In 2020 and first quarter of 2021, a study done by Nord VPN shows an increase in work hours by 2.5 hours per day. If we are indeed working 2.5 hours extra a day, a lot of people are likely to suffer with work stress and burnout.
Personal burnout is real and omnipresent. 79% employees in the workforce have reported feeling some kind of burnout. According to a survey conducted by ComPsych, main causes of Work related stress are Workload (46%), People Issues (28%), Juggling work and Personal lives (20%) and lack of Job security (6%).
I can help with your lack of job security stress through other information on this blog, but for the remaining 66% of workload and balancing information…keep reading! I hope some of the pointers I am sharing here may be useful.
Don’t let the work kill you!
Over-work and work stress can cause sleep deprivation. According to data from NHTSA, drowsy driving, caused by Sleep deprivation, was responsible for at least 91,000 car crashes, 50k injuries, and 795 deaths in 2017. If you are stressed, you are not only dangerous to yourself, you can even hurt others.
Don’t let the work stress kill you. There are simple ways to manage work stress.
My 4 year old daughter has been a great stress reliever for me. Wait – I am not telling you to add a toddler to your family to relieve stress, I was just sharing one of my ways to relieve stress. But I have a few more suggestions that might work for you.
Before we go into ways to manage work stress, let me emphasize that one of the important aspect of being stress free is being happy, being content. If you are not happy with your job, than there is not much that the techniques can help you. You either need to like or love your job to be 100% stress free or you’ll need to learn that the job is a job and there is not much you can do about it in terms of stress. Then, you can focus on yourself and remove job from the equation.
So, either you find a dream job that will keep you happy, or you agree that the job that you have has nothing to do with your stress and we can work on other techniques.
So, now that we have an agreement that you are in control of you stress, let me tell you three ways to manage and reduce your stress. I’ve learned this from various sources and from experience, I can tell you that they work. First, lets understand what is stress?
Stress is a feeling of emotional or physical tension and it is the way your body reacts to a demand or challenge. Stress can be good when it helps you prepare and avoid a danger. Bad stress can make you feel nervous, angry, or frustrated.
Three ways to reducing stress
Here are the three methods to reduce stress and manage how stress impacts you. Mindfulness, Thankfulness and Involvement are the three ways we’ll discuss for long term stress relief. And let me warn you – this is going to take time as this is a long term approach to relieving stress. Not a pill that you can take to reduce stress.
How thankfulness can relieve stress? One of the main cause of stress is the pressure or worry about not having something. This worry is caused by you focusing on the lack of something. If we can change our thoughts to look at things that we have, and be grateful for them, then it will take our focus away from the lack of, or less of something and make you enjoy the gifts that you already have.
So, today, when you go to bed take a stock of things that you have and be thankful for it. Tomorrow morning when you get up, thank god for the great day and be grateful for all that you have and the ability that God has given you to create more. Once you start this habit you’ll see that your stress level goes down as you’l stop worrying about not having much or not having control over situation.
Mindfulness is the state of being highly aware of your feelings and thoughts at any given moment. You can practice mindfulness by meditating on your breath, or simply focusing on an object. There are many ways to practice mindfulness, but the main purpose is to allow the mind to refocus on present moment. Mindfulness brings your mind to NOW – the present moment. You stop thinking about work, worries and anything that may be causing stress and only focus on right now. One simple way to be mindful is to be active in doing something and then just stay in that thing. For example, you can go for a jog or a walk – forget everything else and just focus on the jog. Look at the grass, the sidewalks; smell the flowers; Enjoy the ups and downs of the land. You mind will get into a habit to see good in things and focus on the current moments instead of worries related to past and future.
Everyday, we experience a lot of things. Are you involved in those things or just going through the motions? Involvement is the technique to train yourself in experiencing new things and involving in them actively. Spending time with family and friends; Playing with your kids; Going for a swim; Create new experiences for yourself and your loved ones – live in those experiences. Try to mix and match your experiences that involve exercise, laughs, non-work related things. These new experiences will give you memories that you’ll be able to cherish anytime you feel stressed. As i said, my 4 year old daughter is my stress reliever.
You’ll find that the new experiences will not only give you happiness now – in the moment – but they will give you reasons to remember and celebrate life long.
I also want to tell you that as you exercise involvement, mindfulness, and thankfulness – it will take time. Its not a quick fix and i know if you are too much stressed you want something RIGHT NOW. A few things for reducing stress is also to get enough sleep, reduce your caffeine intake and keep a balance between things that you take on your plate.
One Mind Pysberguide is a non profit orgnaization that helps people to use technology to live a mentally healthier life.
Why should you listen to me?
Good Question! I have worked in corporate America for more than a decade. Worked in consulting companies, IT organizations of fortune 500 companies, built a business and sold it, worked in multiple organizations in challenging industries like e-commerce, Oil & Gas, consumer retail, finance and high-tech. I have worked 80 hrs week. and also enjoyed 8 hrs week. I think I have mostly avoided stress completely for the most part, and on certain occasions when I was stressed, I’ve been able to manage stress at work and home successfully.