Managing stress on job
Fight or flight. Since the beginning of time, humans have responded to threatening situations with the same primal response. We don’t have to be threatened by a T-Rex to experience stress.
Job-related stress can produce the same physical and physiological responses. When faced with a do-or-die presentation or constant pressure to do less with more, our bodies respond the same way. The pituitary gland secretes the stress hormone and blood vessels constrict. These, along with other physiological changes, prepare you to face the challenge or flee.
Unfortunately, your body’s involuntary response system activates itself needlessly. For the dangers you face aren’t physical, but mental frustration, missed deadlines, unachieved goals and employee headaches.
Managers who believe they are immune to the physiological ravages of stress are only kidding themselves. Everyone’s coping skills can be taken beyond the limit. Any manager can break under pressure. Have you ever had someone tell you, “You look tired,” and this was on a day that you felt pretty good?
Fortunately, stress can be managed. You can either reduce the demands that are being made on you or increase your coping skills. Either way, the impact of stress-producing experiences declines. You end up ahead of the game.
You must also realize that stress can build with relatively small changes in demands. It’s not just the big stuff. If you don’t decrease those demands or increase your coping skills, your stress burden will grow larger.
You can choose one of three alternatives when you are prevented from reaching a goal. You can go around the obstacle, remove it or change the goal itself. Many times, a manager will succumb to frustration or aggression instead of taking one of these actions. They allow their frustration to manifest itself by becoming aggressive toward people or objects that have nothing to do with the situation. Frustration at work can be unleashed on family members and friends.
If you are inclined to do this, take some time to analyze why you are acting as you are. You may then realize that it is an outlet for your frustration. A more productive alternative would be to channel your energy toward the obstacle or goal that’s causing you your stress. Consider the following: If they would only put half the effort into solving the problem that they do in complaining about it, it would have been solved long ago.
Three of the most basic decisions you can make to ensure your own well-being are to say “no,” to delegate and to set your priorities. Delegate the work to someone else. Lighten your load. You will not only feel the stress lessen, but you will motivate your employees and increase their job satisfaction.
You can also reduce stress by saying “no.” Just say it fast and without reservation. Save the more important jobs for yourself. Employees may try to have you do part of their jobs for them. Be alert to this and keep their monkeys off your back.
Stress-producing situations are in the workplace to stay. In order to maintain physical and mental health, individuals need to practice stress management techniques. By setting priorities, delegating duties and controlling your involvement, you can limit the role that stress plays in your life.