Work stress and its management

Stress at the workplace has become a common phenomenon due to external factors such as technological advancement, changes in the economy of a country which might lead to better productivity and stressful working conditions. Stress can be considered as an inevitable condition at least at one point in time or another; however it can also be minimized to the extent that the productivity and health of the employee is maintained which could lead to a productive organization. Work stress is a common occurrence in multinational companies where operation is global and employees have different cultural background.

Stress isn’t always bad. A little bit of stress can help you stay focused, energetic, and able to meet new challenges in the workplace. It’s what keeps you on your toes during a presentation or alert to prevent accidents or costly mistakes. But in today’s hectic world, the workplace too often seems like an emotional roller coaster. Long hours, tight deadlines, and ever-increasing demands can leave you feeling worried, drained, and overwhelmed. And when stress exceeds your ability to cope, it stops being helpful and starts causing damage to your mind and body—as well as to your job satisfaction.

Stress is defined as an organism’s total response to an environmental condition or stimulus, also known as stressor. Stress typically described as a negative condition that can have an impact on an human being’s mental and physical wellbeing.

-Stressors can be Positive or Negative.

Work stress is also known as occupational stress.This is the adverse reaction people have to excessive pressures or other types of demands placed on them at work. Stress is not an illness but a state. However if stress becomes too excessive and prolonged, mental and physical illness may develop.

Symptoms of work stress –

  • Feeling anxious, irritable, or depressed
  • Apathy, loss of interest in work
  • Problems sleeping
  • Fatigue
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Muscle tension or headaches
  • Stomach problems
  • Social withdrawal
  • Loss of sex drive
  • Using alcohol or drugs to cope

There are many factors which cause work stress. These factors are

  • High professional demands
  • Friction in working relationships
  • Frequent changes in the working environment
  • Unclear design of task
  • Poor management style
  • poor working conditions and erratic work hours

Stress is associated with various kinds of illness like, 

  • Heart disease
  • Asthma
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Headaches
  • Gastrointestinal problems
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Accelerated ageing, Hair fall, wrinkled skin
  • Premature death

Stress reduction methods

  • Time management
  • Meditation
  • Proper nutrition
  • Group/social support
  • Creative imagery
  • Self hypnosis
  • Regular exercise
  • Relaxation response-quiet environment, passive attitude, comfortable position

Tips to reduce and manage job and workplace stress

  • Recognize warning signs of excessive stress at work
  • Figure out where the stress is coming from.
  • Consider what you can control and work on that
  • Reduce job stress by prioritizing and organizing
  • Manage your time well. Time management-A key to reduce work stress.
  • reduce job stress by taking care of yourself
  • reduce job stress by improving emotional intelligence
  • reduce job stress by breaking bad habits
  • Do what you love
  • Learn  to say no
  • Put a ‘Do not disturb’ sign
  • Avoid distractions

Modern life is full of hassles, deadlines, frustrations and demands. Stress isn’t always bad. In small doses,  it can help you perform under pressure and motivate you to do your best. But when you’re constantly running in emergency mode, your mind and body pay the price.

You can protect yourself by recognizing the signs and symptoms of stress and taking steps to reduce its harmful effects

– Dr. Prerna Gaur

Useful links

http://www.webmd.com/balance/stress-management/features/10-fixable-stress-related-health-problems

http://news.health.com/category/stress-management/

http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2011/07/11/10-practical-ways-to-handle-stress/

http://www.mindtools.com/cgi-bin/sgx2/shop.cgi?page=smmc.html

Mental Health in the Workplace – World Mental Health Day 2017

Poor mental health or depression at work is often interpreted in layman’s terms as ‘a bad day’ or ‘a stressful day’.  Very often, feeling low or stressed  is not considered as a major health concern leading to under-estimation of its harm on overall well-being. Depression among employees is the leading cause of absenteeism and even if present, an emotionally stressed employee is unproductive.

  • In India, one out of two employees suffer from depression and anxiety as revealed by a survey conducted across 6000 employees in different cities.
  • 80% exhibited symptoms of anxiety while 55% were suffering from depression over a year.
  • 42.5% of employees in private sector were found to be suffering from depression (Assocham study 2016)
  • 30% increase in suicidal behaviours was reported from 2008 to 2012 among employees.
  • Globally approx. 350 million people of all ages suffer from depression and it  is the leading cause of suicides among the most productive population ranging between 15 to 29 years of age (WHO).

