immediate targets and objectives. Make sure you do not procrastinate by tackling the most difficult and least enjoyable tasks first. If you leave these until the end it will zap your energy as you will be constantly thinking that you still need to do them.

3. Present
It is important to have goals and a bigger picture focus but do not allow this to detract you from the task at hand. Focus on the present and on completing the task rather than worrying about the outcome which you may not be able to control.

4. Pause
Stress can make you respond to certain situations in a less than appropriate and desirable manner. Try to study and analyse specific circumstances before you act and if necessary come up with a plan to keep you on track.

5. Pass on
Accept that you cannot do everything. You cannot be everywhere. You are only human and not omnipresent. This will not only release you of some of your workload it will also be an opportunity for someone to get involved in something different which is motivating for them. Two birds with one stone.

6. People
There are all sorts of personalities in the office and some will have the natural gift of rubbing you the wrong way. Learn how to exercise your listening skills by not reacting to provocations. When people around you seem to be going into panic mode, remind yourself not to take things too seriously. Use humour to diffuse a situation by sharing a joke or a funny story (either out loud or just in your head).

Remember that we live in a fast paced society where stress is almost an unavoidable part of everyday life. The key is not to allow excessive demands to overload you and leave you to feel a lack of control. By becoming aware and dealing with stress in the workplace, you are in effect also affecting your personal self who will be more relaxed and positive. If you are less tense you will not allow yourself to get aggravated by every little incident, so you will notice a decrease in the number of potentially stressful situations that present themselves at you. A delightful vicious circle!

How do you keep your cool and stay calm under pressure?

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Written by Ana Antunes da Silva.

Image by Flickr user Morton Fox.

14 Responses to “6 Ways to Handle Stress at Work”

  1. Jemima says:

    Man I needed to read this last week. Just one of those weeks. The only way to solve it was simply to take a day off work! Top tips though.

    • Ana says:

      Thanks for your comments. I am glad you liked the tips. I also hope this week is better! I like your idea of taking a day off work. There’s nothing like recharging batteries to keep going.

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