Occupational Stress Management

In psychology, there is a scale to measure the amount of stress a working adult experiences due to various reasons, called the occupational stress index. It’s a self- report index with a generic approach to all professions. It focuses on the areas of work such as decision- making freedom, appreciation value, task burden, job satisfaction etc. It’s been reported that nearly half of Indian employees suffer from some kind of stress and anxiety. That they work under pressure, but have no guidance on how to deal with it, so that they can have a balanced work- life.

No matter what job you have, it is your means of livelihood, which is why you can’t quit when the stress becomes overwhelming. This kind of stress manifests in forms of physical ill- health sometimes such as headache, body pains, development of ailments you didn’t have before, b.p or sugar in extreme cases. It also leads to the cultivation of unhealthy habits such as over or under- eating, smoking, drinking etc. However, there are ways to control and manage your stress so that you not only feel under control but also become more productive.

Identify the problem

There will many reasons why you feel under pressure at work. It could be because you are not satisfied with the pay, or you feel an additional burden of work, or a lack of recognition etc. It’s important to identify what are affecting you. It could be one of the above or all of the above. But once you discover what’s causing your stress, try to understand if those variables are under your control or not. Only focus on what you can control. You can do this by recording the situations that trigger anxiety in you for a week so that you will also see the consistency in the behaviour.

Use these tips to deal with the stress

  • Action- directed strategy: If any of the reasons why you feel under pressure at work- place is due to inaction over a particular problem, try to relax and understand if you really need to bother about it or if it’s fine to let it go. If nobody told you this, don’t blame yourself for things you can’t control. Try to physically calm yourself by taking a sip of water or going out for a walk by taking a break whenever you feel triggered. It really helps to get away from an anxiety- inducing situation, so that you can think clearly about it.
  • Emotion- directed strategy: In cases of lack of recognition or appreciation, you feel mental burn- out and it’s natural to feel disinterested in your work, which therefore affects your productivity. In such a situation, try to be less hard on the people around you. Understand that, people are generally busy in their own work. Try to take up the matter with your manager with humility without great expectations. Sometimes for simple things, take the first step and greet or encourage your colleagues yourself, if it means that much to you. But really, try to set boundaries and limitations so that you don’t disturb others and others don’t disturb you unreasonably.
  • Adaption- directed strategy: It is unfortunately very common at work- places to your co- workers or sometimes even your boss tries to put you down or joke about things that you are not okay with. Understand that if you do not have a strong support system, it becomes very difficult to control such a nuisance. However, you can still take a stand and make it very clear since the beginning about how you don’t appreciate things that make you uncomfortable. You can even speak to you superior about it. But ultimately, understand that you can’t change people. It’s best to maintain boundaries and not let people intrude into your personal lives, and not encourage banter. Best solution would be to cut them off by removing yourself from the scenario.

Stress management is definitely not an easy task, but you have to harness your will power in order to not let the steam of the office get to you and your personal life. Always take time to recharge yourself, and maintain a good social life so that you have different people to talk to. Find people you can confide in, but most importantly try to ensure that you do your job on time to avoid bad reputation and consequent stress.