It is safe to say that workplace stress is at a high level for many employees right now. Salaries, stability, bonuses, and work-life balance are down in many fields due to a tight economy. There are often extra demands on employees who are already stretched thin. So how can these employees even begin managing stress?
According to a recent Wall Street Journal article by Ruth Mantell, job performance and managing stress under difficult circumstances are all in the attitude you bring to the office each day. In the article, several different business psychologists and human resources experts weighed in with four important tips for managing stress in the workplace.
Managing Stress Means Managing Attitude
1. Help Others
Paul Baard explains that we as humans all have a “need for competence.” Even if we feel as though we are barely treading water, we can improve our attitude, and hence our performance, by gaining satisfaction from helping others. “Rather than burdening a team with distracting self-doubt and pity, try to help others,” Baard suggests.
2. Work for a Purpose
It can be hard to stay motivated day in and day out if your work seems trivial or unimportant – or even just never-ending! Some of the most motivated employees – and those that are best at managing stress – are those who can “find meaning” in what they do each day, according to John Weaver. Just the attitude that your work is important in some way can transform your stress level drastically, because it makes all of your hard work seem much more worthwhile.
3. “Reduce Your Expectations”
According to the Wall Street Journal article, one of the best ways to feel disappointed and stressed out is to have unrealistic expectations of yourself, your coworkers, or even your job itself. Many experts agree. In reality, most people don’t have jobs that fulfill every need of theirs or inspire every talent and interest each individual possesses. Most jobs don’t have the perfect excitement-relaxation balance or work-life balance. Most people’s social lives are not completely centered around a perfect group of friends in an ideal office setting. If you keep your expectations at a more realistic level, you are more likely to remain upbeat and adept at managing stress.
4. Reframe Your Problems
If you see obstacles in the workplace as insurmountable problems rather than exciting challenges, then you are more likely to grow frustrated and burned out than someone who has the latter attitude. It certainly helps if you eat right, exercise, and find balance in your life. But overall it is your attitude that ultimately determines how successful you are at managing stress.