Stress at work and how to deal with it

Stress at work and how to deal with it

Claudia Roca

Jul 2, 2022

Jul 2, 2022

Jul 2, 2022

Stress at work and how to deal with it
Stress at work and how to deal with it
Stress at work and how to deal with it

Are you one of those people that stay at work after hours? How long has it been since you've taken a full weekend to rest? Do you find it hard to sleep at night because you can't stop thinking about your to-do list? We understand! We've all been there at some point. 

Work-related stress is one of the main issues we have today as a society. Work requests are highly demanding, everything seems to have to be ready for yesterday and this, without a doubt, damages our health. 

If you find yourself in a whirlwind of activities that you can't get out of, this article will help you a lot. We are going to share with you some tips on how to deal with stress at work and we will introduce you to our best friend: mindfulness, a highly recommended technique when it comes to dealing with work-related stress. Let's get started! 

What is stress?

Let's first define what stress is. There is a lot of discussion about this pathology but... do we really know what it is? According to Harvard Health Publishing, stress is our body's natural response to a dangerous situation. When our brain perceives danger, it releases hormones such as cortisol or adrenaline that make our muscles tense and increase our heart rate. 

Is this in itself a bad thing? Well, no, because it works as a warning against situations that may be threatening. However, stress becomes a problem when it ceases to be a sporadic situation and becomes a chronic state, as happens, for example, with work-related stress. In these cases it can be very detrimental to our health. 

Chronic stress can cause exhaustion, muscle pain, insomnia, depression, among many other things. That is why learning how to deal with stress at work should be a priority in our lives. Let's take a look at some tips. 

5 tips to fight stress at work 

1. Identify your feelings

Many times we feel discomfort but we don't know how to identify the cause of it. Many people live in a stressful situation but they don't know it. This happens because stress usually has physical symptoms that we often attribute to other causes. For example, a stressful situation may give you a stomach ache, but you will most likely think that this symptom is there because you have eaten something that made you sick. It's important that you pay special attention to the signals your body gives in response to certain stimuli in order to identify what is causing you stress. Some of the symptoms that work-related stress can cause are dizziness, tachycardia, headaches and muscle tension. Don’t assume that these symptoms are normal, you need to give them  the attention they deserve. 

2. What is the stress factor?

Once you’ve identified what sensations stress causes you, you must look for the triggering factor of these sensations.  For example: do you usually have tachycardia when you talk to a specific client? Do you have muscle tension when you notice you’re not on schedule?  Start paying attention to these things in order to be able to work, and in order to modify those situations that cause you stress at work. 

3. Confront the cause 

Once you’ve identified the stress factor, it is key that you start taking measures to modify that situation. For example, if you notice that you are stressed about pending tasks, it is likely that you are taking on too much work and you need to delegate some things.  Or, if what’s causing you stress is a toxic client, you can talk to him to clarify what things are bothering you. 

4. Use relaxation strategies 

A good way to fight stress at work is to resort to tools that will help us relax during difficult situations. For example, breathing exercises, meditation, etc. Sometimes the situations that cause us stress aren’t easy to modify and, in this case, relaxation tools are our greatest allies. 

5. Visualize

Something that causes us stress is that we immediately start thinking about the worst possible scenarios, and that causes even more anxiety and distress.  “I’m not gonna make it on time for this delivery and my boss is gonna fire me”, “This client won’t like my proposal”... We repeat these and many other things when we’re stressed. It’s key that you learn how to identify these negative thoughts and that you can face them by visualizing a positive scenario. Visualizing a pleasant situation helps us to stay calm and relax. 

Tips to fight stress at work

Mindfulness: a great tool to fight stress 

One of the tools to fight work-related stress that has become very popular recently is Mindfulness. Have you ever heard of this technique?

The reality is that this practice has existed for a very long time in the East, we’re not talking about something new. It’s a technique that consists of achieving complete attention in the present. When we focus on the here and now, we are able to leave aside those worries that cause us stress. Many times, stress is caused by hypothetical situations: we don’t know whether they will happen or not, but we’re worried anyway. Mindfulness suggests leaving this aside with the goal of reducing stress and managing anxiety. 

It’s all very well so far, but… ¿How do we use Mindfulness? Well, to reduce stress at work, you can practice Mindfulness through little meditations. If you search on YouTube, you will find some guided meditations that will be very helpful to get you started. 

Benefits of Mindfulness

There are many studies about the wonders of mindfulness, as it not only helps us deal with stress, but it also improves our ability to concentrate and helps us regulate emotions such as anxiety, distress, etc. 

Benefits of mindfullness

If you’re interested in this topic, there are many professionals that can help you lead a stress-free life through mindfulness. Tell us, can you think of some other technique to deal with work-related stress? We’ll read you in the comments!