Unfortunately, stress that you can get from work will not just disappear after a day’s work to counteract the effects. You need to develop a good set of habits to keep you on track while you are at it. This is important because as soon as the stress takes a toll on your body, it will affect not only your physical condition but also other dimensions such as emotional, psychological, cognitive, spiritual, and even the financial aspects. In fact, this can even take a toll on the people you care about the most. Read on to know how to better manage your stress without giving up your work altogether.
Identify What Sets Off The Alarm
According to Sonja Seglin, LCPC, “Stress affects every aspect of our lives, especially when it’s overwhelming. It can inhibit sleep and natural healing; cause stomach issues, headaches, and weight gain; increase pain levels; and even lead to heart disease.” Stress does not just come from nowhere. It needs to have a trigger factor, no matter how much you think otherwise. Because of the technologies offered to us, tracking on what makes us stressed at work and with life, in general, is so much easier now. However, this does not mean that you cannot go for the classic methods as well.
You may look up smartphone applications that can help you track your triggers. You may also log in your notes on your phone if you are having a hard time navigating through the app. If the traditional method is your thing, you may use a journal to log in your triggers each day. Do this for at least one week. After that, check for the pattern of the stressors if they seem to point out to at least one cause. If you are having a hard time doing this, ask help from your friends or other people whom you trust the most.
Check For Your Reaction
As soon as you detect the triggers that tick you off, it is time to check how you generally respond to them. For instance, if you are stressed with rude workmates, what do you do? Make sure to log these pieces of information in your journal or phone as well. If, for example, you tend to eat a lot when you heatedly argue with your colleagues, focus on that. What do you feel after binge eating? What are the long-term effects that this reaction has caused you? It is essential to know these things because somewhere along the way, you need to break the pattern to get rid of work-related stress entirely. Melanie McNally, PsyD, LCPC implies to “Set boundaries. Maybe stress is piling up because you keep taking on additional work or saying yes to others when you really should be saying no.”
Go For A Nice Vacation
A vacation does not need to be two weeks long. Studies show that a three- to seven-day off time from work can significantly reduce your stress levels and improve your general outlook on life. Shannon Torberg, PsyD, LP explains, “Neuroscientists have found that brain structure is altered by chronic exposure to the stress hormone cortisol, which can be a major contributing factor to anxiety and depression. Feelings of calm arise from time away from work and relieve stress, which allows the body and mind to heal in ways that it couldn’t if it were still under pressure.” Perhaps, you are just suffering from an episode of burnout. Make time to travel, even if it means it is just a few miles off the city. It will surely make a difference in how you will handle the stress-laden situations when you get back to your cubicle.
These are just some of the things that you can do to help alleviate work-related stress. Aside from these, you may opt for social activities like yoga classes or even just a small chat with your friends or loved ones.