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What to do when work stress pushes you over the edge

In today’s fast-paced and competitive workforce, many people are overworking themselves. When work stress becomes chronic, it can be physically and emotionally harmful to you. To prevent yourself from breaking under the pressure, you can follow these steps:

Put things into perspective

When you are overwhelmed at work, you need to know why you are feeling this way. Firstly, identify and track your stressors. Then, reflect on your feelings and reactions towards certain situations at work, and learn to develop healthy responses to them. For example, you can adopt mindfulness techniques, and work to understand your own emotions as well as others’. Refrain from dwelling on situations you can’t control like things like traffic jams and bad weather. Most importantly, you should do your best to leave the emotional baggage of work stress in the office and not take it home with you.

Communicate with your employer

Since employee health affects productivity, your boss definitely has a stake in your well-being, so they will appreciate transparency. Start a conversation and give them a sense of what has been going on, then suggest some ways you think they might be able to help with managing your workload. Communicate that you value producing quality work, and you will not be able to do that if you are under such pressure. Sometimes, this conversation can make a huge difference in successfully navigating a challenging time.

Tune in to your body

Other than knowing how to draw the line between work and personal life, you can practice self-care methods. Stress makes you more tense, and may heighten your anxiety, which can reduce your cognitive abilities. Firstly, you can practice meditation for a few minutes to ease anxiety effectively. While meditation may be used for spiritual and religious purposes, many people practice it as “fitness of the mind“ because it has physiological and psychological benefits. Next, you can start an exercise regime. Where stress zaps your energy and ability to concentrate, exercise can reduce fatigue and improve your concentration counter-balancing stress.

Don’t suffer in silence

A trusted social support system is one of the best tools to help you reduce stress. Whether you have had a bad day at work or an illness, a lack of support can lead to loneliness. Talk to a friend over the weekend, and spend time with people who affect your life positively. Your mood will improve upon discovering that there are many people out there who can encourage and motivate you.

Quit your job

According to a recent poll by Monster.com Hong Kong, 55% of the respondents have at least considered a job change due to work stress. If you have tried every method but are still struggling, it might be better to find a new job. Staying at a place where you constantly feel bad about yourself will only destroy your self-confidence and that will not make things better. Look out for companies that have a positive working culture that suits you, so you will not find yourself in the same situation again.

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