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Stress at Work - Main Causes of Stress And How To Avoid Them

Aug 17, 2007
Nearly 80% of American workers report feeling stress at work. Half of those say their jobs are extremely stressful. With so many workers experiencing such high levels of anxiety on the job, it's no wonder so many of us feel on edge so often. What are the main causes of on-the-job stress overload, and how can the average employee create a more peaceful workday?

Watch Over Scheduling.
Over committing and over scheduling seem to be the number one stressor in the American workplace. Learning to better manage your work schedule can help decrease office stress tremendously. When work demands become too great, and schedules grow too tight for anyone (no matter how talented), to complete on time, be honest and report it to a supervisor. It may be possible to enlist a few coworkers to help get things back on track, or someone else may be able to take a chunk of the burden from you, at least temporarily.

Avoid Perfection.
No one's perfect. Everyone has flaws, and everyone struggles sometimes. Don't try to do everything around the office perfectly and don't expect others to be perfect either. Acknowledging that you all will make a mistake from time to time, and finding ways to fix them together, can take the pressure off everyone in the office, making a more relaxed atmosphere for everyone.

Learn To Relax.
The body can naturally combat stress by relaxing. When a person actively relaxes during a stressful experience, the body can actually release chemicals into the bloodstream that creates a sense of well being and calm. This is called the "relaxation response." It is possible to evoke these feelings by initiating deep breathing, and other relaxation exercises during an anxiety-inducing day, but the best way to permanently lower stress levels, and better handle anxiety, is to try and prevent it in the first place by taking time out each day for calming activities such as reading, listening to music, or just being still for a few moments.

Solve Little Problems Quickly.
Get control of the office by solving little problems quickly. Don't let little issues now turn into bigger ones later. Tackle them immediately for a sense of control. Handling the little things that come your way will also help better prepare you for taking on the bigger stressors that are bound to arrive sooner or later, by teaching you how to calmly look for solutions, figure out options, and implement changes in yourself and those you work with.

Watch Your Attitude.
How a person looks at problems can greatly affect how they react to the stresses in their lives and work. Eliminate some of the stress in the office by taking a healthy look at your circumstances. Smile at the receptionist when you arrive in the morning. Laugh at your coworkers jokes (even if they aren't funny). Try to enjoy your job and the people you work with. Changing your outward attitude will help change the way you see the things around you, and the way you react to them. It may take a little practice, but it works.

Adopt A Healthier Lifestyle.
It's a fact: healthier people are happier people. When you feel good physically, you feel better about yourself, your life and your work. Stress doesn't seem to have the same impact on strong, healthy people as it does on those who're tired, listless and feeling downright rotten. Think about the last time you had a bad cold. Did every little stressor at work seem like it was going to drag you under? That's how an unhealthy person feels all of the time. Exercise, eat well and get enough sleep. That'll all help you better deal with the stress at work, and at home.

Stress can be good for you, but it can also cause some major physical and mental health pain, especially when you have to constantly deal with it at work. Try these suggestions for a better outlook, and a less stressful workday.
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