5 Ways to Reduce Stress at Work 

Whether you’re working from the office or home, you must be dedicating a significant portion of your time to work. But did you ever felt lost or stressed during your work hours? If you answered yes, you’re not alone. According to a report published in ‘The Harvard Gazette,’ many people view their jobs as stress-creating.  

In fact, 36% of working professionals suffer from work-related stress costing U.S businesses a whopping $30 billion loss in lost workdays. Experts believe much of it could be corrected following practical and effective measures. If you’ve been feeling stressed lately, this article is for you. It features some reasonable steps that can be taken to reduce your work stress levels, so do read till the end.   


Signs You are Constantly Stressed at Work 

The signs can be different for different workers, but the common signs include constant fatigue, headaches, insomnia, sweating, low self-esteem, frequent illness, and change in appetite. You can also start developing digestive issues and a rapid heart rate due to severe stress levels. If you’ve been experiencing these signs lately, take it as an indication to prioritize your health.  

How Can I Stop Being Stressed at Work? 

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to reducing work stress levels because not everyone is experiencing the same stress levels, and they may not all respond equally to the same applied measures. To make your work easier, I’ve listed the top five ways that have helped people immensely in lowering their work stress levels. You can try out each option and stick to what works best for you.  

1. Schedule Your Day for Energy & Focus 

Some people mistake long, uninterrupted work hours for higher productivity. I used to actually believe that myself. I was wrong, the reality is quite the opposite. If you sit continuously for long hours without small breaks, your productivity will decrease, and stress levels will rise significantly. Chances are high that you’ll be left with little to no energy for your family after such long work hours.  

Health experts believe scheduling short walks between work hours, breathing exercises, and stretching can help lower stress levels. After 90 minutes of intense work, small breaks become necessary to clear up any stress build-up. Try it for a few days for visible results.  To learn more about how to focus at work but also destress but be creative you must read @Hyperfocus – How to Work Less and Achieve more by  @Chris Bailey where he talks about the importance of both HyperFocus and ScatterFocus.  

2. Consider Experimenting with Flexible Work Schedules 

Not every working professional enjoys a decent work-life balance, I don’t, though I try hard. While some may be comfortable working long hours from the office, others may have to be present at home a little early (especially single parents). If you have too many things driving your attention home, like your children, parents, or something else, try asking your company for flexible work hours. 

A schedule comprising balanced office and work-from-home hours can be miraculous. Flexible work hours allow working professionals to care for their loved ones better. It translates into reduced work absenteeism, increased productivity, and lower stress levels.   

3. Keep Perfectionism in Check 

You cannot always be perfect at what you do every time. Sometimes you fail to hit the benchmark, but it’s more normal than you think. If you’re obsessed with perfectionism, you will only create problems for yourself and the people around you. I know, it happened to me.  The best way to avoid the perfectionism trap is by always striving to do your best. I’ve moved from perfectionism to excellence. That makes more sense and works better for everyone.  

You feel less stressed about the activity when you try to give your best and strive for excellence instead of trying to do things perfectly. Following this simple tip regularly can reward you with better results and lower stress levels.  

4. Learn to Identify & Deal with Self-Imposed Stress 

If you often find yourself dealing with others’ perceptions of you, chances are high that you’re unknowingly inviting self-imposed stress. A workplace comprises of multiple people from different walks of life, and not all may like the way you work. Paying too much attention to what your colleagues think can become a top contributor to self-imposed stress. 

You can keep it away by trying to build your self-confidence over always trying to seek others’ approval of you. The more you focus on your work and not how others perceive you at the workplace, the better. In fact, focusing on work and delivering your best can eventually impress those around you.   

5. Eliminate Interruptions During Work 

Have you been interrupted by a sudden email or phone call while working on something important? Well, most have. My wife says I am handcuffed to my smartphone and indeed she is right.  Today, there are more means to distract a professional than ever. Social media and Whatsapp notifications, sudden urgent deadlines, a colleague coming over for a quick chat, phone calls, and emails are some of the means that can easily distract you. Our minds always seek what’s novel, sensational, and alarming. It’s in our evolutionary makeup.  

If you don’t want any distractions to push your work beyond the assigned deadline, increasing your stress levels, start by controlling your response to these distractions. Learn to identify what is important and what needs to be ignored. If you notice a pattern in everyday distractions, make a plan to tackle them effectively.  Sometimes when I need to be very focused on my work, I turn off my phone or just leave it in another room.  

Is it Normal to be Stressed at Work? 

Increased work demand gives rise to stress as a natural response. While temporary and short-term stress can be beneficial by helping you stay alert and proactive, long-term and severe stress can have damaging effects on your overall health and productivity levels. Feeling stressed during an intense workload is normal, but if it starts interfering with your health and productivity, it needs to get fixed. You can use any of the above methods to lower your stress levels. But if you have severe stress levels that are hard to tame, don’t hesitate to approach a professional for help.