Remember the moment when you received a job offer. There were many candidates, but you have been chosen. You were looking forward to the tasks waiting for you. Do you remember that moment? What emotions did you experience? Joy, fulfillment, satisfaction, excitement? Perhaps there was also anxiety that is completely normal in new situations?
So why, after the lapse of time, did permanent stress arise, accompanied by emotions such as sadness, disappointment, aversion and nervousness?
In my article you will find answers to your symptoms, possible causes and ways to relieve stress.
What is stress?
Stress is anxiety or tension caused by an excessive number of stimuli that reach us at a certain time.
What are the symptoms of stress?
Psychological factors (mental stress) can trigger various symptoms:
- social withdrawal,
- difficulty concentrating,
- outbursts of anger
- sense of hopelessness
- difficulty falling asleep,
- excessive vigilance,
- excessive anxiety reactions.
Psychological factors can also trigger physical (somatic) symptoms:
- digestive disorders,
- autonomic disorders (heart and circulatory system, upper gastrointestinal tract, respiratory system),
- persistent psychogenic pains (around the sacrum or head).
The most common response among my clients is fear of going to work (fear of the supervisor, colleagues, clients) and fear of dismissal. If you feel tension, depression, apathy and insomnia, and you are irritable in contact with others, it may be a consequence of long-term stress.
Behavioral symptoms predominate in some clients. If you don’t eat much in the morning, but overeat after work. If you drink more coffee than usual or use other stimulants , it is worthwhile to look at what caused these behaviors.
With severe and prolonged tension, you can lose your motivation to work. You may become indifferent or bored. This condition is often referred to as burnout. It particularly applies to professions in which employees engage in contacts with other people, e.g. . teachers, doctors, nurses, salespeople.
What factors trigger work stress?
- a lot of work vs a little time
- high responsibility vs little control,
- need for professional development vs no promotion opportunities,
- big responsibility vs low salary,
- need for improvement vs no feedback,
- need for stimulation and challenges vs boring and repetitive work
- need for own efficiency vs people stopping work.
What needs should you be met?
- Physiological needs (sleep, nutrition). When they are satisfied, you may feel more.
Translating this into work, the most basic need is to provide a decent salary. If you have a variable, performance-driven salary such as bonuses and commissions, you may be at risk of burnout faster, as you are likely to experience a high degree of uncertainty.
- Need for security.
In the context of work, it is the stability of the workplace and employment conditions. If you are employed for a fixed period, you would probably want to enter into a permanent contract and thus reduce the feeling of uncertainty.
- The need to belong.
In the context of work, it is the willingness to make social contacts and be part of a group/company.
- The need for respect and recognition
At work, this means that you get job feedback, your efforts are appreciated and you can be promoted. If you are getting feedback, you are also meeting the need for security. Appreciating your success can make you enthusiastic about new career challenges.
Lack of feedback creates an atmosphere of uncertainty and fear. You can over-interpret the words and gestures of your supervisor and see his dissatisfaction.
In the context of work, the feeling that your job makes sense and you can fulfill yourself in it.
How to relieve stress?
- do only one thing at a time. When you read, eat, or talk on the phone, focus only on that one activity.
- take time to be entertained. Spend even 30 minutes every day. for an activity that relaxes you.
- come, eat and speak free
- practice breathing
- try a 2-minute face and head massage,
- create your own ritual e.g. morning, noon or evening tea drinking,
- try exposure to stressful stimuli and find your own way to relieve tension, e.g. stand in the longest line at the checkout and practice waiting without tension.
How do you deal with stress?
- get therapy ( cognitive behavioral therapy for adults ),
- find the specific cause of the tension,
- try to solve the root of the problem – the cause of the stress,
- learn how to deal with stress, e.g. learn assertive behavior, work on increasing self-esteem, learn relaxation techniques.
Stress cannot be completely eliminated. You live in constant rush, you set high standards for yourself, you are exposed to a whole lot of stimuli. It is important to put a perspective on each stress-inducing event, properly assess its real threat, and then choose one of the methods to deal with it.
When working with clients, I focus on 3 ways to “fight” stress. The first is to transform the client’s perception so that they find the situation less stressful. The second is to change the work environment so that the stressful situation does not occur. The third is to increase your stress resistance.