Take the Workplace Stress Quiz and Find Out!
It’s easy to blame stress on work. However, many do nothing to combat the symptoms or the cause of the stress. It’s important to identify the stressful issues that keep you from going forward to enjoy your once sought-after job. Enjoyment of life becomes limited and you may not see a way out.
Take the Stress at Work Quiz below and read on to uncover steps to abate stress in the workplace.
Keep Track of the Number of Yeses.
– Are you overworked?
– Do you feel you are underpaid?
– Are you worried about losing your job?
– Do you dislike your job, or feel bored, dissatisfied?
– Is there little chance for advancement in your workplace?
– Are you left out of major discussions at work?
– Is a colleague (or superior) hounding or blaming you?
– Do you have little control over your work?
– Did you have little job training and muddle along?
– Are you stuck with old technology and unsatisfactory work conditions?
– Do you feel alienated from other staff members?
– Are you commuting long distances to work?
– Do you hate going to work each morning?
If you answered YES to 8 or more of these 13 questions, it’s time to take action. According to Best Advice on Stress Risk Management in the Workplace by Martin Shain, S.J.D. in close consultation with Health Canada, excessive stress can lead to accidents, injuries, and conflict amongst colleagues. Actually, even one of these issues can loom so high in your mind and escalate to distress – with resulting illness and grief.
The Stress-Illness Connection
According to “PNI” or “psychoneuroimmunology” which is the process that links stress and illness, stress from external factors or our own thinking processes leads to strain and causes changes in brain chemistry. This process ultimately endangers the immune system’s ability to defend the body against bacterial and viral attacks leading to a greater vulnerability to infections and other diseases.
Stress-Relief Coping Skills for Individuals
1) Take responsibility for improving your physical and emotional well-being. If you’re feeling anxious, irritable, depressed with a loss of interest in work, it may be time to act. Physical symptoms can include tense muscles, fatigue, problem sleeping, overuse of alcohol or drugs. Get a physical check-up to rule out physical problems. Examine techniques such as deep breathing, mindfulness or simply slow down to bring calmness to your days.
2) Pay attention to your diet and reduce intake of fast foods. Include a few vegetables and two or three pieces of fruit each day to boost your antioxidant levels and help you to detoxify each cell; also, your memory will improve!. Addition of protein foods at each meal such as dairy, fish, chicken or eggs, will perk up neurotransmitters in your brain aiding in concentration and vigor. Add a high quality multi-vitamin/mineral supplement each day for a full range of nutrients for better moods and physical well-being. Take a high quality Omega-3 fish oil supplement to enhance heart and brain health. Remember to drink pure water during the day.
3) Use exercise as a potent stress reliever. Research shows that physical activity can also boost self-esteem, mood, sleep quality and energy, as well as reducing your risk of stress, depression, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Physical activity is one of the most cost-effective remedies that exists! If you’re not an avid fan of exercise, even a short, 15 minute walk can clear your mind and create a new perspective.
4) Don’t isolate yourself. Reach out to someone for support – a friend, a family member, a psychologist, religious leader or your Human Resources professional at work. Those individuals may be able to assist to resolve some of the problems or at least guide you towards positive solutions. Relax over lunch with colleagues; make time to reconnect with friends.
5) Avoid Over-Commitment. Are you doing too much at work, at home and for your community? Prioritize your commitments. If you have a superman/superwoman mentality, it’s time to either delegate certain tasks, or ask for some assistance. You may choose to give notice to drop tasks such as a volunteer job. You can always recommit as you see fit. At work, reorganize for better efficiency or clarify deadline times to make sure the actual deadline date is true.
What Can Employers Do?
While, it’s essential for employers to know (or ought to know) that excessive and unnecessary stress on employees places them in harm’s way, often they may not realize the various options available to enhance mental and physical health and at the same time reduce costs.
The document, Best Advice on Stress Risk Management in the Workplace by Martin Shain goes on to report that employers have a duty to be fair. They can aim for a healthy workplace through valuing their employees, giving them control over their work along with accompanying rewards and incentives. It’s also prudent to make available wellness initiates to educate and empower people to take charge of their own health.
Further Suggestions for Managers Include:
- Listen to others at work (in person, not always through e-mails).
- Redistribute workloads wisely, not overloading one person.
- Verify a good fit between an employee and his/her job.
- Don’t isolate certain employees; invite them to meetings, give information.
- Notice your own levels of stress and watch for them in your people.
- Encourage staff to take adequate breaks and look after themselves
Enjoyable, morale boosting activities can also benefit employees as they feel a sense of belonging and that their employer cares about them. Establish a Wellness Committee among staff. Some fun, team building strategies might include; wellness programs – stress-relief, weight loss, menopause, male health issues, time management or healthy nutrition seminars. Make certain that cafeteria selections are congruent with healthy eating seminars given.
Inaugurate an annual Wellness Fair with booths from the Lung Association, Cancer Society, Arthritis Society, and International Schizophrenia Foundation – a mental health foundation; it need not be an expensive initiative. Unearth local businesses for give-away bags. Celebrate birthdays, post baby pictures. Hold a contest for those who can guess the most number of people who match the picture posted.
Challenging times can culminate in cooperation – joining together, listening, talking and brainstorming for solutions.
You Have the Power To Take Back Control!
I invite HR Professionals, hospital and association staff members, and business professionals to join my free recorded webinar From Frazzled to Fantastic! Energize with Stress-Relief Coping Skills.
In this hour-long session you will discover ways to:
- Make room for sparkling energy.
- Feel your shoulders drop while you breathe away tension.
- Apply Over Committing Tips.
- Offload overwhelm feelings.
- Discover how to put a smile on your face every day at work, play and home.
- Tell yourself the truth to create awareness of where you really are now.
Increase Staff Morale and Cooperation
- No travel time, just login at work or at home at a set time.
- Informative, fun seminar to help you feel human again!
- Packed full of enlightening and valuable strategies.
- Discover how to reflect upon the pace and quality of your inner and outer world.
It was a big success! The most valuable parts of the program were: seeing the effects of simply taking a few deep breaths; the realization of just how stressed we all are; how to recognize the effects of stress; relaxation techniques; developing the ability to put problems/setbacks in their proper perspective.
-Caterpillar Financial Services
If you or your staff have been thinking about how to “de-stress and decompress”, now’s the time to act!
To Register for this Free Webinar, with Stress-Relief and Nutrition Coach Rosalie Moscoe, and to receive her bi-weekly, free blog articles on stress and nutritional solutions…
(Please note: you’ll need to register as a free member of HR.com in order to attend the webcast.)