The workplace is filled with potential stressors. They seem to wait around every corner. An overload of work. Office gossip. Difficulty expressing your concerns to a superior.
Stressors are not the problem, of course. The problem is our response to stressors. That response is stress.
The workplace echoes with stress management courses, hints, and tips. But stress and anxiety management at work still seems elusive to many.
Test Your Stress and Anxiety Management Skills
Answer yes or no to the following.
- I can easily communicate concerns to superiors and colleagues.
- I am able to refuse politely when demands become too great.
- My sleep patterns are regular and sufficient.
- During lunch and break times, I rest and relax instead of working.
- When colleagues or superiors are speaking, I focus on what they say.
- I maintain a healthy diet and exercise plan.
- My family and my outside interests always get enough of my time.
- I daily plan and prioritize my work.
- Whatever I am doing, I am able to stay focused, even when I encounter unexpected interruptions.
If you answered “yes” to every statement, your stress and anxiety management skills are good.
There’s More to It
This test is insufficient, of course, since it focuses mostly on stress and anxiety management at work. Much of your stress and anxiety management must be done at home.
1. Communication – you may be able to discuss concerns at work, but can you also discuss concerns with your spouse or children? Do family discussions leave you stressed? Stress and anxiety management at home is as important as that at work. If stress is unmanaged at home, it will spill over into the workplace.
2. Anxiety – are you a worrywart? Proper concern is not anxiety. You may be concerned if your child is experiencing academic trouble. You feel uneasy about it. But if that concern takes over and becomes an overwhelming uneasiness that interferes with life, it is time for stress and anxiety management.
3. Sleep Regimen – do you get enough sleep? Do you get it during the same hours every night? Do you often skip sleep to work? Does anxiety interfere with your sleep? If you cannot sleep well, you need stress and anxiety management.
4. Healthy eating – the food you eat is fuel. It meets needs in the body. When you do not give your body the right kind of fuel, or the right amount of fuel, you encourage stress. Any program of stress and anxiety management must spend time considering the regularity of meals and the healthfulness of food eaten.
5. Physical Changes – At times, the need for stress and anxiety management originates in the physical changes that take place as we grow older. From about age 45 onward, these changes can introduce hormonal imbalance into the picture. Hormonal imbalance can, in turn, introduce stress. When planning a stress and anxiety management program, we must take into consideration our age and physical changes.
Finally, while all of the above certainly are involved in stress and anxiety management, the main thing to remember is that stress is not inescapable. The stressors that cause it may be, but stress is nothing more than our response to stressors.
The best stress and anxiety management tip we can give is to control your response to stress. Learn to respond positively, and conquer stress.