Tips To Prevent Workplace Stress
Preventing and reducing workplace stress is preferable to finding ways to cope or recover.
The following tips help reduce the likelihood of feeling overloaded and overwhelmed :
- Practice self-compassion, permitting yourself to make mistakes. Rather than dwell on the past, learn from it and improve your performance.
- Picture the overall goal or purpose and reflect on the why behind your behavior. You will be more likely to stop and plan rather than burn too much energy on being busy.
- Use routines whenever possible. Each new task and choice takes time and creates mental tension, so find ways to reduce the number of decisions.
- Interesting activities replenish energy. Being curious and finding something that captivates you will help you recharge.
- Add when and where to every item on your task to avoid the week slipping away without getting everything done on time.
- Consider situations and events that trigger stress. Come up with a set of ifthen plans . Planning for the worst will leave you prepared and less stressed if it happens.
- Striving for perfection can lead to procrastination and even burnout. Focus on being good and on improving, rather than setting standards you cant meet.
- Reflect on past successes and the progress you have already made. You have come a long way give yourself the credit you deserve.
- Recognize what motivates you. Life is full of opportunities find what excites you and apply yourself to the challenge.
Dismissal For Some Other Substantial Reason
For 22 years Tom worked for a medium-sized distribution company in their warehouse as a fork lift truck driver. He had a good attendance and conduct record and he was a dedicated employee.
One day Tom had an epileptic fit while at work. He was sent home immediately and subsequently signed off work while tests were carried out. The business owner valued Tom but was unable to allow him to return to work and drive the forklift truck for both safety and insurance reasons. An independent medical report confirmed Toms worst fears. He was prohibited from driving, for his own safety as well as for the safety of others.
Toms skills were limited and there was no other, possible, role for him within the firm. The business owner sought advice and eventually decided to release Tom on grounds of SOSR .
In Toms case it was no ones fault that a life-changing medical condition prohibited him from driving.
SOSR is a term used where it is neither the employer nor the employees fault that the employment contract has to end. There is no need to Dismiss on grounds of Capability Due to Ill Health if SOSR applies.
Christine Pratt FCMI
Christine Pratt FCMI is founder of HR & Diversity Management and the National Bullying Helpline. She is a Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute. This article does not constitute legal advice.
What Are The Causes Of Workplace Anxiety
The previously mentioned Korn Ferry study found that bosses are the largest source of workplace stress. Heavy workload, job insecurity, lack of direction, lack of fairness, and long hours can also all take their toll on the hardiest of employees.
Lets take a look at some of the causes of workplace anxiety in more detail.
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What You Feel Is Real
When I had my first anxiety attack at work, I waited until I got physically ill to ask to go home. I guess, to me, it didnt feel like mental symptoms were as palpable, significant, or real as physical ones. Only physical symptoms could validate my troubles and make me feel less guilty and embarrassed about admitting that I needed some form of help.
Thinking that mental health problems are, in some way, not as real as physical ones is not uncommon. This year, millions of Internet users have asked Google if mental illness is real, and the Internet abounds with public awareness campaigns from the government and non-profit organizations answering with a resounding Yes!
Anxiety disorders are real, serious medical conditions just as real and serious as physical disorders such as heart disease or diabetes, write the ADAA.
Not only that, but Anxiety disorders are the most common and pervasive mental disorders in the United States. In fact, the National Institutes of Health report that as many as 1 in 5 Americans are affected by anxiety disorders.
When I had my anxiety attack, my main worry was that my employer would think I was trying to skive my duties. If you feel the same, the good news is youre not alone. In fact, a recent survey on workplace stress and anxiety reports that 38 percent of those with an anxiety disorder do not tell their employers because they fear that their boss would interpret it as lack of interest of unwillingness to do the activity.
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Contact Brain Forest Centers
You dont have to let job stress control your life. At Brain Forest Centers, helping our patients overcome mental health issues caused by work stress is incredibly important to us. To find out more about how Brain Forest Centers can help you overcome the negative effects of job stress, visit our website today.
Supporting People With Mental Disorders At Work
Organizations have a responsibility to support individuals with mental disorders in either continuing or returning to work. Research shows that unemployment, particularly long term unemployment, can have a detrimental impact on mental health. Many of the initiatives outlined above may help individuals with mental disorders. In particular, flexible hours, job-redesign, addressing negative workplace dynamics, and supportive and confidential communication with management can help people with mental disorders continue to or return to work. Access to evidence-based treatments has been shown to be beneficial for depression and other mental disorders. Because of the stigma associated with mental disorders, employers need to ensure that individuals feel supported and able to ask for support in continuing with or returning to work and are provided with the necessary resources to do their job.
Article 27 of The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities provides a legally-binding global framework for promoting the rights of people with disabilities . It recognizes that every person with a disability has the right to work, should be treated equally and not be discriminated against, and should be provided with support in the workplace.
