How To Take Your Work Stress Under Control.

Take Your Work Stress Under Control

Did you recognize that you are being overworked and underpaid? Been there and overcame that! If you are like me, you know the importance of mental peace.

There is no point in stressing over anything that costs you your mental well-being. Work stress has suddenly become a part of our vocabulary.

The current scenario of the corporate world has made work stress synonymous with success, which is absolutely false! Gone are the days when people would make an honest living by working hard without any work-related stress bugging them. Work strain has become so common that it is now a topic for memes.

I was also on the verge of burnout amidst a busy work week when I realized I needed to take a break! The following sections will describe the ways through which I overcame my struggle with work pressure. How I can now enjoy my work without letting stress get to me.

What Is Stress At Work?

All of us want to perform well in our life. The child making a sand castle on the beach to the professor teaching a 40-student class. Each one of us strives for success.

It drives us to do better, and we use it as a motivation to become better-performing individuals. It is ludicrous how people are sailing toward burnout early in their careers.

 If you or someone you know is experiencing extreme stress from work or other occupational hazards, call 911 or contact experts at the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline.

I would define work stress as the uncomfortable or unfavorable conditions that cause mental distress, no matter the extent. Studies have shown a significant impact of work stress on professionals- from the healthcare sector to the corporate sector of IT workers.

Every single individual who has ever stayed put in place has faced some form of unhappiness related to their work.

Sources Of Work Stress

No matter if you choose something that you love as your profession, several factors can contribute to stress. Some of these include a poor work environment, inadequate resources to support smooth work, and ignored needs of the worker.

Other factors that can contribute to work stress include things experienced directly by the employees. The impact of poor management and lack of support from supervisors and colleagues were some of the factors that contributed to my work stress.

A few other familiar sources of work stress are:

  • Being underpaid and overworked
  • Unclear expectations/work demands
  • Few opportunities for advancement or growth
  • No control over job-related decisions

Contrary to popular belief, work stress does not disappear once we’ve shut our laptops. The pressure from work can slowly seep into our personal lives, affecting our physical health and personal relations and causing professional disagreements.

Impact Of Work Stress

The warning signs of stress are prominent; these are seen as headaches, sleep disturbance, short temper, change in temperament, high blood pressure, and other chronic conditions.

Usually, the stress starts with exhausting work that leaves us thinking about logging out for the day ASAP! Gradually it leads to a change in one’s attitude towards work as the stress starts bothering us.

The key to overcoming work stress was addressing it. Once I did that, I was no longer in denial of being stressed from doing something I manifested!

It was heartbreaking for me, given that I was in love with the environment, the support I received from my colleagues, and the amazing perks!

However, I noted that the stress factors I had been overlooking made me stand on the brink of burnout. In addition, when employers cannot recognize these work stress factors, they are bound to feel the repercussions of deteriorating job performance.

Another negative impact on the employee is relying on poor coping mechanisms such as eating junk food and consuming alcohol or other illicit substances.

The following list will provide you with the steps to overcome work strain to keep the stress minimal.

Ways To Keep Burnout At Bay!

1. Recognize the signs

You cannot know you are under stress unless you identify the signs. If, like me, you were holding yourself responsible for the pressure you felt, I can bet that’s not true.

The symptoms of stress that you may be mistaken for something else can worsen your situation and lengthen the recovery process.

The symptoms of stress from the workplace will differ for everyone. However, it is comparatively the same as follows:

  • Fatigue
  • Unwilling to go to work
  • Sleeplessness
  • Negative self-talk
  • Changes in appetite
  • Being frequently unwell

If you have been ignoring these signs, you may still be in denial about the work stress. It is okay to feel disinterested in the work you eagerly joined. You must understand that there are additional factors that gave rise to this.

2. Addressing the issue

“To reach somewhere, you have to start somewhere”- I may have loosely translated this quote for you, but I recently heard this in a movie.

This struck a chord with me. I related it to the steps I had taken when I finally realized I was stressed. So, I suggest you address what is wrong and follow the next step.

3. Are you worsening the situation?

This goes back to the first point of denial about the trauma you are going through. The possibility of experiencing work stress is as accurate as the sun rising from the east.

In the idea that you must ‘endure’ it a little more to build a better work personality, you will worsen the situation.

So, ask yourself the question:

Am I ignoring the signs of things not being right at work?

And be honest. Say whatever first comes to you because you do not have to endure it, despite others being mum about the situation. If it’s not right for you, it’s not right. Period.

4. Mindfulness is key

Overcoming work pressure is easy when you indulge in good practices for your mental health. Such methods include yoga, meditation, or just deep breathing.

The benefits of deep breathing are plenty! From calming you instantly to dissipating the frustration or anger, you may feel at that moment.

Similarly, studies have shown mindfulness is an excellent tool for managing work stress. When I adopted this practice during my brush with work stress, I found that it helped me cope with the adverse effects of stress.

The significant signs of stress for me were being mentally exhausted and sleepless. I found that I could reduce these adverse effects through guided meditation.

You can choose from the following list of mindfulness practices that will suit your schedule and be helpful-

  • Yoga
  • Diaphragmatic breathing
  • Walking meditation
  • Meditation
  • Journaling
  • Sensory exercises such as listening to music, cleaning, washing, or decluttering your space can be helpful.

