It probably comes as no surprise that workplace stress is on the increase, costing the economy billions of dollars a year, not to mention the subsequent social impact of people being sick, tired and overwhelmed. Unfortunately too many of us accept stress as a normal part of our lives and as a result do very little to reduce or eliminate it. If that sounds like you it’s time to start putting a few simple actions in place before you become a startling statistic too…
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 1 in 3 adults suffer from moderate to extreme stress, and stress-related workers compensation claims have increased by 400% in the last 10 years. The total cost of Australian workplace stress is now estimated to be over $1.2 billion a year and the American Institute of Stress estimates that stress costs U.S. corporations $300 billion annually in health care costs, turnover and absenteeism.
The word stress is banded around a lot, but regardless of whether you’re just having an ‘off day’ versus feeling extremely stressed all of the time, it’s important to take the Big S seriously and have a plan of attack to look after yourself. Here are 3 simple steps to get you started: –
1. Stop Generalising
There’s a tendency to generalise about stress which can be very unresourceful because it stops you pinpointing the specific cause of the stress you’re experiencing.
Without nailing down specifically what’s stressing you out it’s very difficult to deal with the issue and as a result stress can rear it’s ugly head time and time again. It’s therefore important to spend some time figuring out WHY you’re stressed and get to the root cause of the problem so that you can begin to deal with it rather than putting a range of emotions and issues into one big bucket and giving them a very general label.
2. Divide and Conquer
Once you’ve established why you’re feeling stressed, divide the reasons up into two categories: 1) the one’s you can control and 2) the one’s you can’t.
The easy place to start is to knock over the stresses you CAN control first. Research shows that job-related stress is at it’s worst when people have high demands and little control over what’s going on around them so it’s important to combat the stress you can control first to build momentum and satisfaction – this will help increase your resilience to combat the stress you can’t control.
When it comes to the things you can’t control it’s important to take a step back for a moment and look at whether the stress you’re experiencing really is as bad as you think it is. Often things can seem worse than they really are when we’re stressed, so be brutally honest with yourself. If the source of your stress is steadfast then try changing how you experience it. So for example, if commuting to and from work stresses you out think about how you can change that experience- perhaps you can take another route, use your time more wisely by listening to audio books or studying on the train etc.
3. Be Efficient
Where possible eliminate as many of life’s little inefficiencies as you can. The aggravation caused by ‘annoying little things’ that tend to build up over time can lead to unnecessary stress. Think about what irritates you on a day-to-day basis and then set about changing those things so that you can be more efficient, which in turn will lead to increased effectiveness and less stress – a fantastic combination!
Written by Faye Hollands – Director at Outshine Consulting
Faye is an accomplished Career Coach, Small Business Coach and Productivity Specialist who has successfully coached countless clients on how to create a career they love, get more done in less time, and achieve personal and professional success.
You can contact Faye on +61 2 8323 4335 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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