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Prevalence Of Mental Health Disorders In Students
Literature showed that mental health problems are common phenomenon among students with a higher prevalence compared to the general public. For example, surveying more than 2800 students in five American large public universities demonstrated that more than half of them experienced anxiety and depression in their last year of studies . Similarly, a survey of Coventry University undergraduate students in the UK showed that more than one-third of them had experienced mental health issues such as anxiety and depression over the past one year since they were surveyed . In agreements with these results, Maser et al. found that prevalence of mental health disorders including anxiety and depression was higher among medical students compared to the general non-student population of the same age. These studies demonstrated that the prevalence of SAD among students has remained higher than the average population over the past two decades.
SAD are not only prevalent among students, but also persistent. By conducting a follow-up survey study of students over two years, Zivin et al. demonstrated that more than half of students retain their higher levels of anxiety and depression over time. This can be due to a lack of SAD treatment or persistence of existing risk factors over time.
Invite Anxiety Along For The Ride
Confront your anxieties head on. If you’re nervous about public speaking, take an online class to improve your skills. If you’re afraid of talking to your coworkers, try to strike up a conversation via video chat.
“Push yourself to enter situations that lead to anxiety in order to demonstrate to yourself that you can persevere and succeed despite anxiety,” Deibler says. “Exposing yourself to anxiety-provoking situations, rather than avoiding them, helps to change your relationship to anxiety and increase your confidence in these situations.”
Don’t forget to take care of yourself.
“Attend to your own feelings and healthy lifestyle practices: good nutrition, sleep, and exercise are important to well-being, resilience, and healthy stress management,” Deibler says.
Possible Causes Of Stress At Work
Stress at work has many causes, often specific to the individual and the workplace. Common workplace stressors include :
- Longer working hours impacting worklife balance
- Job insecurity
- Insufficient control over job-related decisions
- Conflicting job demands and unclear performance expectations
In most cases, multiple stressors combine to produce our work-related stress, differing in severity through the day and even our career.
Symptoms Of Workplace Stress: 3 Examples
Unfortunately, workplace stress doesnt remain in our place of work it follows us home.
With more people working remotely and able to work anytime and anywhere, there is even more spillover of workplace stress into our home lives .
A stressful work environment can contribute to problems such as headache, stomachache, sleep disturbances, short temper, and difficulty concentrating.
American Psychological Association, 2018
Over time, the symptoms of workplace stress may become chronic, damaging physical and mental health.
Prolonged occupational stress resulting from extended, frequent, or intense stressors leads to distress, occurring in one or more of the following forms .
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Overcoming Job Search Anxiety
Everyone is competent, valid, and deserving, not only of any job but of a good job. Furthermore, we might talk about the need to be creative. This implies recognizing in yourself how you may bring something new to the job market table. These are excellent concepts. However, they also often collide with reality.
If you arent well psychologically, you might find it impossible to give the best of yourself to others. In fact, due to consistently experiencing failure, you may dig yourself into a negative emotional hole. In these cases, there are no magical formulas. However, receiving professional and specialized help does work.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy can allow you not only to reorient your internal dialogue but break down any negative thoughts. In addition, cognitive therapy will allow you to learn to process failure and to develop better skills. With these, you can create new, and positive outlooks, and face the job market with renewed strength and courage.
Lastly, in addition to psychological help, it may be appropriate to incorporate these simple but powerful ideas:
- Remember that negative thoughts stop you from seeing and utilizing opportunities.
- Revise your attitudes.
- Take better care of yourself. For example, exercising, reading, and good nutrition are essential.
- Good social support is essential. Avoid those who submerge you in their own pessimism and defeatism.
- Developing mindfulness is a suitable strategy to better manage your emotions.
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What Causes Workplace Anxiety
Lots of things can cause anxiety in the workplace. Darcy E. Gruttadaro, JD, the director of the Center for Workplace Mental Health at the American Psychiatric Association Foundation, says anxiety disorders are the most common mental health condition in the United States.
âItâs not uncommon for people to feel nervous about a big presentation, meeting with clients, or working directly with senior leaders,â Gruttadaro says. âAnxiety disorders involve more extreme, often crippling, and persistent levels of fear, apprehension, and worry.â
In fact, co-workers and managers might not realize a person they work with has an anxiety disorder. Gruttadaro says some red flags that might suggest a person has an anxiety disorder include:
- A drop in performance
- Excessive missed days of work
- Not appearing engaged in work
- Physical complaints, like sweating, upset stomach, and not sleeping well
- Poor job productivity
Debra Kissen, PhD, a clinical psychologist, says it can be helpful to take a look at how youâre feeling throughout the workday.
