Remember the things you did in your teenage or newly-adult years? Getting into fights, hanging out of local trains, getting crazy drunk just to prove a point, driving super-fast to show someone that you’re having a good time, or worse, driving drunk. Thankfully, better sense has prevailed. You’ve matured into this responsible person who values his or her life. You’ve stopped doing things for the sake of it and are doing the more ‘adult’ things like handling excessive workloads, fearing being laid off, lying awake at night plagued by stressful events of the day, lying awake at night wondering what’s going to happen at work the next day and getting stretched thin with obligations, deadlines, and trying to prove your worth .
Sadly, this ‘adult’ stuff is just as dangerous to your health as driving super-fast on roads. One of the major contributors to daily stress is workplace related. Most of us have watched the movie ‘Horrible bosses’. It was a ridiculous parody depicting the extreme awkwardness and discomfort the employees can experience when there is an issue with their bosses. In reality, people experience difficulties with their bosses for a variety of mundane reasons. It is the dynamic of employee-employer relationship that can create problems in the best of relations. But what is it that we can do to alleviate the workplace stress?
These are some of the pointers that we can keep in mind.
- Avoid short term fixes
Alcohol, drugs, smoking or over-eating will most probably help you to cope with immediate effects of stress. But it’ll only help you to avoid and ignore the underlying problems till you are sober again. Don’t kill your brain’s natural ability to cope with stress by choosing the easy way out. Avoid it this time, and it’ll only get harder the next time.
- Develop healthy responses
Firstly, list down all the things/activities that you like to do,if you don’t know them already. These things don’t have to be constructive, they don’t need to be productive, all they need to do is give you pleasure. You could be listening to classic tunes on the radio, enjoying your favorite meal, watching a silly, funny movie. For that time period take leave of your worldly engagements and focus on deriving pleasure from your chosen activity. If you do this right, you can enjoy a mini vacation every single day sitting in your living room.
Exercising, meditation, being mindful, eating healthy and sleeping early are the other habits you could inculcate in your daily routine.
- Talk to your supervisor.
Stress at work can lead to problems for the individual, his working relationships and the overall environment at the workplace.It may lead to reduced concentration skills and lowered self-esteem for the employee. The organisation may suffer from days lost to sickness, increasing customer complaints and staff turnover. Thus your boss has much to lose from your stress. Try initiating an open conversation with your supervisor. The objective is to come up with an effective plan for managing the stressors you’ve identified and not lay out a list of complaints, so you can perform at your best.
Some of the positive outcomes these pointers may lead to are : better time management, employer-sponsored wellness activities, better clarification of what’s expected of you, enriching your job to include more challenging or meaningful tasks, or making changes to your physical workspace to make it more comfortable and reduce strain.
On a closing note, don’t forget that ‘you always have a choice’, and that, there is a reason you are working where you are.