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Dealing with Stressful Work Environments

by admin on May 10, 2012

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dealing with stressful work environments, stress at work“There cannot be a stressful crisis next week. My schedule is already full”-Henry Kissinger

Do you dread getting out of bed every day to go to work because your work environment is too stressful?  Many people find that it's not so much their job that causes them stress, but the people and the environment.  You may find that the people you work with are intolerable or that the setup of your work place is simply not conducive to getting things done efficiently. 

Dealing with stressful work environments is something many of us have to face every day, but you don't have to let it get you down.  Instead, by learning how to deal with your stress at work you'll be able to boost your energy and reduce frustration.

How to Deal with Stressful Work Environments

1. Create a space conducive to concentration. If your office is open-concept, you may find the hustle and bustle around you to be distracting.  If this is the case, try setting up your work space so that everything you need is right in front of you so you don't have to continually get up to grab stuff.  Also, try putting up a privacy screen (if possible), or rearrange your furniture or computer screen to create a barrier of sorts between you and the rest of the office.

2. Use positive imagery when you feel stress coming on.  Focus on a happy or peaceful moment in your past, or keep a picture on your desktop that will help to put you at ease.  Find a great screen saver to relax to for a minute or two during the day. Many people find that they can control stress by allowing themselves to go to a peaceful place for just a couple of moments.

3. Create a daily to-do list.  Many times when we are stressed out, it's because we are trying to juggle too many things without saying no from time to time. This causes our stress levels to rise quickly and uncontrollably.  When you create a to-do list, it won't matter how hectic the office gets or how many people are slacking off; you'll have a list in front of you that'll remind you what needs to get done for that day.  You'll feel more in control when you organize your day and you'll be able to find some peace in the chaos surrounding you. Have your to-do list ready for the next day if possible.

4. Learn how to meditate.  Meditation is a form of deep concentration that can help you restore peace and balance in your life.  You can make meditation part of your everyday life so when stress levels are rising, you can regain your composure nearly effortlessly.  As you practice your meditation techniques, you'll be able to do it without anyone even noticing, and you'll bring a calmer and more focused energy to the office.

5. Move around within the company or find a better fit elsewhere.  Many people simply cannot overcome the stressful environment in which they work.  Besides, no one should work in a situation where they always feel on edge. If you have a job that is too demanding or rarely allows for you to tend to your personal life, then it may be time to find a better fit.  Getting a new job can be stressful in itself, but when you find something that is right for you, you'll notice the old way of stressful living will melt away and you'll be left with a happier, healthier, and more peaceful life.

Workplace stress is at an all-time high, but in many cases, you'll be able to overcome this stress using the workplace stress tips mentioned above. If the work environment becomes too stressful and toxic to deal with, you'll want to take action.  After all, you must put yourself first if prolonged and unmanaged stress becomes destructive to your body and mind.

For over 25 years in the health care profession, Lisa Birnesser has studied stress relief techniques and have helped hundreds of people reduce stress in their lives. Lisa specializes in stress management coaching by helping people do what matters most every day.


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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Elaine Shannon May 10, 2012 at 2:11 pm

Great tips for coping with work related stress…I retired myself from my stressful environment in 1998 and have never looked back. So blessed that I did it even though the money was great, the toll on my health was not!   

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Anita May 10, 2012 at 5:56 pm

Meditation is my best defense for stress. Its like this week, I have missed a few times and I can feel it for sure!

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Olga Hermans May 10, 2012 at 6:24 pm

Great tips LIsa, I like to add another way to help is stress is to simply get enough sleep. We need to recognize that God designed our bodies to need sleep. We need this "down time" every night to restore, remove, and replace worn-out and dead cells in the body. We also need adequate sleep to give the brain an opportunity to "sort out" the information of the day in ways that are intricately designed by our Creator. We need a sufficient break from sensory input in order to categorize and store information for use as "memories" that guide future behavior. Thanks for yours!!!

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Jamie May 11, 2012 at 7:27 pm

Again, great information!  I stressed out way too much at my own job.  I soon learned it just wasn't the place for me anymore.  I'm a much happier person now a days =)

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Jennifer May 14, 2012 at 4:19 am

All great tips Lisa.  I find meditation particularly helpful when I'm stressed.  I agree with you that a lot of people seem to have increasingly stressful environments at work these days.  One of the many reasons I'm happy to work at home and be the boss, so I can choose who I work with  . . .

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Lisa Birnesser May 14, 2012 at 11:10 am

I so agree, Jennifer. I think about how I spent years in a stressful work environment. Working for yourself is a different kind of stress but they are issues you can take charge and deal with.

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elizabeth Maness May 22, 2012 at 4:12 pm

I have to fix up my work space.. I moved into a new office and haven't gotten it all arranged. What a wreck!

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Lisa Birnesser May 22, 2012 at 5:51 pm

You have a new work space? Cool! It will definitely feel better once you next into her space.

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