â in terms of how severe it is and how disabling,â Kissen says. âMaybe itâs showing up and youâre still operating pretty effectively or when youâre feeling that way, maybe youâre only 10% as effective as you would be otherwise.â
Other situations that might make you anxious include:
- Dealing with issues at work
- Giving presentations
- Speaking up during meetings
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Stigma Associated With Mental Health
While efforts have been put to reduce the stigma associated with receiving help for mental health problems, this still remains a challenge. For example, more than half of students who had SAD did not receive any help or treatment for their condition because of the stigma associated with mental health ,. This is not related to the awareness of the availability of mental health resources which was ruled out by authors, as most of the students who did not receive any help for their mental health problem were aware of available help and support to them .
Furthermore, the social stigma associated with receiving help for mental health problems was significantly associated with suicidal behaviour, acting as a preventive barrier to seek help . Among students, those with a history of mental health problem such as veterans with PTSD are less likely to seek for help compared to non-veteran students , making them more susceptible to struggling with untreated mental health.
Strategies Used For Search And Limitations
In this review, a robust and replicable search strategy was designed to identify appropriate articles by searching PubMed, MEDLINE via Ovid, and JSTOR electronic databases. These databases were selected because they encompass biopsychosocial papers published on SAD. The date chosen for this search was for articles published between 2000 to 2020 which covers the past two decades. Once key articles were identified, a search for citation of those papers was conducted, and the bibliography of those papers were further screened to identify potential articles which can be relevant.
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Make Stress Your Friend
Along similar lines, health psychologist and world-renowned speaker Kelly McGonigal makes the case for a positive rethinking of stress. In this talk, she explains, its not so much the stress itself that is harmful, as the way in which we think about it.
Instead of seeing stress as your enemy, you can make it work for you. Stress and anxiety are nothing but a sign that you care about something, and this care can be molded into something that wildly improves your performance instead of inhibiting it.
But isnt this just wishy-washy, think positive, smile-at-yourself-in-the-mirror-and-your-depression-will-go-away kind of pseudo-science?
Not really. McGonigal grounds her beliefs in pretty solid scientific evidence, ranging from observational studies to randomized trials, and her book The Upside of Stress, is studded with references to numerous studies which showed actual results.
One such study tested out a simple three-step process for dealing with stress and anxiety in the workplace, and yielded positive results. Here it is, as laid out by McGonigal:
The first step is to acknowledge stress when you experience it. Simply allow yourself to notice the stress, including how it affects your body.
The second step is to welcome the stress by recognizing that its a response to something you care about. Can you connect to the positive motivation behind the stress? What is at stake here, and why does it matter to you?
When Employees Feel Trapped
Feeling like you have hit a dead end can add to depression, said Lisa Bahar, LMFT, LPCC, a family therapist and clinical counselor, in Dana Point, Calif.
“When an individual is in a job that lacks growth and is fostering complacency, there is a a lack of worth,” she said. “They feel innately that their value is not as high as they would like. Yet there may be a fear to ask for more support since there is a sense that they are not valued by the organization. This can make individuals feel trapped.”
Because they need money , they stay in jobs that are crushing their spirits. “This creates a resentment which is the beginning of depressive symptoms that can actually mutate into aggressive and maladaptive behaviors at work,” said Bahar. “It creates a cycle in an individual of feeling guilty, angry, resentful and trapped.”
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When Should I Seek Help For Work Depression
If your feelings of depression dont seem to be going away, its important you seek help. Visiting your GP can be a good first step, while using Occupational Health support at your work can also be helpful. Remember, your condition is treatable.
Alternatively, you can get in touch with Priory for the very best in private treatment for depression. There are many different of avenues of support available, such as talking therapies including cognitive behavioural therapy and antidepressant medication if your depression is more severe. Call us on 0800 840 3219 or make an enquiry today and find out how our expert, established treatment for depression can help you to get your mental health back on track.
Talk To Your Boss Or Hr
Even though so many people say depression interferes with work performance, few disclose it to their employer. Its likely that people dont speak up and ask for help because there is still a stigma around it. Mental health discrimination at work unfortunately discourages open dialogue. People may be worried that they will be viewed as incapable of doing their job and could be let go as a result of asking for help. But depending upon the severity of your symptoms, you may want to make certain people at work aware of your situation.
If you need to take a mental health day here or there, you can use a sick day or paid time off without providing a detailed explanation about your reason.
However, if your condition is starting to interfere with your ability to do your job, consider speaking with your boss (who has more of an impact on your work responsibilities than HR. If your conversation with your boss does not yield any results, you can then turn to HR.
For example, if youre working on a particularly difficult project that is causing you to feel anxious or depressed, you might want to let your manager know you need help so that he/she can delegate some of the responsibilities to your co-workers.
You might say, I want to deliver excellent results, but Im feeling overwhelmed. It would be very helpful if I could work on this project with a few more people. Who on our team do you think could be a good fit?
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