Ask anyone who goes to work regularly. It’s almost impossible not to let work affect your life. Whether that effect is good or bad is another matter. Work stress can take really its toll on your nerves. It can lead to sleepless nights and impact your overall quality of life. In fact, it can even have serious complications on your health. Heart disease has long been associated with stress.
Having said this, it is important that you identify work stressors and figure out what to do about them. This may not be as easy as it sounds but it can be done if you put your mind to it. Work stress affects people differently. It is essential that you understand how this stress manifests itself for you so that you can handle it.
Below we discuss the 3 biggest work stressors and what to do about them.
1. Conflict stress
Conflict stress or the stress of not belonging or being accepted into a group is one of the major work stressors. It is just natural for a person to feel wanted and accepted by his peers. Think of it this way; you don’t get along with one of your team members who is quite popular among your other workmates. Whenever you’re with this group, you’re bound to feel nervous and insecure. This is stress that affects the quality of your work as well as your working relationships.
You need to learn effective conflict resolution skills so that you can manage conflict stress as soon as it rears its ugly head. The best way to do that is to talk it out with your “foe”, find common ground and settle. Also, realize that there is a difference between group conflict and individual conflict. Both these work stressors will need to be dealt with differently.
2. Stress caused by change
Some people like change, they get bored easily and like to mix it up. But the majority of people are inherently scared of change. Amazingly, stress caused by change is one of the more common work stressors that people deal with. Changing departments, bosses, policies, transfer to a new city, even promotions, can cause stress.
What is it that causes stress in such circumstances? It’s probably the fact that you are so familiar and used to your work environment than any change makes you stress out since it takes you out of your comfort zone. You just don’t want to refamiliarize yourself with everything you’ve been taking for granted.
So what to do about this? Channel your mind to focus on how the change will benefit you and your organization. Try to do a pros and cons list with the focus being on pros. If that doesn’t work, talk to someone who buys into the change, understand their point of view. This should help you deal and make it a less stressful situation for you.
3. Performance stress
Employees are always faced with difficult circumstances that may lead to stress. Sometimes you feel like no matter what you do, how well you perform, it’s never good enough for advancement. At other times, you’re scared that you may be found out for not really being as skilled as others believe you to be. All this results is in frustration and fear which in turn means more stress for you.
Most of the time, these type of work stressors are present persistently. If you’re unsatisfied with your career progression or insecure of yourself, these aren’t things that go away easily. There is not much you can do about them other than to quit or learn to manage stress. To manage the stress created by these work stressors, you need to be in a position to anticipate what they’re going to do to you physically and mentally. Are you going to feel depressed and go into a shell? Maybe binge eat?
Don’t let the pressure of work develop into stress. Try to understand the signals that your mind and body send you when under stress. Manage those situations.