When we look for office stress relief, we have to look at two different types of stress and ways to reduce it. Work performance stress comes from a feeling of not being good enough for a job. We doubt our competence and second guess ourselves all the time. Work related stress on the other hand is the most common type of office stress affecting more than 80 percent of the U.S. workforce. This kind of stress is related to our work environment, the amount of work we have to do and our co-workers.
With work performance stress, you worry about whether or not you will be successful at doing your job correctly. This is very common especially among people who have jobs with high responsibility, like Vice Presidents for example. There are several other work industries where performance stress is common and actually expected. These are jobs where the job description includes a high level of responsibility for other people’s lives and overall well-being. Police officers, fire fighters and EMTs are good examples.
Work related stress comes more from the work environment. Things like the commute, work hours, work space, and flexibility allowed in getting your job done are all factors. If you do a job with a quota, like sales, you will feel work related stress. Another major factor is your co-workers. In job environments where teamwork is necessary, the quality of work done by your co-workers is very important. In this case, the stress arises not only from whether or not your team members keep up their end, but also from the fear that your work skills could affect the team’s efforts.
Both types of office stress can be caused by the following situations:
- Insecurities and low self-esteem
- Pessimistic self talk
- A negative work history
- Strict and authoritative bosses
- The idea that you could be fired (downsizing, budget cuts, etc.)
Here are a few things that you can do get some office stress relief.
Eliminate negative self-criticism: Instead of telling yourself you won’t do things right, think positively. Plan for success, not failure. Control the negative self talk that just holds you back.
Set achievable goals: You’ll feel better fulfilling a reasonable goal than failing at a tough challenge. At the end of the day, make a list of all the things you accomplished, not just the things you didn’t get to.
Spruce up your work area: Put out some personal items that make you smile and be sure to keep the clutter to a minimum.
Seek success and satisfaction outside of work: Remind yourself every day that your work does not define you. Taking the time to unwind and relax each day makes it easier to face the endless stressors that exist at the office.
Office stress relief can be achieved if you think about where it’s coming from and really look at its validity. Are you really not doing a good job or are you just being too hard on yourself? Is your co-worker really disrespecting you or are they dealing with personal problems you don’t know about? Are you forgetting to eat and take time to rest? Think it through.