Job-related stress is one of the leading stressors among Americans, outranking health, housing, family, and other major areas, according to the American Psychological Association. But a lot of what stresses us out at work can be controlled by us if we pay attention to it. Since much of our stress comes from feeling a lack of control, one of the best ways to approach job-related stress is to take back control. By analyzing your situation, you can pinpoint areas to regain control and reduce your stress.
Here are five ways to reduce your stress at work.
Make a stress journal. Take stock of one full work day and make notes of everything that causes you to feel stressed out. Whether it’s impending deadlines, or annoying coworkers, or a less than great relationship with your boss, make a note of each time you feel stressed out during the day. This way you’ll be able to see where your stress is coming from and then able to determine what to do about it.
Look outside of work to find related stressors. Just because you’re feeling stressed out at work doesn’t mean that what is causing your stress is actually at your place of work. A lot of the stress we feel comes from the conflict between our work lives and our personal lives. In order to make sure that you really know what’s stressing you out, take stock of your personal life and all the different ways it intersects with your work life. Pay attention to areas like child care, housing arrangements, family relationships, living expenses, and your health. Are any of these causing stress that seeps into your workday?
Speak to your boss. Once you determine your work-related stressors, ask for a meeting with your boss to see what can be done to rearrange your work load, add or remove responsibilities, or give you more control or power to eliminate stress and have a more peaceful existence at work. Don’t assume that nothing can be done. Sometimes the shortest route to your solution is a simple question like, “Can we talk?”
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