Stress Awareness: Minimising stress at work

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Health Assured team

07 January 2015

For most of us, daily life contains plenty of small stresses, but we're able to manage them and cope until they naturally subside.

Stresses relating to deadlines or specific events can be very real, but these stresses have an end in sight, and it's typically this knowledge which helps us cope. Of course, it helps if we have a good level of mental health and a great support system too.

What about those stresses which overwhelm us and seem endless? The important thing is to identify stress before taking steps to manage it.


Identifying Stress

It's usually pretty easy to tell when you're stressed. But did you know that some level of stress is considered good for us?

It's mild stress which spurs us into action and helps us get things done. If we feel we can cope with them at the time, the following stresses can be positive:

  • Deadlines.
  • Public speaking.
  • Giving presentations.
  • Appraisals.
  • Interviews.
  • Or asking for a pay rise.

The problem occurs when the stress affects our emotions, relationships and our bodies:

  • Distancing yourself from family & friends
  • Disrupted sleep patterns
  • Feel that you can’t cope
  • Feeling lethargic, tearful or overwhelmed
  • Changes to eating patterns

Tips for managing and minimising stress

  • Manage your time more efficiently. Get more done and minimise the stress of all those to-do lists and unfinished tasks. Don't procrastinate and if possible do the most important task in your day first.
  • Have a healthier lifestyle. It's absolutely true that you are better able to manage all kinds of stresses when you are fitter and healthier. So eat well, move more and make time for activity and exercise.
  • Don't worry about the things you can't change. If the cause of your stress is something you can change, identify ways you can do so and move towards this, no matter how slowly. But if not, then recognise this and develop ways to live with it or move past it.
  • Learn to let things go. Are you an argumentative person? Does all that conflict and battling serve you well, or simply serve to feed your stress? Look at ways to think, speak and act more positively. This will have a direct impact on your stress levels.
  • Learn to say 'no'. You can't do it all, so don't expect yourself to. Learn to turn down tasks and delegate. If you feel stressed and hassled by the end of the week, and have no time for yourself, you are taking on too much. People will respect your ability to say no.

We hope these tips help you manage stress more effectively so you are a happier, healthier person all year round.

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