Modern life has changed a lot in the past century… Increased population, technological change, greater complexity of organizations and tasks, globalization: nothing is the same.
Stress related to the working world is a phenomenon in our societies that undeniably affects every sector and every occupation.
Learning to manage your stress effectively, whether at work or in private life, is essential for a balanced, healthy and happy life.
We could define stress as a bodily reaction or an adjustment syndrome, in response to a combination of emotional, physiological or social disturbances.
Nowadays stress is increasingly present at work. It appears in many ways: sustained pressure, expected performance, conflicts, change of work, lack of time, difficult work environment, etc.
Often companies have to meet shorter and shorter deadlines, meaning that the adjustment time is also shorter for employees. Competition, unexpected situations and emergencies can have harmful consequences on workers' ability to adapt, and thus on their efficiency.
Also, with the evolution and fast-paced development of technology, companies must constantly be upgrading their products and services. These often frequent changes oblige workers to demonstrate adaptability and flexibility.
In this context, the feeling of being outpaced, and sometimes even threatened, increasingly exposes workers to different forms of stress.
The negative consequences of stress on health and individuals' capabilities are always felt in terms of corporate performance.
In primitive times, physiological stress was mainly manifested instinctively, during a physical threat to bodily integrity or survival.
Today, after centuries of evolution, stress is often generated by something other than physiological survival. Our emotions and interactions with others become the leading cause of stress.
Understanding where our stress comes from allows us to know what we need to address and how to approach it. In some situations, changing the way we perceive things or behave in response to them can make a difference.
Lack of time has become one of the most important sources of stress. It is thus important to learn to master the use of our time, because this is the main way to adapt in today's world.
Did you know that it has been proven that taking one hour to plan can reduce the length of our activities by five hours?
We must also learn to manage emergencies that cause interruptions, mobilize us and wear us down in the long term.
Three phrases sum up the strategy that should be adopted to deal with stress in a better way:
- take a step back
- identify what isn't working
- and make changes
In reality, the best strategy for dealing with stress is to prevent it!
For example, workers can be offered the possibility of participating in implementing change. Supporting them and recognizing their good work will foster a feeling of competence and hence the development of a positive attitude. We can also think about referring workers who have difficulty coping with stress to a specialized assistance service.
Prevention also means adopting healthy living habits. Be active, get moving, eat well, take care of your sleep, develop pastimes and, above all, have fun. Sports are recognized as a good way to decompress and maintain good physical and mental health!
Managing stress at work does not only depend on external situations, but on how we perceive and understand it.
One the most important things to understand is that you don't fight stress; you manage it!
To find out more about this topic, we suggest you read the reference document.
In case of any questions, doubts or a specific need for support, don't hesitate to contact the specialized support service offered to the eligible individuals.