Handle stress at work!

Life today is full of stress. It does not matter whether you are a homemaker or a CEO, the stress levels would be as high in both occupations. Stress is so much part and parcel of our lives, that we fail to recognize it nowadays.

De-Stressing Yourself Involves Three Major Steps

  1. Recognizing the stress inducing points
  2. Seeking alternatives
  3. Taking action
  1. How do you learn to recognize stress points in your life
  2. Stress is the direct result of misplaced worry. There are many synonyms to the term 'stress' ? you have anxiety, pressure, strain, constant worry, nervous tension, mental trauma and so on. All these words depict one thing ? DANGER to your both mental and physical well being.

    A simple way to check out whether stress dominates your life or not, is by comparing your 'logical self' with your 'anxious self'. Take the following test and find out.

    Anxious Self (stress promoter)
            Logical self (stress busting)

    1. The need to be perfect.
    2. Do you need to be the best there is all the time?
      Do you feel terrible if your work is less than perfect?
      Do you constantly feel that you could have done more?
      Do you feel obsessed with your work and cannot relax till it is completed?

      It is great to do your best. But you should recognize that you cannot be the best always. Not being so does not mean you are inferior to anyone. Everybody has its strengths and weaknesses. Sometimes we are up and sometimes we are down.

      It is good to concentrate on the work at hand. However, if it is becoming an obsession, you have a problem.

    3. The need to control and be in control
    4. Do you feel everything is lost if you are not in control of the situation at all times?
      Are you ashamed to look vulnerable to your peers and/or juniors?
      Do you feel you loose the respect of your team/ superiors/ juniors if you do not look confident at all times?
      Can you let go of work that is assigned to you if need be?

      As a human being, you will have to handle situations that are out of your control. This does not mean that you are in way inferior.

      You, as everyone, have your weak points. Accepting your vulnerability makes you a better leader and gains the respect of all you colleagues.

      Delegation actually you can stay in control of the situation better. Let go of responsibility when it crowds you.

    5. The need to be accepted
    6. Do you reject yourself if you are not accepted by others?
      Do you need the appreciation of your boss to feel good about an excellent assignment?
      Do you put yourself always at the bottom of the rung?
      Are you afraid to show you are hurt/ irritated/ displeased for fear of alienating others?

      Be sure of what you are and maintain that image of self clear in mind. Failure is just a matter of opinion. It does not describe or qualify you.

      Recognize your talents in isolation of other people's reactions. Learn to connect with your inner self, your values, your core strengths.

      Respect your feelings and others will respect you. Do not suppress negative feelings when they come. Air them out and solve the issues then and there.

    7. The need to value your self-worth
    8. Do you always feel that your work is nothing to rave about ? even if it is praised sky-high by everybody?
      Do you feel that you can never trust your own judgment or assessment of a situation?
      Do you expect and even invite criticism to your work and opinion?
      Do you feel uncomfortable when complimented on an excellent work?

      You are good in your area. You need to recognize that. If you are not, you should seek another area (where you are good) and shift your career focus.

      You should value your own self and give yourself the importance due to you. Self-respect is the first step to self-recognitions and self-realization.

      You are special. Acknowledge that.

  3. Seeking alternatives
  4. When you are faced with stress, you need to know and internalize the fact that you have choices. You are not stuck in a situation of no-return any time in your life. Let us see what can help de-stressing out minds ?

    1. Exercise daily ? exercise promotes the production of feel-good pheromones which make you feel good about yourself both mentally and physically. Assign some just 15-30 minutes everyday for some physical activity ? even if it only walking.
    2. Keep at least one day every fortnight for yourself and your family. You need to recognize your own needs and position vis-?-vis other important aspects in your life other than work/ career.
    3. Develop and nurture a hobby to which you earmark some time every month. Do not let your work be the only focus in your life.
    4. Recognize your peak hours and work most during that time. Allow yourself adequate rest daily. Lack of rest escalates stress.
    5. Always finish the most troublesome work first. Do not procrastinate. Especially when you do not like the task at hand.
    6. Keep in constant touch with your friends and relatives. You will draw strength from their appreciation and love for you. Otherwise you will develop the tendency of valuating yourself only on the basis of your job.
    7. Learn to forgive yourself. Whenever you commit a mistake, put it behind you and start afresh.
    8. Eat well. Do no neglect your meals. Lack of proper nutrition promotes stress.
    9. Express you love for your family and accept their love without any reservations. Accept the fact that you are more than only a employee.
    10. Accept that you are stressed when it is obvious ? and take a break from your work to recharge your batteries.
  5. Taking action
    1. Say 'no' when you cannot do it. Learning to say 'no' is the greatest gift and tool in handling stress.
    2. Delegate. You need not be everywhere all the time, not it is necessary for you to do everything yourself.
    3. Prioritize your work. You cannot do everything at the same time. Check out which has to be the first and which the last. Inform those who need to know accordingly.
    4. Plan the day in morning, every day. Do not start the day without a plan. List the tasks you have to accomplish and stick to the plan.
    5. Take regular breaks. Your mind like the motor of machine cannot sustain itself at top speed continuously. A 5-10 minutes break (even a nap sometimes) can keep you going at top speed and performance throughout the day.