UNITED STATES─Stress is something that we all encounter. Rather its personal, social or work related it is a part of life. Can you get rid of stress? To some degree it is indeed possible. I mean if you have a job that you absolutely hate and it drives you bonkers, you can always quit, that eliminates that stress. When it comes to social circles you distance yourself from those individuals that cause stress, and when it comes to family, that might be the toughest because you can’t just quit family. You can cut them off, but they always come back.
However, the focus of this column is about dealing with work stress. For so many Americans, we can’t just quit that job that we loathe, despise or worst of all, we hate. We cannot keep running from what is sitting in front of our eyes, we all have stress at work. A lot of the time that stress comes from dealing with a co-worker who just annoys you to the core, a boss that complains relentlessly about every single thing possible, sometimes the stupidest things that get under your skin, the list goes on and on and on.
When it comes to work, I think the best advice someone has given me is that you don’t have to deal with the job 24/7. You have to be able to quit work as I call it. You might say what does that mean? When you are frustrated take a moment to yourself. Take 2-3 minutes, collect your thoughts breath and just tell yourself that everything will be ok. That works for some people, it doesn’t work for all, but that is one tip that can help with coping with those stressors that at times seem never-ending.
On top of that, you can place yourself in a position where you cut down your workload. This is something I’ve learned from a lot of people in my life, especially those in management. The level of stress one deals with in regards to that position is sometimes not worth it. You sometimes weigh the options, and yes you see a slight increase in pay, but when you factor in the level of stress, you realize, you can do without it.
That is the thing so many employers think: if I throw a bit of money your way, you’ll automatically eat it up with no hesitation. Not everyone is driven by money. We have to be driven by the money because we live in a world driven by capitalism; you have to have money to survive. Some people are willing to go beyond the typical work schedule to ensure they earn as much money as possible, others not so much.
I do believe those who work from home deal with more stress than most Americans because some bosses don’t understand the separation between work and home. Yes, you might work from home, but that does not mean I’m on call 24/7. If I have a scheduled shift, and I’m working during that shift, why are you not contacting me when I’m on the clock? Yeah, that is baffling. Don’t contact me after my shift has ended wanting to know answers to a ton of questions that could have been answered if I was contacted while on the clock.
For those working from home to eliminate stress, you just have to disconnect from work when your work shift has ended. Close the laptop, leave your desk, turn off your cell, have a total detox of work so you’re not dealing with the pressure of being tempted to work or having that anxiety or stress that someone might contact you while you’re not working.
Perhaps the best way to combat stress is to do something that takes your mind off of the stressor. Now that is easier said than done, but find something that allows you to relax the mind. What is that thing? That is something you have to determine, but you will know what it is once your mind goes off to a place where those worries or stressors that were on your mind disappear.
Stress is bad for our health because it leads to issues with the body, not just the mind. You become lazy, you become so overwhelmed that it starts to impact your blood pressure, heart rate and before you know it you’re on the verge of a stroke or heart attack. You start to travel down this rabbit hole of bad behaviors and choices that make it difficult for you to bounce back from.
If the stress at work has reached a point where you feel there is no escape, you have to consider your options: is this something I’m willing to die for? If not you have your answer in terms of what to do about that job that is taking over your life. Stress is a big killer of most Americans, we all have stress, but there are some stressors that we don’t have to have in our lives.