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How to Cope With Stress At Work

by Dr. Joe Morales

In a world where money is on the mind all the time, work seems to be inevitable. Ideally, most people work so that they can earn a living and provide for their families.

Since not everyone gets an opportunity for employment, those with jobs can attest that they may have experienced work-related stress at some point in their career.

How to deal with stress at work

Work stress can spiral into ailment and depression if not taken care of.

Irrespective of the length, whether it is long term or short term, every job has some elements that can stress you.

It may be a strict deadline that you have to meet or a high profile obligation that you haven’t handled before.

A report on Health and Safety Executive website posits that a whopping 12.5 million working days were lost due to work-related stress in the years 2016/17 alone.

This trend has a huge negative impact on development. However, there seems to be no iota of evidence that management teams are set to change this antecedence.

The American Psychological Association’s (APA) Centre for organizational excellence still insists that more than a third of working Americans still experience chronic stress due to work-related issues.

They also explain that despite all these, only about 36% of organizations have put in place measures that can help their employees to manage work-related stress.

Stress is a psychological issue. And since not everyone will be aware of what you are going through, you should learn to manage your work-related stress by yourself.

But before we tackle that,

What are the things that can make you stressed at work?

Work-related stressors are numerous. However, you as an individual may not experience all of them at a go. Here are some of the stressors.

  • Unclear expectations

Some organisations do not have clearly defined expectations for you. You may be in your working place with no idea of what you should do or what is expected of you.

This leaves most employees in some sort of limbo, unable to decipher their relevance in the organisation.

It may also be due to poor communication within the organization. This may hamper progressive development and success of the organization.

It can make employees stressed and depressed as they try to prove themselves worthy of the organization’s activities.

  • Lack of opportunities for your growth or advancement

It is human nature to desire advancement in whatever field you are in. This is because one major characteristic of human wants is that they are insatiable.

Your current position in your job may not thrill you as much as it did when you were applying for the same position.

Some organizations do not offer opportunities for growth and advancements. This is a major setback for employees who want to improve their status hence causing stress.

  • Low salaries

This is the truth of the matter. Most employees work for the money and not for the job. This means that a good pay will directly encourage the delivery of quality services.

If employees are not earning enough to meet their needs and those of their families, they may start getting stressed and depressed.

  • Increased workload

Stress is always imminent when there is so much to do and no time to do them. This pressure to meet deadlines is associated with fear, panic attacks, and pressure that are not good for your health.

  • Lack of social support

Sometimes the problem may be caused by other employees harassing their fellow employees. Social support entails helping every employee to cope up with the daily sheers of life.

When employees feel abandoned, their performance, as well as their morale, is reduced.

How does stress affect your body?

One major complication of stress is lack of sleep. The stress hormone, cortisol, should be at its lowest in the night for you to have a peaceful night rest.

Inadequate sleep may reduce your performance, cause fatigue, headaches, and stomach discomforts, and may also increase your blood pressure.

When stress becomes chronic, you may suffer from secondary conditions such as heart diseases, obesity, and depression.

This is because most people compensate for stress by eating unhealthy foods, abusing drugs, smoking cigarettes or drinking alcohol.

What can you do to cope with stress at work?

The best strategy for keeping your body free from stress is learning how to cope with it yourself. Self-induced change has better results than a change that has been induced by someone else.

Here are some of the things you can do to cope with stress:

Try as much as possible to avoid multitasking

Assigning yourself more duties at the same time will overwhelm you. You may end up doing a shoddy job or not finishing your work on time.

Multitasking will also make you frustrated especially if the tasks are difficult to handle. Just assign yourself single assignments at a time, do them diligently and you will achieve your targets.

Get a clear picture of what’s required of you

Sometimes requirements change without notice prompting you to make several mistakes at work. You can do so by using submodality shifts to ensure that you sleep things in good perspective.

If you are not sure about what you should do, inquire from your supervisor about what is required or expected of you. This can help you strategize and relieve your stress.

Just do your best. Don’t be obsessed with perfectionism

Every human being has his or her breaking point. These limits are determined by factors that restrain us such as energy, willpower, money and time.

Depending on the factors available at your disposal, you may not achieve perfection. However, setting reasonable targets and achieving them will make you feel good about yourself.

Being a perfectionist, on the other hand, will leave you frustrated especially when you are working in busy environments where achieving the perfection you need is almost not possible.

Take time and relax

Exercise, meditation, and music are very therapeutic in combating stress. It may be as simple as taking a walk during lunch break or listening to your favorite music as you drive home.

Exercise facilitates rapid elimination of the stress hormone in the blood and listening to music encourages the release of the hormone that gives you a feel-good-feeling.

Track your stressors

You may need to keep a journal about the things that stress you most every week. Once you have figured them out, lay strategies that will help you avoid getting stressed by them.

It may involve changing your mode of operation or incorporating some stress relieving activities.


Stress is a major problem in the working place and should be managed to increase the productivity of employees.

While the management might be sluggish in helping their employees cope with stress, you may orchestrate your own methods to improve your health.

Seek for support from your peers or friends if you cannot manage it by yourself.


  1. Health and Safety Executive: http://www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/causdis/stress/
  2. American Psychological Association: http://www.apaexcellence.org/?_ga=2.159487997.1119081342.1530043743-2001795527.1530043743

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