Stress in this context the emotional and physical strain caused by our response to pressure either from work, environment, etc. it can also be seen as a feeling that is created when we react to particular events.
Stress in the workplace is more and this at times is as a result of fear in the employees (fear of being sacked, queried, etc), more overtime due to lack of staffs, pressure to perform effectively to meet rising expectations, pressure to work at optimum levels all the time, no clear job description, lack of friendly and effective communication, lack of job security, a feeling that one’s reward does not worth one’s responsibility, working hours, etc.
Stress (especially at workplace) has been proven beyond doubt to make people ill and some illness and diseases such as heart disease, hypertension, high blood pressure, stroke, ulcer(as a result of not having time to eat), diabetes, muscle and joint pains, miscarriage during pregnancy, etc. has been recorded as caused by stress. Stress not alone cause illness but also reduces productivity, affects effective performance of the brain, memory concentration and learning. It also leads to poor work performance of the staffs, which may eventually result to bad publicity and loss of reputation of that organization.
There are several signs associated with stress, some of which include, loss of appetite, poor concentration, sleep difficulties, continuous smoking and drinking of strong drinks to cope, etc. these signs should not be neglected or taken for granted, serious caution must be taken to avoid further damages on one’s health, family, relationships, and even place of work, (as a stitch in time saves nine).
Listed below are some of the measures one can employ to reduce and manage stress at workplace:-
1. Recognize the warning signs and don’t ignore them:- when you feel tired at work, you lose confidence and may become withdrawn, this can make you less productive and effective in your job. Don’t ignore this signs. Doing so may lead to serious problem in future that will affect your physically and emotionally.
2. Identify the factors causing the stress:- having a stress journal will help you identify properly those factors that causes stress in you. Taking inventory of these factors (e.g events and people who caused you tp have a negative physical, mental or emotional response) will help you resolve them and proffer better solution when such occurs again.
3. Reduce work stress by prioritizing and organizing:- do things in their order of priority, you can only do this when you organis them. Make a list of task you have to do and tackle them in their order of importance. Stop chasing shadows when there are lots of important task to carry out. Those with high priority should be done first. If you are faced with a huge task, break it into small steps and take it step-by-step, if possible, delegate some of the task to others that can help you carry out the task effectively.
4. Plan regular breaks:- ensure to take a short break throughout the day, you can take a walk, spend a few minutes meditating in the break room, stroll outside the workplace for lunch, etc.
5. Adopt a healthy lifestyle:- when stress at work interferes with your ability to perform in your job, manage your personal life by:-
1) Exercise a lot :-This helps burns up adrenaline and produce helpful chemicals in your body).
2) Improve your diet:-Proper in-take of healthy diet will help nourish and prepare your body to cope with stress, be mindful of what you eat, because you are what you eat. Reduce the amount of coffee, sugar, soft dinks, sugar snacks and even chocolate4 intake.
3) Increase your intake of water:- All your organs, including your brain are strongly dependent on water to function properly. If you starve yourself of water, you will function below your best and you will be stressed up physically and mentally. Water helps revive your system (water is life). Cultivate the habit of taking water regularly (at least 4-8 glasses a day); it helps clear your pee, if it is yellowish in color.
4) Look for humor in the situation:- Humor (when used appropriately), is the greatest and quickest device for reducing stress, the reasons behind this is because laugher produces helpful chemicals in the brain that gets it thinking and working, it distracts you from having a stressed mindset. When you or those around you start taking things too seriously, find a proper way to lighten the mood by sharing a joke or funny story. Develop a playful life because “all work and no play, make Jack a dull boy” but not excessive play that will make you look stupid “for all play and no work, make Jack a lazy, stupid and naughty boy”.
6. Talk it over with someone:- Learn to share your worries or anything that is disturbing you, with someone else. Simply sharing your thoughts and feelings with someone who is both supportive and understanding, who you trust can help reduce stress, will help very well. Develop friendship with some of your co-workers, avoid loneliness.
7. Employ and use relaxation methods:- relaxing for a while will help recharge your system. You can do this by:-
i. Listening to music.
ii. Sitting back to watch a comedy.
iii. Going for a walk and feeling nature, etc.
8. Get enough sleep:- Sleep is nature’s way of recharging and re-energizing. A quick 10-30 minutes sleep is very helpful to reduce stress. But if your work situation does not welcome it, taking a deep breath on your seat will also serve.
9. Avoid people who stress you out:- if someone consistently cause stress in your life and you can’t turn down the relationship, try to limit the amount f time you spend with that person. When topics that upsets you arise in a discussion (whether political or religious), excuse yourself when it’s the only topic of discussion.
10. Focus your mind on the positive (i.e think positively) and learn to forgive yourself and others. There are many things in life that are uncontrollable especially people’s behavior. Accept the fate that w live in an imperfect world and that people make mistakes, free yourself from negative energy by forgiving and moving on.
11. Avoid the following unhealthy habits:-
i. Procrastination:- This will lead to tackling more jobs than necessary.
ii. Sleeping to much:- This may induce laziness in you.
iii. Taking pills or drugs to relax:- Excessive intake may damage some of your body tissues.
iv. Smoking and drinking too much:- Many do this with the mind of coping with stress, not knowing they are seriously heading to destruction, smoking damages the lungs and other parts of the body like the mouth, teeth and tongue, even the eyes. Remember the proverb “ give strong drink to him that is ready to perish”.
In conclusion, adhering to all of these tips of stress reduction and management will go a long way to help you live longer and stronger as Methuselah and you will be very fit to carry out any task (whether difficult easy task).