Stress at Work is one of the biggest problems in society today, causing an increase in the rates of various diseases and psychological disorders, including anxiety and depression.
According to Social Security, the stress in the work environment is considered the third reason that causes the most absences for more than 15 days. It is estimated that by 2020, the focus will become the first reason for absences and leaves.
With the increase in competitiveness, there is a growing search for professionals who can work long hours and who can meet increasingly bold and aggressive goals. Several factors are related to increased stress at work, including the low wages offered, long working hours, little prospects for professional growth and development, excessive routine in activities, aggressive demands and targets, and unreasonable demands, among others.
Unfortunately, the pressure suffered by these professionals within companies is enormous, causing symptoms such as irritability, loss of concentration, emotional loss of control, and mood swings, in addition to the physical problems that occur due to this overload at work, including symptoms of headaches, stomach pains, insomnia, increased blood pressure, low immunity, among others.
Changing the job market is not the best solution, as many companies are not worried about their employees being overcharged and overworked. It is, therefore, necessary to have an individual action plan to reduce the daily and constant pressures at work and to be able to deal in the best possible way with all professional demands.
Discover below 12 ways to eliminate stress at work and learn how to manage your professional life better so that you have a better quality of life:
- Breathe deeply
This tip seems very simple, but it can have many benefits in improving physical and mental health. Breathing helps to promote relaxation, increasing calm and tranquillity, and encouraging adequate energy consumption in the body. The practice of physical exercise and meditation techniques helps stimulate the body’s awareness of proper breathing.
Throughout the day, take at least 5 minutes to relax and breathe deeply. Choose a quieter place where no one can interrupt you. Close your eyes and draw in air deeply, filling your lungs, trying to do this slowly. Hold for a moment and let the air out slowly. Repeat this process for a few minutes until you feel calmer.
- Sleep well
Excessive stress can cause sleep disturbances and increase tiredness, mental fatigue and loss of productivity. During sleep, the body performs several functions that help maintain and improve health. The quality of sleep is essential to ensure a healthy body and mind, as well as helping to reduce stress.
Several studies have shown that people who have trouble sleeping or who sleep a few hours a day have a higher incidence of illness and stress.
Create a healthy sleeping environment that is quieter and has less light. Also, avoid very stressful activities at night, ensuring you are more relaxed when you go to bed. The idea is to maintain a routine of at least 8 hours of sleep a night. Even so, remember that sleep quality is just as important as the number of hours.
- Always plan your next day.
One of the situations that most cause stress in the work environment is the lack of organization and planning. Doing activities at random and without control can generate a lot of stress, causing problems related to the achievement of goals and the search for results and generating disturbances in relationships with other professionals who work in the same environment.
A straightforward tip is to be able to organize a to-do list for the next day. This way, you will be able to ease your mind, which will be less overloaded with so much information, as well as help to plan the times and resources needed for each activity.
- Take short breaks throughout the day.
There is still a culture where long working hours are synonymous with productivity. Several studies have shown that taking short breaks throughout the day can significantly alleviate work stress and also help improve concentration and focus for each activity.
Create a work routine that intersperses a period for each task to maintain concentration, with a short rest period. An example of this type of routine might be working for 90 minutes straight without a break, then taking a break for 10 to 15 minutes before returning.
- Learn to say no
Among the many issues that can cause stress at work are too many urgent situations to be resolved and too many interruptions. Learn to manage everyday situations, making it clear to people that you are busy and can respond to requests at the most appropriate time.
Also, learning to speak doesn’t do much to reduce stress. Know how to assess whether requirements and tasks meet your priorities. Say that you cannot make a specific commitment if it will hinder you and if you need to fulfil what was passed, consider the possibility of delegating some activities.
- Create a list of tasks and priorities
Being disorganized at work can generate a lot of anxiety and stress. Have a schedule in hand to put all the tasks for the day and choose priorities. Focus on activities that will help you reach your personal and professional goals.
Another important tip is to try to divide your projects into small steps. In this way, you will find that you are constantly evolving and will always be motivated to see your achievement in the activities you perform every day.
Do physical activities regularly
When people are very busy and full of commitments, they tend to forget to take care of their health, not have a healthy diet and not perform activities that can contribute to their physical and mental well-being.
Being physically well can contribute a lot to stress control, helping to increase energy and disposition, and helping to release several hormones related to a good mood.
Add a few minutes a day to your routine for physical activity. Ideally, you should exercise for at least 30 minutes 3 days a week. If you have a sedentary lifestyle, start with short walks outdoors and increase the intensity of activities over time.
Aerobic activities are the most recommended, such as walking, running, cycling, and team sports, including soccer and volleyball. Weight training and localized gymnastics are also great options for relieving stress, improving your fitness and ensuring a healthier life.
- Eat healthier foods
Just as exercise can help improve health and reduce stress at work, many foods can also contribute to physical and mental well-being. Eat small meals throughout the day with food varieties such as fruits, vegetables, greens, lean meats and wholegrain carbohydrates.
Avoid foods rich in fats and sugars, as these can interfere with the release of healthy hormones and increase your fluid intake to aid in body hydration and promote better concentration and focus.
- Start your day right.
You can see that your day becomes more stressful and less productive when you get up late and rush off to work. Start the day right. Try to get up earlier, make a healthy breakfast, and calmly organize your materials and activities.
You will arrive at work on time and ready to start the day. If you can do some physical activity in the morning or some relaxation activity, you will also find that you will be more energetic and more focused.
- Avoid perfectionism
Trying to do your best is always exceptional quality. However, when we let perfectionism take over our activities, it can cause a significant increase in stress at work, as the personal demand increases, and we will also be taking much longer to see the results of our activities.
Put small limits on the release of your work by setting due dates for yourself or others. In this way, you will be obliged to complete the activities and deliver them even if they are not perfect. Realize that a good idea put into practice is better than many great ideas that never come out of the paper.
- Accept that you can’t control everything.
We try to change many situations in the hope of having different results. However, many of them are not totally in our control, and we end up creating unnecessary anxiety and stress in the search for solutions. For each challenge and obstacle that comes your way, assess your actual participation and check which activities depend exclusively on you.
Focus on these activities first, and for all the other activities you depend on someone else, consider whether or not it’s worth worrying about. You will notice over time that most of the problems that create stress at work are not under your control, and, therefore, you will be able to accept and feel less anxious about having different results.
- Create good relationships at work
There are countless stressful situations in the work environment, and a good part of them could be avoided if we knew how to communicate and relate to people who live in the same domain. Try to listen more to your co-workers, maintain more personal contact and learn how to create strategies to facilitate the processes that involve the activities carried out together.
Thus, when there is a more tense situation to be resolved, the people involved will be more receptive to negotiating and easing the problem in search of a common goal.