Sebagai pekerja, ‘stress’ memang tidak dapat dielakkan, sentiasa datang dan pergi, cuma yang membezakan antara seorang dengan seorang yg lain ialah tahap atau intensiti stress tersebut. Kalau ‘stress’ yang teruk tidak ditangani dengan sebaiknya, mungkin akan berlaku perkara-perkara yang tidak diingini apabila ‘stress’ dah di luar kawalan.
Untuk mengurus ‘stress’ yang sering berlaku di tempat kerja, mari kita baca dan seterusnya praktikkan tips yang diberi oleh pakar dalam artikel berikut:
Managing Job Stress
Job stress comes in different forms and affects your mind and body in different ways. Small things can make you feel stressed, such as a copy machine that never seems to work when you need it or phones that won’t quit ringing. Major stress comes from having too much or not enough work or doing work that doesn’t satisfy you. Conflicts with your boss, coworkers, or customers are other major causes of stress.
It’s normal to have some stress. Stress releases hormones that speed up your heart, make you breathe faster, and give you a burst of energy. Stress can be useful when you need to focus on or finish a big project. But too much stress or being under stress for too long isn’t good for you. Constant stress can make you more likely to get sick more often. It can also lead to long-term health problems such as heart disease, high blood pressure, back problems, and depression.
Look for these signs of job stress:
* Trouble sleeping
* Problems concentrating
* Short temper
* Upset stomach
* Job dissatisfaction and low morale
Health Tools help you make wise health decisions or take action to improve your health.
What Causes Job Stress?
Most of the time, it’s the major sources of stress that lead to job burnout and health problems. Job stress can affect your home life too. Here are some common sources of major job stress, with examples of each:
* Lack of control. Feeling as if you have no control over your work or job duties is the biggest cause of job stress. People who feel like they have no control at work are most likely to get stress-related illnesses. Here’s an example:
o Shelly is responsible for putting together a report that her boss must deliver at a 4 p.m. meeting. She’s been waiting all day for the notes and numbers she needs. Shelly finally gets the notes from her boss at 3:15 and rushes to prepare the report and charts and to make copies in time. She gets it done, but she feels mad and resentful. This is the third time this week that this has happened.
* Increased responsibility. Taking on extra duties in your job is stressful. You can get more stressed if you have too much work to do and you can’t say no to new tasks.
o John volunteers for every new project, because he heard that’s the best way to get promoted. But the tasks are starting to pile up, and he’s feeling overwhelmed. He knows he can’t really manage one more thing. But this morning, John’s boss asked him to take on another project, and John agreed. Now he’s more worried than ever about getting everything done.
* Job satisfaction and performance. Do you take pride in your job? If your job isn’t meaningful, you may find it stressful. Are you worried about doing well at work? Feeling insecure about job performance is a major source of stress for many people.
o Raoul has worked in his new job for 8 months. He thinks he is doing well. But his boss doesn’t say much, so Raoul isn’t sure. He wonders if he’s on the right track, but he’s afraid to ask.
* Uncertainty about work roles. Being unsure about your duties, how your job might be changing, or the goals of your department or company can lead to stress. If you report to more than one boss, juggling the demands of different managers can also be stressful.
o Rosa’s old manager was promoted. Now Rosa is working for someone new. She’s heard that the new boss plans to “shake things up” in her department. The new boss just hired Emily, whose job seems to be the same as Rosa’s. Rosa worries about what this means for her.
* Poor communication. Tension on the job often comes from poor communication. Being unable to talk about your needs, concerns, and frustrations can create stress.
o A new job with more responsibility and better pay just opened up in Jill’s department. Jill knows she can do this job. And she’s been with the company longer than anyone else on her team. She waits for her manager to ask if she is interested. But after several weeks, a coworker is promoted to the new job. Jill feels hurt and angry, but she doesn’t say anything.
* Lack of support. Lack of support from your boss or coworkers makes it harder to solve other problems at work that are causing stress for you.
o Jeff works in a busy office answering customer complaint calls all day. It would be easier to handle all the calls if he could at least trade tips with his coworkers. But everyone else is busy too. His coworkers never make it out of their cubicles during the day, even to let off a little steam.