5. Balance work and personal life

You must have heard that a work-life balance is essential as a professional. This is an important aspect of work life. When you do not respect your time, you are bound to let your work life slip into it.

This is disrespectful to you and your friends and family. I realized this when I would cancel plans with my friends for work. When it reached the point of repeatedly doing it- I stopped myself in my tracks as the realization hit me.

I was disrespecting my relations along with my time. It was not cool to do that to my friends or family, and it would have transformed me into something none of us want to become- a workaholic.

6. Develop healthy responses

As thinking and living beings with emotions, we are bound to make choices that do not serve us well. One of those is developing unhealthy coping mechanisms.

For some, it is eating junk food, not eating at all or very little, excessively smoking, and consuming alcohol and caffeine, among others.

These make you feel worse about the situation and can have long-term adverse effects. Thus, it is crucial to have a healthy coping mechanism while you work on eliminating your stress.

If you feel like eating when you are stressed, you can swap junk food with healthier alternatives. These can be fruits, dark chocolate, fruits in yogurt, or smoothies.

The possibilities are endless; while you practice mindfulness to work through your stress, it is also a healthy response.

As demonstrated above, you may combine it with the healthier alternative of whatever you feel is suitable.

7. Build boundaries

Boundaries in the workplace? Yes, they exist! The awareness of work stress has led people to develop healthy boundaries. When you see yourself feeling drained at work, it indicates that you do not have enough (read: no) limits set in place.

The importance of a boundary is recognized as good mental and emotional health and lowered chances of burnout. It is also recognized as professional development in the form of developed autonomy, identity, and influencing others’ behavior.

A few examples of healthy boundaries at work are:

  • Declining anything you do not want to do. Remember, you are also human, and a “no” implies a strict “no.” It could be due to the already pending work or the excess load that burdens you. The following boundary will help you decline extra work.
  • Expressing your feelings honestly and calmly so that you successfully send your point across.
  • Resolving issues directly with the person involved. Doing so will help you and the other party gain clarity instead of causing confusion and misinterpretation.
  • Defining your work hours. This one’s the most important. When you do not have strict boundaries about your work time, people without it will make you disrespect it.
  • Avoiding gossip and office politics helps reduce stress as well. No one has ever gotten to a better place by talking about someone else. Why invest your energy here when you could do so much more- read a book, for example?

8. Recharge yourself

This is the final step in the armor that you can build for shooting down work stress. Recharging yourself is as easy as putting your electronic device on charge.

Just like your device performs better after you’ve fully charged it, your mind, body, and soul recharge quite well after you’ve taken time off.

This could involve any activity that makes you feel rejuvenated- take a break from work, go to your favorite place, or sleep in. It is a versatile hack to reduce your work stress.

Even if you are looking for the answer to ‘how to destress after work,’ this point will help you answer that. Recharging yourself could include doing any activity you like, such as swimming, working out, mindfulness, painting, or crocheting.  


This was all on the steps to manage your work stress effectively to overcome its effects. Managing stress from work is an art that is relatively easy to learn. It helps get rid of any negative thoughts that may cloud your mind.

Leading toward burnout is a slippery slope. Thus, it is essential to ensure that you effectively handle work stress. Working does not have to involve stress- no mandated rule exists for this.

You may or may not experience stress depending on the sort of work you do. For example, if you are a nurse, you may experience occupational hazards from various sources, but they are all manageable.

I overcame work stress and avoided situations that may hamper my well-being.

Work Stress FAQ

What is work stress?

Work stress, also known as workplace stress or work-related stress, is the physical and emotional strain experienced as a result of job-related factors. It can negatively impact mental health, well-being, and productivity.

How can I manage work stress?

To manage work stress, there are several strategies you can try. First, identify your stressors and find ways to cope with them. Practice stress management techniques such as relaxation exercises, deep breathing, and mindfulness. Establishing a work-life balance and taking breaks to recharge is also essential.

What are the effects of work stress on mental health?

Work stress can lead to anxiety and depression, especially when experienced at high levels for a prolonged period. It can also contribute to burnout and negatively impact overall well-being and happiness.

How does work stress affect physical health?

Chronic work stress can have detrimental effects on physical health. It may increase heart rate, high blood pressure, and other cardiovascular problems. Excessive stress can weaken the immune system and make individuals more susceptible to illnesses.

What can employers do to reduce workplace stress?

Employers can play a crucial role in minimizing work stress by promoting a healthy work environment. They should strive to manage workloads effectively, provide wellness programs and resources, and encourage open communication and support for employees.

How can I balance my work and personal life to reduce stress?

To maintain a healthy work-life balance, setting boundaries and prioritizing self-care is vital. Allocate time for activities outside of work that bring you joy and relaxation. It’s essential to disconnect from work obligations and focus on personal well-being during personal time.

Can stress reduction techniques help improve productivity?

Absolutely! When you effectively manage work stress, it can positively impact productivity. Reducing stress levels can enhance focus, creativity, and problem-solving abilities, leading to improved work performance.

Are there any resources available to help with work stress?

Yes, several resources are available to help with work stress. Organizations like the American Psychological Association provide information, tips, and tools for stress management.

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