Woman stressed by excessive work
More and more people are talking about stress when they ask about their work. While there are many people for whom work adds meaning to their lives and contributes positively to the development of their identity, there are others who consider their occupation as an unpleasant set of obligations. Tasks that qualify as irrelevant, monotonous and very demanding, which makes them victims of work stress.
Beyond the preferences that each one of us has at a work level, stress can appear both on one occasion and on another, impacting on health: especially if this stress is sustained or with very strong peaks of intensity.
What is work stress?
Not all people have the same ability to adapt to stressful circumstances. This capacity is conditioned by the different genetic factors, the personality traits and the physical and mental conditions of each one of us.
Woman with work stress
The stress related to the workplace can be defined as the set of emotional, cognitive, physiological and behavioral reactions related to certain adverse aspects of the organization, content or work environment. This state is characterized by high levels of excitement and anguish and with a frequent feeling of not being able to cope with the situation.
A factor that every day becomes more important and attention is the imbalance between expectations about what work should be and the realities in the world of work; Sometimes there is a great chasm between beliefs or the ideal represented and reality. Thus, the more unattainable or less realistic the aspirations, the higher the chances of feeling cheated and of being vulnerable to the harmful effects of stress.
Frequent symptoms of stress
The most frequent symptoms that indicate that a person may be suffering from work stress are:
- Physiological symptoms: syndrome, muscle tension, breathing difficulties, palpitations, stomach discomfort, dizziness, nausea, dry mouth, etc.
- Psychological symptoms: preoccupation, fear, difficulties in thinking, concentrating or making decisions, negative thoughts, fear, insecurity, etc.
- Motor symptoms: avoidance of feared situations, biting the nails, motor unrest, going from one place to another without concrete purpose, etc.
Stretched woman lying on the floor
It is important that in order to reduce our stress levels we implement some basic strategies such as the ones we will point out later. However, if the situation persists over time and we are unable or with difficulties to face it, it is best to go to a professional, so that with their help we can overcome our problem.
Treatment of work stress
The treatment of work stress is established, especially in terms of the symptoms and discomfort that the person presents, as well as its intensity. Therefore, it will adapt individually, favoring its evolution if the start of treatment is early. Although there are also treatments at the group and organizational level.
Normally, the interventions used are characterized by being cognitive-behavioral such as stress coping, cognitive restructuring, Havening therapy and behavioral testing. From a cognitive perspective, emphasis will be placed on working with erroneous cognitions, unreal expectations, and false hopes.
Within the techniques and programs aimed at work stress, we can also highlight the coping strategies of control or focus on the problem, training in problem-solving, training in assertiveness and training in time management.
Thus, at the individual level, they will try to improve the resources of protection or resistance to optimize the coping with the stressors typical of the work environment and boost the perception of control, self-esteem and the level of personal self-efficacy.
Keys to reducing the level of stress
Here are some guidelines to reduce high-stress levels in the workplace:
- Plan rewarding activities outside of work. Disconnect when leaving the workplace, both internally and externally, and spend some time of the day doing something that relaxes us and allows us to disconnect.
- Set realistic and achievable goals.
- Do not leave everything for the last minute. Learn to manage time and plan our actions in a flexible way.
- Take care of the environment where you work (cleaning, order, brightness, etc.).
- Foster social relationships at work and communicate assertively.
- Learn to reduce tension through techniques such as meditation, relaxation, yoga or Havening treatment.
- Avoid catastrophic thoughts and disqualification for mistakes made. Errors are an inevitable part of carrying out a task at times and can be a source of learning and improvement.
- Take care of habits such as making a time to sleep and rest and maintain an adequate diet. We can also incorporate daily physical exercise, regularly and adapted to our abilities, as it improves mood in general, increasing self-esteem and decreasing the level of stress.