Do you know that 7 in 10 Indians experience stress at work on a weekly basis? Do you know that the stress levels among the Indian workforce are significantly higher than the Asia-Pacific average of 60 percent? (according to data from a survey by ADP, Dec. 2020). 

The survey further found that work-life balance was more often a strong indicator of mental health in the workplace. As per the report, 46 percent of Indian workers reported doing around 6-10 hours of work unpaid every week.

As for the positives, the report found that Indians were amongst the most likely within APAC to discuss mental health problems at work. 89 percent of participants said that they were comfortable discussing mental health with someone at work. The report was based on a survey of 1,908 workers in India.

So, now you might have an idea that stress at work is a serious issue & all those who are working either in the public sector or in the private sector have had moments when they felt burned out and stressed at the workplace & all of it seemed too overwhelming for them. 

Having been working in the corporate sector, I understand that all these things are common these days due to the enormous work pressure we have and the working environment in which we are inhibited. 

But again, it gives us no right to undermine the consequences they pose. When the stress becomes uncontrolled, there are times when we can face both emotional & mental trauma in terms of overthinking, staying sad all the time, short temper, high blood pressure, weak immune system, insomnia, depression, anxiety, and heart disease. So, it has some significant health consequences that range from relatively benign (like getting more colds and flus) to potentially serious (such as heart disease and metabolic syndrome).

There is no doubt that stress at work is very common & finding a low-stress job is a hard nut to crack (if not impossible). Also, I realise how difficult it is to handle stress at work.

So, I present before you a more realistic approach to adopt effective coping strategies to reduce stress at your workplace. 

So, without wasting your time, here I present some stress management techniques that “Harvard Medical School” suggests to try if you are finding it hard to cope with work stress :

Relaxation strategies:
Relaxation helps counter the physiological effects of the fight-or-flight response. For example, progressive muscle relaxation helps reduce muscle tension associated with anxiety. To practice this skill, sit comfortably with your eyes closed. Working from your legs upward, systematically tense and relax each major muscle group. Hold the tension for 10 seconds; release tension for 20 seconds. Each time you release muscle tension, think “relax” to yourself. This skill and many other relaxation strategies can help reduce symptoms of anxiety.

Problem-solving:
Problem-solving is an active coping strategy that involves teaching people to take specific steps when approaching a roadblock or challenge. These steps include defining the problem, brainstorming potential solutions, ranking the solutions, developing an action plan, and testing the chosen solution.

Mindfulness:
Mindfulness is the ability to pay attention to the present moment with curiosity, openness, and acceptance. Stress can be exacerbated when we spend time ruminating about the past, worrying about the future, or engaging in self-criticism. Mindfulness helps to train the brain to break these harmful habits. You can cultivate mindfulness skills through formal practice (like guided meditation) and informal exercises (like mindful walking), or try mindfulness apps or classes. Mindfulness-based therapies are effective for reducing symptoms of depression and anxiety.

Reappraising negative thoughts:
Chronic stress and worry can lead people to develop a mental filter in which they automatically interpret situations through a negative lens. A person might jump to negative conclusions with little or no evidence (“my boss thinks I’m incompetent”) and doubt their ability to cope with stressors (“I’ll be devastated if I don’t get the promotion”). To reappraise negative thoughts, treat them as hypotheses instead of facts and consider other possibilities. Regularly practicing this skill can help people reduce negative emotions in response to stressors.

I chose to mention above points as per as Harvard Blogs because it really covers all the tips possible in detail, but just to reiterate-

“If you set your priorities straight, believe in action rather than reaction, become a self critic, take regular breaks, sleep well & eat right, spend time with your family, go on vacations & meditate; most of your issues will take an exit.” 

I don’t guarantee you a stress free work life if you follow these instructions but I do guarantee you that it is the best strategy out there to try and cope up with the work stress in the best way possible. Well, That’s all for now! Me & my team at Propatulus wishes you all the best for a successful career & a stress free work life!