Stress At The Workplace: How Can Young Professionals Deal With It?
- Temporary stress is regular and the condition passes away after a while
- A stressful work environment can cause depression and anxiety
- Stay positive and organised at the workplace to lessen stress
Stress has become one of the defining emotions experienced by people across all ages today. Stress is no longer dependent on age or health, as globalisation has made the world and every aspect of it competitive. A 13-year-old undergoes stress before a school examination, as does a 70-year-old before undergoing a surgery. Stress can occur under any circumstances. A prolonged or regular state of stress can affect the mental and physical functioning of an individual. The changed levels of cortisol, a steroid hormone, has been observed in people who are too stressed. Long term stress can cause depression, anxiety, appetite loss, blood pressure fluctuation and cardiovascular diseases.
Temporary stress is quite regular and the condition passes away once the reason for stress, such as an examination or an important meeting, concludes. But a prolonged condition of stress can have several harmful effects on the mental and physical condition of an individual. Such stress usually arises from work environment, where the individual is regularly exposed to stressful conditions and becomes habituated to it, expecting stress beforehand, said Dr. Neelanjana Paul, consultant psychiatrist.
The World Health Organization estimates that 20 per cent of India’s working population is stressed. 50 per cent of the stressed population was said to be under stress due to work pressure. People in the age group between 24 to 34 complained of workplace related stress, which often led to headaches, insomnia, depression and even suicidal tendencies. Globally, China led with 86 per cent of the working population complaining of workplace related stress.
Workplace environments are more challenging, require multiple tasks to be done and work hours can stretch for long durations. All these can be contributing factors towards stress. Uncooperative colleagues and superiors and low work satisfaction are also relevant reasons for workplace stress. For young professionals, workplace stress is new and they often fail to understand how to cope with it.
Here are 5 tips for young professionals to follow if workplace stress becomes too difficult to handle:
Try to recognise whenever you are over stressed. Often recognition of stress becomes the key factor towards treating it, like any other condition. Temporary stress tends to go away after a weekend but accumulated stress needs more attention and care. If you do not feel like going to work regularly or have lost interest in it, try and talk to your colleagues, superiors or a counselor about your condition. Remember, prolonged exposure to stress can cause depression and several other ailments. So if you are feeling too stressed, recognising its nature would do be the first step towards treating it.
At workplaces, stress is often caused due to too much work. While the workload may become too hectic at times, proper management and organisation can take away some of the stress related to huge workloads. Try and make a timetable every morning you sit at your work desk and organise your day’s work properly. Allocate time for recess, and break down the timetable on the basis of most important, important and semi-important work to be done for the day. That way, you can plan the day ahead instead of trying to do everything at once and being unable to finish any of it.
Identify Your Skills
Workplace stress often results in us losing touch with our core skills which made us look forward to the work in the first place. In order to cope with stress, it is advisable that the core skills of an individual are applied to the work. Identifying core skills also enables individuals to understand what they are good at and they can excel at that in their respective workplace. Skillful work de-stresses individuals as it helps them gain self-confidence and enables them to execute given work with precision.
Be Positive At Your Workplace
No workplace will be without stressful conditions and that is a condition employees must keep in mind when they become a part of an organisation. Being positive is very important for an individual to become comfortable in the workplace. A lot of workplace stress can be dealt with if the work environment is friendly and positive. Try and acquaint yourself with your colleagues to make yourself more familiar and comfortable in your work surroundings. Avoid conflicts as workplace conflicts only add to stress and make work conditions more stressful.
De-stress Yourself On Off days
Make the most of the days on which you are not working. De-stressing can include working out, doing light exercises, spending time with family and friends or engaging yourself in any activity of your choice. The time that you get off work should be utilised to engage in an activity which is enjoyable and relaxes your mind and body. Engaging in hobbies like cooking or reading also de-stress the mind, refreshing it to endure workplace stress on working days.
The inevitability of workplace stress can only be dealt with by recognising the stress and working towards it. The implications of stress can be far reaching and hence, stress should never be ignored. The above methods work effectively in addressing stress, but if they don’t it is always advisable to consult a therapist, especially if symptoms of depression, anxiety and suicide are visible in an individual due to workplace related stress.