* Poor working conditions. Unpleasant or dangerous physical conditions, such as crowding, noise, or ergonomic problems, can cause stress.
o Sonya is exposed to constant noise at work. She wears earplugs, but at the end of her shift her ears are ringing. She often comes home with a headache.
What to Do About Job Stress?
You can reduce some job stress by learning how to manage your time and your job duties. Think about the kinds of events that trigger stress for you at work. Then you can focus on one or two things you can do that will help the most to reduce stress. Here are some ideas:
You and your boss
* Meet with your manager at least once a year (every 3 or 6 months is even better) to talk about your job and your performance. If a performance review is already part of your job, treat it as a chance to clear up issues that may be causing stress for you. Here are some questions to ask:
o What is expected of me in this job?
o Where is this company going? How do I fit into that plan?
o How am I doing? What are my strengths? How can I improve?
o What can I expect from you if there’s a problem with my work or my job?
o If I continue to do well, how and when can I expect to be rewarded?
Stress management: Reducing stress by being assertive.
Poor communication is one of the biggest causes of stress at work and home. Being unable to talk about your needs, concerns, and frustrations can create stress. Being assertive helps you communicate without causing stress to yourself and others. Assertiveness is a skill that you can learn and put into practice.
* Assertive communication means speaking up for yourself in a thoughtful, tactful way. Being assertive helps you express yourself about things that matter to you. This reduces stress by helping you feel more in control of a situation.
* You can use the assertiveness ladder to practice assertive communication. Each letter in the word “LADDER” stands for a step in the process. The ladder helps you define a problem, describe it to others, and express your feelings.
* Write out your plan to be more assertive, and get comfortable with it. Practice it out loud so you can hear what your assertive statements sound like.
* To be more assertive, you focus on what you say and how you say it. Using the right body language helps you communicate more assertively.
You and your job
* Get organized. Keep track of your projects and deadlines by making a list of what’s urgent. Decide what matters most and what can wait.
* Don’t put things off. Use a schedule planner to plan your day or week. Just seeing on paper that there is time to get each task done can help you get to work. Break a large project into small steps, and set a deadline for each one.
* Learn to say “no. ” Don’t overcommit yourself. If you take on too much, you’re creating stress.
* Focus. Do one thing at a time. In some cases, you can do two things at a time. But if you start to feel stressed, go back to doing one thing at a time.
* Concentrate. Try to limit distractions and interruptions. Ask others to give you a block of time when you are not disturbed.
* Delegate. Ask someone else to take on a task. It’s not always important to have all the control.
Stress management: Managing your time.
Time management is a way to find the time for all the things you want and need to do. It helps you decide which things are urgent and which can wait. Learning how to manage your time, activities, and commitments can be hard. But doing so can make your life easier, less stressful, and more meaningful.
* When you manage your time, you decide which tasks and activities are most important to you. Knowing what’s important helps you decide how best to spend your time.
* There are three parts to time management: prioritize tasks and activities, control procrastination, and manage commitments.
Take care of yourself
* Make time for you. Leave your job at the office, even if your office is a room in your home. Leave your cell phone at work if you can, or decide not to answer it during times you’ve set aside for you and your family. Don’t check work e-mail at home.
* Stay positive. Remember that everyone has good days and bad days at work. For more information on positive thinking, see the topic Positive Thinking With Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy.
* Reward yourself. When you finish a difficult task, celebrate. Enjoy a snack at your desk, or—if your job permits—take a short walk or visit with a coworker.
* Schedule time for fun. If you spend every second of your day getting things done, you may resent never having time for yourself. If your employer offers a flexible work schedule, use it in a way that fits your work style. Go into work earlier and take a longer break at lunch to make time for a yoga class or a walk.
* Practice breathing and relaxation techniques. You can do these at home or in a quiet place at work.
Stress management: Breathing exercises for relaxation.
Have you ever noticed how you breathe when you feel relaxed? The next time you are relaxed, take a moment to notice how your body feels. Or think about how you breathe when you first wake up in the morning or just before you fall asleep. Breathing exercises can help you relax, because they make your body feel like it does when you are already relaxed.
