How to Cope With a High Stress Job

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In today’s fast-paced work environments, sometimes stress may come with the job. Modern workplace workflows often give workers numerous projects to have on their plates. According to a March 2013 article in Forbes, the average business professional had 30 to 100 projects going at any given time. 

Additionally, there are many other stressors present in today’s workplaces. There are economic pressures to produce, high competition and a number of other factors that apply. This leads to challenges for people who are in these types of high stress jobs.

If you are in this position, a question you might be wondering is “What can I do about it?” If so, there are a few things you can try to reduce the problems and be able to cope with a high stress job:

Identify sources of stress

Identifying the source of any problem is always a good place to start. Does your boss expect you to be available around the clock? Or do you feel pressured to be available 100 percent of the time? Other questions you can ask yourself is whether or not office gossip or other difficulties with colleagues stressing you out. Perhaps you are overwhelmed with deadlines or workflow.

While many of these problems won’t go away, by being proactive, you might be able to minimize the stresses that come with them. The first step, however, is to identify why you feel stressed out. Also, it is important to recognize how it is affecting you.

Look to minimize stress

If you can adequately identify the root of the stress, often there are ways to lessen, or even eliminate, them. For instance, if some of your colleagues are gossips and this has a negative impact on your day, learn how to deal with that.

If you are burdened with deadlines and work being thrown your way at every turn, try developing, or improving upon, some organizational and time management skills. The Forbes article suggests eliminating interruptions, i.e. look at emails at certain times of the day. Let others know you are unavailable for non-priority issues until certain times of the day.

Basically, you want to get the small stuff off your plate, this way you can better deal with the stress you can’t completely eliminate.

Coping strategies

Dealing with stress you can’t do anything about is a challenge. However, as with other types of problems, you can try some strategies to help you get through the day.

Strategies such as keeping a positive attitude and designing a tranquil workspace can do wonders in adding some pleasantry to your day. Even a smile can do wonders under the worst of conditions. Organizational studies suggest outlook, behavior and energy can easily assimilate in the workplace—replace those negative behaviors with positive ones to try and reduce stress.

Another thing you can do is ensure you take designated lunch and break times. Get those brief reprieves that will help you to go back and tackle the issues waiting for you. Additionally, you can try talking it out with people who understand. They may have strategies they can share with you that have helped them cope.

Don’t take work home with you

Work stress often has a propensity to come home and keep hold, even after the office is closed or a shift is over. It is in your, and your family’s best interest to leave the job stress at the office. Everyone needs a break, and if your brain is going 24/7 about deadlines or other issues going on at work, you will begin to go on overdrive, potentially creating health issues and problems at home.

Additionally, taking a break after hours will help you feel refreshed and ready to tackle stress when you go back to work. You never know, after a rest you might even come up with fresh ideas to resolve stressful issues.

And then, of course, there will always be those issues that will be out of your control. Taking those home with you won’t help you solve them anymore than they do on a daily basis at work. Instead, get a good night’s rest, exercise and focus on eating good healthful meals. The better shape you are in, both mentally and physically, the more able you’ll be to handle your stressful job.

A stressful job is often a person’s only option in anxiety-ridden economic times and potentially few employment options. It is not always as simple as changing jobs. That being the case, ideally, if you can successfully find methods to cope that can reduce or eliminate the problems you do have a level of control over, you will have won part of the battle. This will leave you better equipped to handle the things you can’t change.


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