Reduce Stress At Work

job stress Stress at work is a major cause of stress for many people. You don't need to be immune to the signs and symptoms of workplace stress with these stress management techniques to reduce job stress.

In a world of increasing globalization in which layoffs and job insecurity are becoming the norm, it is no wonder that workplace stress is becoming a major cause of stress.

Stress at work can be caused by any number of things, worries about the next appraisal, working with new technology, the outsourcing of jobs and the demands of employers for increased productivity.

While a little stress in the workplace can be a motivating and positive experience – chronic stress at work – the type that is unrelenting, can have a negative impact on your health.

According to a national poll of Americans in 2009, 41% of workers said they typically "feel tense and stressed out during their workday".

Too much work stress can impact on your health and overall well-being.

The Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine reported that the health expenditures of workers who report high levels of stress at work are 50 percent higher than those who do not report high levels of stress at work.

This makes dealing with stress at work a priority for you!

Typical causes of stress at work

The causes of work stress are many and varied. Stress is generally felt when the demands placed upon the individual exceed the coping ability. Some of the causes of stress in the workplace include:

Environmental stress. These include causes of stress that are within the environment. When I worked Lifeguard many years ago, one environmental stressor was the sun.

Other causes of environmental stress in the workplace include extremes of noise and temperature, dust and fumes and other pollution, among many others.

Occupational causes of stress. Too much work and too little work can be a cause of workplace stress.

Just as over promotion and under promotion can be a cause of stress in the workplace.

Other occupational stressors may be an incompetent boss or co-workers that you do not get along with.

Social stressors. These are the type of stressors that occur in everyday life.

Inadequate work life balance, family issues or bereavement can be some of the social stressors that influence stress at work.

There are many causes of job stress.

It is important to identify your causes of job stress so that you can put into place the appropriate stress management technique.

Signs and symptoms of stress at work

Stress in the workplace affects everybody differently – there are no two same manifestations of the stress response.

Jane used to get tension headaches and have trouble concentrating when she got stressed at work, while Adam noticed increased muscle tension in his shoulders and more rapid breathing. These are common symptoms of stress.

Knowing your stress signature is valuable stress management knowledge.

Stress in the workplace can act on different levels, the emotional level, the psychological level, the behavioral level, and the cognitive level.

What Are Your Symptoms of Stress?


Increased mistakes or difficult concentrating


Increased irritability, indecisiveness, absenteeism and increased smoking and drinking


Tiredness, anxiousness and/or feeling de-motivated


Increased ill health, such as headaches, reduced immune functioning, skin conditions, heart disease and digestive disorders

Unrelenting stress can be a cause of health problems. But how does stress affect health?

Health professionals have estimated that some 75-85% of all are precipitated or aggravated by stress!

This makes dealing with workplace stress a priority!

So how can you reduce effects of stress at work?

Here we give you a number of stress relief strategies that reduce stress and increase your ability to cope with stress.

Reduce stress at work by taking care of yourself

Keep hydrated throughout the work day

Drinking plenty of water is important. If you work in offices with air conditioning this can starve your body of moisture and put you under unnecessary stress at work. I find that a bottle of water on my desk a good reminder.

Herbal teas have been shown to rejuvenate and relax the body and can be a good replacement of coffee – a stimulant that can increase perceived stress levels.

Take your lunch

Taking a nutritious lunch means that you are less likely to eat fastfood meals during work. A balanced diet can help you to get adequate stress nutrition and vitamins for stress which can buffer you from the effects of stress.

Get adequate sleep

One of the most common complaints of people suffering from stress is that people don’t sleep well.

Difficulty getting to sleep or waking up throughout the these sound familiar?

Well it could be due to stress and also leave you more vulnerable to stress!

When you are relaxed and well rested you are much more likely to handle the demands of the day and maintain your emotional balance – a key factor for workplace stress.

Good sleep habits can be important for better sleep and help you to cope with stress.

Maintain healthy eating habits

Low blood sugar levels can leave you feeling anxious and irritable.

Probably one of the biggest nutritional mistakes is to not eat breakfast – this leaves your body vulnerable to lower blood sugar levels and increased irritability.

Eating small well-balanced meals throughout your day can keep your blood sugar levels up and reduce feelings of stress and anxiety.

See how a balanced diet can help you to cope with stress.

Don’t take work home

Avoid taking work home during the week and on the weekends.

Use the weekends to wind down and do things that you enjoy. Relaxing and recuperating can help build your resilience to cope with stress while maintaining work-life balance can reduce stress in other areas of your life.

Exercise reduces stress

Exercise reduces anxiety and depression – and can be a great source of stress relief.

Exercise relaxes your muscles and uses up the accumulated stress products in your body.

Regular exercise, such as a brisk walk, can increase mood, sharpen your focus and reduce your anxiety.

See how exercise reduces stress or remain motivated in your exercise program by adopting these steps towards exercise and stress.

Reduce stress at work through planning and prioritizing

Manage distractions

In other words, if you are working on a priority and don't want to be disturbed then take your email off automatic alert and let others know you don't want to be disturbed. An uninterrupted hour working on priority tasks can help you get more done and reduce your stress at work.

Use time management to your benefit

A very common cause of job stress is having too much to do and not enough time.

Does this sound familiar?

If you have a to do list as long as your arm then it is important to ensure you have adequate time management skills in the workplace.

Time management at work is really about self management and ensuring that you get the most important things done in the time that you have at work.

You can benefit greatly with time management at work starting a daily to-do list and scheduling your most important tasks for those periods of the day that you are freshest.

Make a career plan by setting career goals and personal goals

A significant cause of stress is having an unclear career plan. A long-term vision of where you want to go is one of the keys to a successful career.

Setting career and personal goals enable your to focus on what you want to do for a living, and it can also open up a new horizon of job opportunities and career paths.

Goal setting can identify your strengths and weakness and build upon them. Goals can increase confidence and reduce workplace stress.

Break the stress cycle with stress management techniques

Take time out

Take time out and allow yourself to rejuvenate your mind and body for stress relief at work.

Regular breaks can increase your focus and attention.

This can be as simple as closing your eyes for 30 seconds, or taking some relaxing breaths (see these breathing exercises) or doing some stretching at the desk.

Flip your negative thinking

The way that you perceive a situation can greatly influence the stress that you may feel.

Negative thoughts are more likely to switch on the stress response while positive thoughts are more likely to generate feelings of happiness and challenge.

By developing positive thinking habits in response to stressful situations you are more likely to approach stress in a positive coping style and treat the potential stressor as a challenge rather than activating the stress response.

Related Articles on Work Stress

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Does Stress Cause Job Burnout?

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