Deep breathing is one of the best ways to lower stress in the body. This is because when you breathe deeply it sends a message to your brain to calm down and relax. The brain then sends this message to your body. Those things that happen when you are stressed, such as increased heart rate, fast breathing, and high blood pressure, all decrease as you breathe deeply to relax.1
* The way you breathe affects your whole body. Breathing exercises are a good way to relax, reduce tension, and relieve stress.
* Breathing exercises are easy to learn. You can do them whenever you want, and you don’t need any special tools or equipment to do them.
* You can do different exercises to see which work best for you.
Stress management: Doing guided imagery to relax.
Have you ever been in the middle of a stressful situation and wished you could be somewhere else—like lying on a tropical beach? Guided imagery helps you use your imagination to take you to a calm, peaceful place.
* Because of the way the mind and body are connected, guided imagery can make you feel like you are experiencing something just by imagining it.
* You can do guided imagery with audio recordings, an instructor, or a script (a set of written instructions) to lead you through the process.
* You use all of your senses in guided imagery. For example, if you want a tropical setting, you can imagine the warm breeze on your skin, the bright blue of the water, the sound of the surf, the sweet scent of tropical flowers, and the taste of coconut so that you actually feel like you are there.
* Imagining yourself in a calm, peaceful setting can help you relax and relieve stress.
Stress management: Doing progressive muscle relaxation.
Have you ever had an aching back or pain in your neck when you were anxious or stressed? When you have anxiety or stress in your life, one of the ways your body responds is with muscle tension. Progressive muscle relaxation is a method that helps relieve that tension.
* In progressive muscle relaxation, you tense a group of muscles as you breathe in, and you relax them as you breathe out. You work on your muscle groups in a certain order.
* When you first start, it may help to use an audio recording until you learn all the muscle groups in order. Check your local library or a bookstore for progressive muscle relaxation audio recordings.
* If you have trouble falling asleep, this method may also help with your sleep problems.
Setting a Goal to Reduce Job Stress
First, identify what’s creating stress at work. Maybe it’s lack of control over your job. Or maybe it’s worry about losing your job or how you are doing at work. You might feel stress because you’re unable to express your thoughts and ideas to your boss and coworkers.
Think about why you want to reduce stress at work. You might want to protect your heart and your health by reducing stress. Or maybe you simply want to enjoy your life more and not let work stress control how you feel. Your reason for wanting to change is important. If your reason comes from you—and not someone else—it will be easier for you to make a healthy change for good.
Next, set a goal for yourself that involves reducing your stress level. Think about both a long-term and a short-term goal.
Here are a few examples:
* Shelly’s long-term goal is to reduce stress by managing her frustration over things she can’t control at work. Her short-term goal is to learn to do deep breathing and relaxation exercises when she gets stressed. She’ll try it the next time her boss hands her a last-minute project.
* Jill’s long-term goal is to reduce stress by speaking up at work and expressing her interests and ideas more effectively. Her short-term goal is to practice being more assertive. When she’s ready, she’ll contribute an idea at a department meeting.
* Raoul’s long-term goal is to reduce stress by having a better understanding of what’s expected of him at work. His short-term goal is to find out how he is doing now. He plans to schedule a meeting with his boss to talk about his performance and how he can improve.
* John’s long-term goal is to reduce stress by learning to say “no” to projects he doesn’t have time to handle. His short-term goal is to get organized and prioritize the projects he has now. He is going to make a list of all of his work and then prioritize the tasks that are most important.
After setting your goals, think about what might get in your way. Use a personal action plan to write down your goals, the possible barriers, and your ideas for getting past them. By thinking about these barriers now, you can plan ahead for how to deal with them if they happen.
Most important, make sure you get support from friends and family in your efforts to reduce job stress. If your company has an employee assistance program, you might use it to talk with a counselor. A counselor can help you set goals and provide support in dealing with setbacks.
Know When to Quit
If you are truly miserable because of a stressful job, it may be time to think about changing jobs. Make sure you know whether it is you or the job that’s the problem.
Before you quit, spend time thinking about other job options. Not having a job will probably also lead to stress. Getting another job before you quit is best, but sometimes that isn’t possible. Decide what is less stressful for you—unemployment or being miserable in your current job. It might help to talk with a counselor about your choices.Advertisements