Managing Stress in the Workplace – By Pinnacle Health Group Psychologist Beulah Joseph
As the very simple image above shows us – stress is can be simplified as a mismatch in the resources we feel are available to us, and the demands or pressures that life can throw our way.
What is important to know, is that most of us have felt this way at some point – and particularly in the corporate workplace environment, many of my clients are all too familiar with the demands of work outweighing the time or resources side of the see-saw.
It is also important to note that a certain level of stress is required for optimal arousal, and very-low stress levels can often lead to boredom and under-performance, depending of course on the individual and the environment. However, when the levels of stress move past the optimal level, it commonly leads to anxiety, fear, social withdrawal, poorer cognition and thinking, and physical changes such as poor sleep, high blood pressure and stomach issues.
Here are 3 key focus areas to manage stress in the workplace:
- Self-talk – we all have an inner dialogue that changes depending on our mood or stress levels. Managing your self-talk to avoid negative inner-thoughts such as catastrophising or “labelling” pressures at work as “impossible” or “out of your depth” are negative examples of self-talk that can increase stress at work. When having this dialogue when stressed, try other options such as “this is hard, but I have done it before” or other positive cues to help manage stress,
- Self-care – the basics of diet, sleeping, and exercise are very important in stress management, and your overall wellbeing. Whilst very simple, we often ignore these and it can lead to changes in stress levels or ability to manage stress – so focus on the basics first!
- Self-soothing – it is important to identify and acknowledge emotions, and be “mindful”. We all have different ways to do this, but the first step in identifying stress is acknowledging the feelings associated with it, and using techniques such as exercise, meditation, counselling, talking with friends or family – or other techniques you have used before – to manage stress levels.
I specialise in managing workplace pressures, and providing counselling and support to improving performance in work, relationships, family and life in general. Make use of our Free Wellbeing Check and Wellbeing Questionnaire to get an idea of how I can help!