We often think of stress as a bad thing. But well-managed stress can be a path to success. Saying “I’m so stressed!” doesn’t exactly conjure feelings of energy, focus, or motivation. Yet those are some of the positive benefits of stress. In addition, stress can boost memory, improve task efficiency and warn of danger. In fact, it can even help fortify your immune system! That’s right, research has shown that the hormones released during periods of mild stress acted to move immune cells into your organs.
Too much negative stress, though, can cause problems. For example, you might experience a racing heart, sleeplessness, or mood swings. Moreover, prolonged stress can lead to serious problems like heart disease and high blood pressure. Still, there is good news even in negative stress. According to studies, the way you think about stress can make it less harmful to you. For instance, be happy that your deadline is making you more productive! Or, consider how focused you’ve been since your boss told you the job’s success is all riding on you.
20 Ways to Reduce Your Stress
Start with positive thoughts about what stress can do for you. In addition, you can try these stress relievers:
According to The American Institute of Stress, 80% of workers feel stress on the job. Nearly half say they need help in learning how to manage it. And employers, you can help with stress. What’s more, well-managed workplace stress can be the path to your success as well! The estimated cost of stress in the workplace is more than $300 billion a year from absenteeism, turnover, diminished productivity, and medical, legal and insurance costs.
20 Ways Employers Can Help Reduce Employee Stress
- Avoid punitive actions and opt for positive, inclusive solutions that empower employees
- Help employees understand how their role contributes to company success
- Keep workloads reasonable and encourage communication of overwhelm
- Offer and encourage breaks
- Balance employee responsibility for low-stress tasks and challenging ones
- Give regular constructive feedback
- Offer flextime
- Provide adequate resources, supplies, and training needed for employees to perform well
- Ask for and take action on suggestions and feedback
- Provide easy access to managers and supervisors who can help
- Offer stress management support and tools
- Provide opportunities for personal and professional growth and advancement
- Communicate changes and workplace news regularly
- Make wellness and employee assistance part of your culture
- Address conflicts immediately
- Encourage collaboration
- Provide clear realistic expectations and job descriptions
- Keep noise and clutter at a minimum
- Maintain clean, safe and spacious workspaces
- Finally, lead by example – take breaks and time off, exercise, delegate, and exude calm and positivity
Further Workplace Stress Resources:
The American Institute of Stress
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Last but not least, to stress less about your next job or employee, contact your local GreatWork office!