The key to balancing stress in the workplace

Reduce StressAs much as we would like, there’s no escaping stress. But stress in itself is not negative. Stress can also be positive. Everybody needs a certain amount of stress to perform your best at work. The key to stress management is to determine the right amount of stress that will give you energy, ambition, and enthusiasm versus the wrong amount, which can harm your health and well being. Without stress in our lives, we’d be unable to react to situations quickly, and wouldn’t have the stimulation needed to think and act. Stress provides us a little zing, and keeps us from being bored.

As work schedules become more hectic, it often feels like the 9-5 has turned into the 7-6, and comes with a never-ending workload. This causes one to feel as though they need to be working more quickly and efficiently than every before. However many people do not pay attention to how much stress this lifestyle is putting on their bodies, and how in the long run this truly affects their health.

Every new or unusual situation causes stress to some degree.  Of course we can’t control it, but we can control how we react to stress and how we think about it. Make stress work for you rather than against you by recognizing stress, creating a positive attitude and use good stress management techniques.

Don’t allow work stress to take its toll on you. Increased irritability, decrease in energy level in the work place, Exposure to stress can lead to lapses in judgment, reduced creativity and productivity, In fact, it can lead to health problems that result in increased stress.


Being optimistic and using good personal management holds the key to keep your mind and body in a healthy state. Examine what causes work stress. Identify stressors within your control and beyond your control. Most of the time, it is possible to manage work stress through effective and efficient use of time, learn to prioritize responsibilities and find interesting ways to relax.

  • Start the day with nutritious low-fat breakfast. Eat regular balanced meals throughout the day.


  • You have only 24 hours a day and you need to the make the most of it. Analyze and schedule activities. Its okay to say ‘no’, ask for help when you need it.


  • Take small breaks from work. Go for a walk around the block or listen to your favorite song or read a humorous book.


  • Sensory overload triggers stress and creates distractions. Limit responding to emails that don’t need immediate attention. Inform clients and colleagues of your patterns. Create your own plan of monitoring news, information, and scheduling the timing of your intake.


  • When you are feeling overwhelmed by the amount of tasks in front of you or if you face a confrontational situation, take deep breaths. You body and mind will benefit from the extra oxygen and you will feel relaxed and cool.


  • Exercise regularly for physical as well as mental benefits. Exercise helps relieve stress and finding some time for exercise just means how much you care for yourself.


Unforeseen domestic changes will add up to stressful situations. Develop strategies to face unexpected developments like backup ride for kids, plan for dinner etc.

Poor communication can lead to frustration, and it can result in inefficient interactions and lead to stress. The trick is to be more mindful of how and when you communicate with colleagues or clients, and being aware of the goal for the communication.

Author: Lisa Rezac, Date Published: December 14, 2012

Lisa Rezac was an instructor for The Leader's Institute ® from 2011-2013. For more details, you can find her on LinkedIn.

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