You may be working at an office. Your job may be high up in the air as an airhostess or pilot. Your work may see you in the high seas as you navigate through the waters working as personnel of the navy or merchant navy. You may work on an agricultural field or a garden or then in a restaurant or a kitchen. Whatever, it’s your job. And you may have stress at work and you have to manage it.
Causes for stress at work
Stress may stem from the job we do and from our work place. We need to interact with people at all levels. We interact with our colleagues across the spectrum, those who are junior to the level we are at, those who are our peers and those who are our seniors. In team work, which is what life is all about, we have to interact with people to complete the tasks we have to. But interacting with people may itself be a cause for stress, whether the persons to interact with are your team mates, your office co-workers, the management, the labour, unions, or then clients or customers within the country or overseas.
Stress related to occupational hazards may also arise from erratic timings that your job may call for or the distance to be covered or the journey to be made to reach the place of work. For instance, BPO jobs have time shifts that could make you work at night.
In fact, as a matter of fact, all jobs do have occupational hazards associated with them. A sedentary job is a risk too to your health as it may give you a bad back or cause you to become obese. An IT job also has the risk of overexposure to computer radiations and strain to the eyes and brain due to constant viewing of the computer monitor.
There may be jobs where you have to stand for long hours, or walk much. For instance, if you are an air hostess or if you are a policewoman on patrol duty, so given that all jobs have certain disadvantages, you are bound to be afflicted by stress of one form or another. Even jobs that give the worker a great deal of satisfaction would have their own disadvantages.
Get over stress arising out of team work
Working in a team is a wonderful experience. You benefit physically, mentally and intellectually as also emotionally. When one works in a team the first thing one learns is that the final success or failure of the project or activity, small or big, depends on everybody. Therefore the self-centred attitude of every team member has to bid farewell. And failure of the project is every individual’s failure. Isn’t it? No one can absolve oneself of blame for failure. Likewise, success is also to be shared by all team members. Labour too in the execution of the particular task is to be shared by all. So physically as also mentally and intellectually there is a sharing of resources, activities and outcomes.
Whatever the job you do you definitely have to be part of a team. While there are benefits to working in a team, there are persons who feel stressed because of having to work with a group of persons. If you feel jealous, seek accolades only for yourself, seek merits for your every little task and want the project and its outcome to be mentioned only against your name, you would often be sulking in a team and, in fact, team work may be causing you stress.
Take a relook at the reality. Team work is really an opportunity to open your heart and broaden your mind. Appreciate the excellence and expertise of others. Working in a team is excellent for developing humility, sharing your best ideas, accepting others’ ideas, being willing to give up one’s ideas for others’ ideas that are better, and leaving behind the small desires of the self for the attainment of a task that one person cannot possibly singly achieve.
Team work teaches the power of synergy. When many minds, hands and hearts come together the results would definitely be better than just one mind, one pair of hands and one heart toiling away. Isn’t it?
So get over fretting over working in a team. Be glad to be part of a team, for you may have greater support and co-operation and can also give your best.
A complainer with a very negative attitude in a team spoils the morale of the entire group. So if there are such persons in your team, don’t succumb to their ideas. Stay firm and be positive to work in the team. At the same time, try to avoid ostracizing them. In fact, you could try to keep their morale high.
Interacting with people can relieve you of stress
Those who have jobs working with machines know how terrible it is to sit with a machine all day, even if it is the wizard of a computer. Interacting with people as part of your job may serve to lighten it even if it is a tough one.
You may have to interact with your co-workers at your workplace, and those who are your bosses and the management. You may have all types of clients and customers to interact with. You may also have international assignments with a great deal of interaction with overseas persons.
Take this as the positive side to your work. Would you not be miserable if it were the other way round, with no one to interact with as part of your job?
If you are a BPO executive see the pleasure in interacting with so many different people on the telephone. Likewise you may have the opportunity to meet so many different people if you are an air hostess. Take that as a positive aspect to your job.
If you are in the marketing or sales department of a company selling a certain product or service, see the opportunity to interact with so many different people, trying to convince them to pick up the good or service, as a plus point.
Protect yourself against stress
If your job has an element of risk to your health, take precautions. If your job has certain acknowledged risks to health and there are steps to counter the effects, be meticulous in following them.
If you are a traffic policewoman, wear a mask. Those exposed to a great deal of pollution are generally advised to eat jaggery to keep away the ill-effects of pollution on health.
If your job is sedentary be pro-active! Don’t allow the related conditions to set in. Take steps to be active. Look after your diet and exercise so that you do not put a burden on your back and neck. If the sedentary job is already affecting your health, take steps to avoid a worsening of the situation. Be particular about following your exercise regimen worked out with a trainer religiously. Or if you like to you could go for a walk every day according to the schedule of your work.
If you have to sit for long hours before a computer, make sure your computer has an anti-glare screen. Don’t stare continuously at the screen. Rest your eyes at short intervals. Follow the eye exercises that your doctor may suggest to you.
You can handle the stress of commuting
Yes, commuting to and from your work place can be a source of stress to you. In this day and age, congestion is a major issue on the roads of cities and towns due to heavy traffic. And office rush is a common phenomenon almost everywhere on the roads in the form of heavy traffic. Commuting is an issue. But you have to do it anyway. Isn’t it? Try to be a little early if you can. Sometimes just five or ten minutes can make all the difference. You may be able to catch an earlier bus or take a previous metro service. Sometimes the rush begins at a particular time and being a little earlier can save you from the rush period. Besides, if it is a particular mode of transport that is causing you stress, try out another mode. For instance, driving your car maybe the reason for you to get stressed out. If that is so, try the metro.
Don’t carry your stress home
Keep your home free of your office-related stress. Let your home be the happy and pleasant place for you where you can forget your work stresses and can be joyful. Don’t sulk or feel angry and frown at home with your family. Your troubles will only multiply in the process. Share laughter and fun and joy with your folks back home. Do share your troubles and woes too with them and seek their counsel too but don’t make it terrible for your family always handling your stress. You would do well to avoid venting out your anger on your family.
Often the best thing to do is to leave your office woes in your office and return home relaxed. They will wait to occupy your mind and time the next day when you get back to work. Or who knows perhaps they will evaporate sitting there idle and in loneliness all night long! So do make sure you try to leave your woes of work at the work place.
You need your job. You need to keep your job. So, don’t invest your stress leading it to grow and grow. If you have certain work-related stresses that you just have to undergo, just grin and bear it. See the positive aspects to your work. There definitely are. Look for them if you haven’t done so yet. And be happy for that.
You need a livelihood. So, why fret over your job. Be happy you have the capacity to go about your job and make a livelihood. That would be a positive way to handle the situation. Isn’t it? And you will find your work far more rewarding this way.
Adopt ways to relax and unwind
Stress may be unavoidable at work. But you can definitely find ways to relax after your day’s work. You could also opt for relaxation techniques during your working hours if you feel stressed out.
Also, develop a hobby or an activity that you can engage yourself with, one that gives you joy. Besides, since stress is detrimental to health, choose to exercise or go for a walk regularly. It will not only impact your health positively, it will also serve to de-stress you. Go for a holiday with your family or friends to unwind.