How to Cope With Job Stress

In this difficult economy, you may find it harder than cope with challenges on the job. Both the stress we take with us when we go to work and the stress that awaits us on the job are on the rise and employers, managers, and workers all feel the added pressure. While a little stress is a normal part of life, excessive stress interferes with your productivity and reduces your physical and emotional health, so it's important to find ways to keep it under control.

Fortunately, there is a lot that you can do to manage and reduce stress at work. Coping with work stress in today's uncertain economic climate is important. For workers everywhere, the troubled economy may feel like an emotional roller coaster. "Layoffs" and "budget cuts" have become bywords in the workplace, and the result is increased fear, uncertainty, and higher levels of stress. Since job and workplace stress grow faster in times of economic crisis, it's important to learn new and better ways of coping with the pressure.

The ability to manage stress in the workplace can bring the difference between success and failure on the job. Your emotions are contagious, and stress has an impact on the quality of your interactions with others. The better you are at managing your own stress, the more you'll positively affect those around you and the less other people's stress will negatively affect you. You can learn how to manage job stress. There are a variety of steps you can take to reduce both your overall stress levels and the stress you find on the job and in the workplace. These include:
  • Taking responsibility for improving your physical and emotional well-being;
  • Avoiding pitfalls by identifying knee jerk habits and negative attitudes that add to the stress you experience at work;
  •  Learning better communication skills to ease and improve your relationships with management and co-workers.
Warning Signs of Excessive Stress at Work: There are warning signs of excessive stress at work. For example, when people feel overwhelmed, they lose confidence and become irritable or withdrawn, making them less productive and effective and their work less rewarding. If the warning signs of work stress go unattended, it can lead to bigger problems.

Beyond interfering with job performance and satisfaction, chronic or intense stress can also lead to physical and emotional problems. Signs and symptoms of excessive job and workplace stress include feeling over anxious, irritable, or depressed, apathy, loss of interest in work, sleeping problems, fatigue, and trouble in concentrating.

Causes of Excessive Workplace Stress: Common causes of excessive workplace stress include fear of layoffs, increased demands for overtime due to staff cutbacks, pressure to perform to meet rising expectations but with no increase in job satisfaction, pressure to work at optimum levels all the time.

How to Cope with Stress: Reducing job stress by taking care of yourself.  When stress on the job is interfering with your ability to work, care for yourself, or manage your personal life, it's time to take action. Start by paying attention to your physical and emotional health. When your own needs are taken care of, you're stronger and more resilient to stress. The better you feel, the better equipped you'll be to manage work stress without becoming overwhelmed.

Taking care of yourself doesn't require a total lifestyle overhaul. Even small things can lift your mood, increase your energy, and make you feel like you're back in the driver's seat. Take things one step at a time, and as you make more positive lifestyle choices, you'll soon notice a noticeable difference in your stress level, both at home at work. Get moving. Aerobic exercise which makes you perspire is an effective anti-anxiety treatment lifting mood, increasing energy, sharpening focus and relaxing mind and body.
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