Managing Stress and Anxiety on the Job

Stress affects millions of people every single day. We feel stressed when there is pressure put on us, whether in our personal lives or at work. Stress is a physical and emotional response to things that make us feel threatened or unbalanced. Some symptoms of stress include headache, depression, insomnia, dizziness, and even neck and back or muscle aches. In extreme cases, stress can even be deadly. For those dealing with stress, it can have a snowball effect that also has an impact on our friends and family members. The key to coping with stress is to learn the signs of it and how to deal with it in an effective way so that you can continue to function normally and be able to live a healthier, more functional life. For those dealing with work-related stress, there are ways to manage and cope with it.

How to Recognize Stress

If you're feeling stress or stressed out, you might recognize these signs and symptoms:

  • Feelings of anger, irritation, being rushed, or a "fight or flight" state more frequently
  • Inability to organize thoughts and actions in a set way
  • Frequent headaches and neck or back muscle aches
  • Worrying constantly and forgetting things more frequently
  • Getting a cold or sick more frequently
  • Chest pains and rapid breathing and/or heartbeat
  • Racing thoughts, making bad decisions, or the general inability to concentrate
  • A feeling of being overwhelmed, resulting in a desire to be isolated from others
  • Lack of sleep, development of bad habits like drinking or smoking, and the development of nervous habits such as nail-biting

Here is some information about the most common signs and symptoms of stress:

Stress Management Strategies

Fortunately, there are ways that people can better manage their stress. Through better understanding when we feel stressed, we can more quickly recognize it and then deal with it in a more effective way. At work, stress can become a serious problem, causing more stress at home. It can create a snowball effect. It is important to learn how to cope with and handle stress as we feel it so that it will not be as severe during those stressful times. Here are some things you can do at work to better manage stress:

  • Plan ahead and learn to prioritize tasks
  • Talk to your friends and family members about your stress
  • Allow for downtime or "me time" in which you can do things you enjoy
  • Eat a healthy diet and try to get plenty of sleep, preferably seven to eight hours per night
  • Take some time off if you feel that the stress is getting to be too much
  • Talk to your physician about your symptoms for management advice
  • Stay active and get enough exercise
  • Avoid using drugs and alcohol

Here is more information to help you better manage and handle day-to-day stressors:

Stress Management Resources

By recognizing the common signs of stress, you are already on the right track toward better handling stressful situations. Understanding stress triggers and what causes stress is the first step in learning how to better deal with it when it comes your way. Managing the feelings of stress and following some good management tips can make your job much easier as well as your home life. Once we are able to better identify our stressors and work to handle them more efficiently, we can work towards a more stress-free job and life.