Work is a part of life that practically every adult has to commit a significant portion of their week to.
In an ideal scenario, working-class individuals would tend to their careers in a healthy environment, which would include a clear balance between work life and personal life.
Unfortunately, that is not always the case, and the workplace is one that puts many individuals into stressful situations.
Stress is a normal part of working life, and because of this, many workers struggle to cope with the stresses placed upon them in their day-to-day.
If you work in a stressful environment, you may benefit from learning about healthy coping mechanisms for managing life in the workplace.
Signs of Workplace Stress
Stress affects people in a variety of ways, but there are a few common feelings and behaviors that accompany dealing with work stress.
- General irritability
- Knot/pit in your stomach when starting the workweek
- Dread when time passes during days off work
- A sense of feeling overwhelmed by work tasks
- Difficulty controlling negative emotions at work
- Frequent headaches
- Racing heart rate
When dealing with work stress, these stress responses can make it difficult to focus on work-related tasks.
The difficulty of focusing can increase work stress when individuals become worried about their job performance or ability to complete necessary tasks.
The Impact of Work Stress
When a working professional struggles with stress in the workplace, it affects not only work performance and work-life but can seep into personal life management as well.
For example, if you find yourself too tired to enjoy your time off, or you can’t make time for your friends and family, work stress may be controlling more than just work.
Additionally, if work stress becomes severe and causes you to avoid going to your job if at all possible, the stress may begin to negatively impact your finances.
Coping with Work-Related Stress
Work stress does not go away by ignoring it or trying to power through without any changes being made.
When working-class individuals attempt to ignore stressors in the workplace, it may eventually lead to long-term work-life issues or panic attacks.
Having a panic attack because you’re too stressed at work is not normal, and it’s a sign that you’re overwhelmed.
Fortunately, there are several useful steps you can take to deal with work stress more effectively, or prevent it from developing as often.
- Start your day with a positive attitude
- Do not involve yourself in workplace arguments
- Keep your workspace organized
- Keep yourself as comfortable as possible (loose clothing, comfortable shoes, etc.)
- Take one task at a time (avoid multitasking)
- Leave your workplace during lunch (and preferably go for a walk)
- Work on your communication skills
- Decompress on your commute home (listen to music, try breathing exercises, etc.)
What To Do If You Have A Panic Attack
While workplace panic attacks are not normal, they certainly are not uncommon.
You may feel anxiety slowly building throughout the day, and when you do, it’s important to take slow deep breaths and attempt to reduce your stress before an attack begins.
If you find that your stress is out of control and a panic attack is coming on no matter what you’ve done to stop it, it needs to be dealt with.
When a panic attack or anxiety attack arises, follow a simple set of rules to bring yourself back down to manageable levels.
- Exit the situation as soon as possible, even if you have to make an excuse to leave (saying you need a bathroom break works).
- Find a quiet, isolated place where you can be alone (a bathroom or small office).
- Do your best to take slow, deep breaths even if you’re hyperventilating at first.
- Repeat a mantra to yourself, anything that helps you feel better. You could say, “I’m going to be okay,” or “I didn’t cause this problem,” or even, “1…2…3.”
- Ground yourself as best you can, and if you have had panic attacks before, think of the person, place, or thing that usually helps you recover.
- Focus on your breathing until you feel better.
- If you need to take the rest of the day off after the attack, there’s no shame in recovering at home.
Seeking Professional Help
Dealing with work stress is something that most people have to discover throughout their careers, but it’s unwise to contend with the idea that stress is healthy.
Remember, stress can play a very negative role in the development of many health conditions, disorders, and diseases.
If you’re struggling to cope with workplace stress and self-management techniques are proving ineffective, it may be time to speak to a licensed therapist.
Professional therapy providers are well-experienced when it comes to helping people manage stress, even when they work very demanding jobs.
If you’d like to seek support for your mental health needs, you’re welcome to contact our offices as soon as you’re ready. We’ve helped many people struggling with workplace stress, and we would be honored to help you, too.
Please feel free to book a complimentary 20-minute consultation with one of our licensed therapists if you know who you would like to work with, or you can book a consult call with our center’s clinical intake coordinator who will match you to the best-fitting therapist for your clinical and logistical needs.