Are you battling with stress?
At times it is good to be a ‘little’ stressed at work. It helps you to push your boundaries, motivate yourself and bring out the best in you. But on the other hand, if you are always stressed then it is surely a danger sign for your health and professional life as well.
Here are some subtle signs, which indicate that you are dealing with high stress level at your job, and what you can do to tackle such situation.
1. You Avoid Taking Lunch Breaks or Coffee Breaks. Even a Bathroom Break is a Luxury
As a human being, you need decent food, sleep, exercise, and social time. If you think twice before taking a lunch or coffee break,there is a high probability that you so pressured at work that even your most basic needs have fallen to the wayside, you are overstressed.
In fact, a loo break is a luxury for you just because you are constantly thinking about work and deadlines. You prefer to sit in front of your computer screen for hours and munch snacks rather than going for a lunch in that cafeteria or heading out for a walk.
2 . You’re Trying Too Hard to be Good
“Great is often the enemy of the good” as Hobfoll says. We all want to kill it at work and show them that we are the best, but having the ambition to ace All The Things piles on pressure. Instead, says Hobfoll says, strive for mastering one or two focused goals at a time and there's no rush to achieve world domination that is you need to put great efforts to achieve something but you don't have to run behind the world conquest.
3. You’re Having Trouble Sleeping Well
“If you find yourself thinking about work all the time, worrying or ruminating over things and always feel tired, work stress may be to blame for it or it could be a sign of anxiety or depression. Due to this even your sleep cycle is gets affected.
After a long day, sleep should come easily and getting into bed should finally be a time when you can shut your brain off and think nothing but sleep pleasantly. If you either find it difficult to fall asleep, or you feel like sleeping more, it is very much possible that you have stress-related fatigue.
4. You Cease to Remember
What’s the name of that girl from Finance department? Did you forget to submit the finance report that was just in your hands? Do you constantly struggle to recall the name of the colleague from the accounts department? Oh, where are the car’s keys?.
It is difficult to remember things when your brain is overstressed . You are becoming forgetful and to focus on anything or anyone is becoming a Herculean task. Research shows cortisol can mess with memory and even cause premature brain aging.
5. Negativity Creeps In
You are gradually becoming a pessimistic person than you used to be, and negative self-talk seems to be taking over. You feel a little like you’ve lost your “old self”, who used to see things more positively.
6. Decisions are Difficult to Make
You doubt your capabilities and find it harder and difficult to make decisions. You are low on motivation and feel like running away from your responsibilities and delaying your work more than usual because you just can’t make a choice. You are slowly realising that you never felt this sink before.
7. Self-Care has Taken a Back Seat
You no longer feel like dressing up for office and taking care of your health. You have developed self-harming habits like biting your nails, drinking/smoking (or feeling the urge), eating junk food all the time, or not eating anything.
8. Happiness Is Elusive
You can’t even remember the last time you were happy or maybe you will laugh and then realize that it feels a little strange because it’s been so long since you had a good giggle. Either way, life has become a series of obligations to meet, rather than something to enjoy and be happy about.
How to Take Charge Of Your Stress
Whether the stress is because of excessive work pressure, office politics, unrealistic work expectations, frequent deadlines or a personal problem, try to find the reason behind your stress. Try talking to your manager and figure out a practical solution fo it. Meanwhile, start practising deep breathing whenever you feel restless and do not skip taking short breaks in between. In fact, research shows that going for a walk, listening to music and taking breaks helps to reduce the production of the hormone cortisol (that makes you feel anxious) and in turn, improves your productivity.
Speak Up at Work If Needed
If you ever feel you that you are overburdened with work, don't be afraid to raise your voice and tell your opinion what you feel is justified. For all the obvious reasons, maintain a healthy lifestyle and cultivate a positive attitude towards everything in life. Understand that nobody can wave a magic wand and simply solve all your problems. You are the only one who can help yourself and nobody else can.
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