Numerous studies show that workplace stress has escalated progressively over the past few decades and has been demonstrated to be associated with increased rates of heart attack, hypertension and other disorders.
A recent survey highlighted some daunting statistics:
So the importance of Organisations, and in particular Line Managers and HR Departments, to address this is crucial to the well-being of both the Employee and the Organisation.
- 80% of workers feel stress on the job, nearly 50% say they need help in learning how to manage stress and 42% say their work colleagues need help.
- 14% of workers surveyed had felt like striking a fellow worker in the last 12 months.
- 25% have felt like screaming or shouting because of job stress, 10% are concerned about an individual at work they fear could become violent.
- 9% are aware of an assault or violent act in their workplace and 18% had experienced some sort of threat or verbal intimidation in the past year.
In addition, as individuals we can all make a difference to our own stress levels on a daily basis by applying one or all of the following 5 Proven Tips to help if you are feeling stressed at work:
Set a reminder in your phone every 1 hour for 1 minute to stop and take a deep breath.
If you can take yourself off to a quiet corner – a bathroom or in the car (not while you are driving!) is a good place to do this.
Close your eyes, take a slow deep breath in, and then exhale. Repeat this 5 – 10 times.
Simple but highly effective.
Tip #2: Notice your thought patterns
Tune into your thought patterns and what your mind is focusing on.
The average human brain has over 50,000 thoughts per day so it’s no wonder we’re exhausted at the end of a day without even realising why!
Rather than judge or try and ‘wrestle’ the thoughts to the ground just acknowledge them. Focus on your breath again, breath the thought in, and then out as you imagine it floating across the sky with your breath until it disappears.
Tip #3: Ask yourself what’s really going on here?
If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed, having repetitive negative thoughts, ruminating about something that happened in the past, or worrying about the future, ask yourself the question “what’s really going on here?”
What’s driving you to have these recurring thoughts or feelings? Is it your desire to be in to be ‘perfect’, to ‘people please’, to be loved and accepted, for security and control? Who is it that’s pressing your button, and why? Then ask yourself how is this ‘serving you’ right now?
Our brains are hard wired to always be looking out for threats or potential hazards. This includes rejection, failure, negativity, conflict and lack of resources (money, food, security).
By noticing the recurring thoughts and what is driving them, you can then start to remind yourself that actually ‘all is well’ and there is no real imminent danger that can’t be resolved.
Keeping things in perspective and having a healthy mind-set leads to lower stress and higher resilience levels in the long term.
Tip #4: Stay Active
All the research and evidence supports being fit and healthy in helping alleviate stress, anxiety and depression.
Yet in times of stress and pressure making time for the gym or going for a run is often the first thing to ‘give’ and the excuses start to creep in like ‘I don’t have time’ or ‘I’m too tired’.
If you find yourself making excuses or don’t have enough time for your usual exercise routine, find a compromise. Even if it’s a short walk after work or at lunchtime with a colleague you will find your mood improves and you sleep better at night.
Set yourself some realistic goals and find a friend or colleague to exercise with. If you have kids make them part of the exercise routine too by going for a bike ride together, get out the skipping rope in the back yard, or doing some step ups or sit ups while they play at the park.
Tip #5: Connect
It’s important to disconnect from our ‘screens’ every so often to give our brain a break. But even better still get up and go around the office to chat to a colleague or call a friend or family.
Ask them about how their day is going, what challenges they are facing and if you can help.
Research has shown that by supporting others and creating support networks people become more resilient and less prone to stress.
You have probably heard or read these 5 Tips before somewhere as none of them are rocket science. However how many do you actually do
Ask yourself, are you Taking Action
Or are you waiting for your Organisation, Boss, Partner, Doctor or Friends to change your life for you?
If you are then you might have a long wait as they are probably as stressed as you are!
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If you are looking to increase the effectiveness and results of your organisation, contact KONA
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