Causes of anxiety in the corporate world

Instability / insecurity – There is a constant fear of losing the job to some person or machine more competent than us

Ambiguity – Jobs today are characterized by uncertainty due to fluctuating markets and economy

Excessive pressure – Mostly higher authorities try to squeeze out the maximum work from subordinates

Unrealistic goals or expectations – Millennials want instant gratification and push themselves beyond limits to meet expectations and stand apart.
The critical linkage between depression and suicides makes early diagnosis urgent.

Identifying early signs of depression is very vital and can be achieved by providing more channels to dissipate negative energies and also to express thoughts and feeling openly with seniors. Work environments need to cater to not just physical requirements but also psychological comfort of the employees

 

Coping with anxiety and depression at work

Here are a few simple steps that can help you

  • Make a list of to-do things– Listing out the tasks at hand can help organize your day and ticking them off the list will ease the mental pressure.
  • Meditate – Spending even 5 minutes with yourself in contemplation can rejuvenate your senses.
  • Allow some clutter – It’s not important to be  perfect but rather enjoy the process
  • Exercise – Exercise releases endorphins: the feel-good hormones and they surely set you up for a proactive day at work
  • Talk to  family member – Humans are social animals and hence for us there is no better therapy than talking to loved ones at the end of a hectic day.
  • Eat healthy– Good wholesome food leads to good mood
  • Be positive – Positive thoughts attract positive attitude and behaviour from those around you
  • Pursue hobby – Nurture your passion and see how life starts looking up!

This year’s focus on Mental Health at workplace indicates towards pressing need to ensure happiness of employees for better productivity.

Stay healthy with eKincare – your personal health manager!

 

Reference:

http://www.nicholls.edu/counseling/newsletters/stress-positive-or-negative/

http://www.healthline.com/health/parenting/balancing-work-family#3

http://www.hbs.edu/faculty/Pages/item.aspx?num=49311
https://yourstory.com/2016/09/depression-corporate-india/

http://www.assocham.org/newsdetail.php?id=4918

Be ‘U’nique this New Year

This New Year make your own style statement by feeling good about yourself. Eat, move and live in sync with your body constitution. That way you will never be outdated! Giving importance to self does not make you selfish, in fact Continue reading “Be ‘U’nique this New Year”

8 systems of the body affected during stress

Stress can have far reaching effects on our health and it affects almost all the organ systems in the body. Having a knowledge of all these is important and it is so is the need to eliminate / resolve the stressful situation at the earliest.

1 Musculoskeletal System

When the body is stressed, muscles tense up. Muscle tension is almost a reflex reaction to stress — the body’s way of guarding against injury and pain.

Relaxation techniques have been shown to effectively reduce muscle tension, decrease the incidence of certain stress-related disorders, such as headache, and increase a sense of well-being.

2 Respiratory System Continue reading “8 systems of the body affected during stress”

How can you deal with stress?

Individual responses to stress

Stress tolerance is the power to endure stress. If you feel stress, lose against or don’t feel stress – it depends on your stress tolerance. A person’s tolerance to stress is not only different according to the person but is also influenced by time and condition. So tolerance to stress may differ largely to the same person according to the time and condition in which it is experienced. Mainly, the personality and physique, environment and condition change the strength of tolerance to stress.

The trick to coping with stress is not to expect that you can eliminate it; but rather, to manage the symptoms of stress. While teaching you how to do that has become a multi-million dollar industry, in the end, it all boils down to a few good tried-and-true skills you can learn and the willingness to work at it.
Continue reading “How can you deal with stress?”

Can stress be good?

It’s almost become fashionable to say “ Oh! I am so stressed”

Well, actually stress arising from certain situations is healthy and much needed.

Firstly let’s gain an understanding of the body’s response to stress :

What is the Stress Response?

McLeod (2010)  defines Stress as a biological and psychological response experienced on encountering a threat that we feel we do not have the resources to deal with. Continue reading “Can stress be good?”

How can you control emotional eating?

How can you control emotional eating

In our earlier blog posts we discussed about emotional eating and factors that cause emotional eating. While it is natural to have food cravings & hence propensity to overeat in certain situation or occasions, awareness about the same can also help you take steps to overcome emotional eating.

Here are 10 simple tips to overcome emotional eating! Continue reading “How can you control emotional eating?”