How to get out of work-related stress

Did you know that 80% of workers feel stress on the job, where nearly 50% of them say the need help in learning how to manage stress. So if you stumbled on to this article, I'm here to tell you that you're not alone. 

Even before the pandemic, work-related stress (WRS) was one of the most common things that was impacting how people lived. Often times they would go to work, get stressed out, get paid, use that money to buy something or try to mask the stress, only to go back into the office and get stressed out again. That behavior left people broke, stressed and no real solution to the problem. 

Before we get into how do we fix stress, it's always helpful to go deeper into the problem. There was a 2006 survey that still reigns true today as it did in 2006. It stated that 46% WRS came from workload, 28% of WRS came from people issues , 20% came from a lack in work-life balance and the last 6% came from workers feeling a lack of job security. 

 

Now at this point, you might have pointed to one of those listed in the pie chart, or frankly it may have arisen more stress because you saw things that maybe you didn't realize were going on before. No worries, we'll get through this and you'll feel better on the other side. 

 

Now, what I'd like to do is drill down even further. For me and what has worked best for me is determining root cause and then the solution fixes the problem 100% of the time. Don't believe me, ask any aerospace engineer why flying is so safe. They follow the same process/methodology and implement fixes to those exact problems. (Also, that's where my roots came from, so I can double verify for you) 

Let's dive into each one of the pie pieces: 

  • Workload related stress. This one, 9 times out of 10 comes from people who are trying to please and do a good job and the workplace keeps asking them to do more. When the business or people ask you to do more, you keep saying yes because you're trying to please at the expense of your own sanity. This leads to burnout, stress related breakdowns and sickness because often times the body shuts down and goes into hibernation. Don't believe me, go talk to the many of folks who have lived that first hand and they'll tell you to avoid the burnout.

But what's root cause? Not pushing back on requests, saying no, setting boundaries which really is a combination of lack in communication skills and confidence. When those two are combined that is a sure fire way to overwhelm, stress and trying to balance all of the balls you have in the air. 

  •  Lack of Job Security. I get it, industries are having ups and downs so quickly either during the pandemic or just in general with advances in technology that it feels like a bad roller coaster. If you talk to the previous generation, they'll say, stay in one spot and work there until you retire. In reality that's just not possible anymore. Many times industries change and you'll need to make a change, whether it'll be a change for the better or worse is in your hands. Just imagine how much change the world has seen in just the past 3 years. 

So what's root cause? There's a big fear of the unknown that is lingering and the fear of certainty is haunting you because we live in a world that's not so certain. This boils down in many cases to a lack of confidence and a lack of resourcefulness. You have a skill that your'e good at, you just may need to work on marketing yourself better than just waiting for the next opportunity to show up on a silver platter. 

 

  • Work-Life Balance. Just like the others, before the pandemic this topic was top of every leaders mind. During the pandemic it just got worse. Many people had a hard time separating out their professional life and their personal life. They wanted to impress their employer so they could get promoted and have job security but then found themselves in the middle of a divorce or kids that didn't recognize them anymore. It doesn't help that most employers say that this is the job of the employee so it just leaves the employee feeling lost and drowning in trying to find the right balance. 

So what's root cause? This one is very similar to the workload part of the pie. The lack of setting boundaries, confidence and communication skills will bring this to the top of everyone's problem list 100% of the time. If you know you work hard, can articulate it and set boundaries this problem will most often fizzle away. Leave it for another day and you'll find more problems entering your world on a daily basis. 

  • People Issues. There isn't a person today that hasn't had or known someone that just drives them nuts at work. Or maybe it's someone where you have the same conversation over and over again but they keep asking you that same question. It can leave you full of anger, stress and overwhelm because your to-do list just keeps growing and they still keep asking you questions. 

What's root cause? Communication skills. Plain and simple. If you're reading this and saying, but I am a great communicator, then there might be some room for improvement. Communication breakdown is the leading cause of people issues whether that's in the work place or in your personal life. We act based on our communication. We confuse communication all the time but most of the time aren't even aware of it, unless it's brought to our attention. We think sally is a jerk, but then change our tune when we find out that she is going through a loss in the family and hasn't been sleeping well for weeks.  

 

Whether you feel one of the pieces of pie or the whole thing, we can tie back many of those stressors back to a few simple traits. 

What happens if you leave them unaddressed? Most times what ends up happening is that you'll experience difficulty sleeping which will just make you less impactful during the day and then make the problem even worse. Or sometimes you stop eating the way you should and your body retaliates by getting sick or depression sets in. Regardless of the path, it's bad news to leave it alone. To just say, "well I'll deal with it another day" or "it'll work itself out". It won't and it doesn't. What you resist, persists and that is true for this as anything else. 

 

So how do you make lasting changes, if it's not letting something go on the back burner or buying yourself new clothes, a car or something else? Facing into it and getting help on dealing with making change in your life. Coaching is a rising avenue for making lasting change and will enable you to get past what is currently keeping you stuck so you can get back to living a life that you're excited about. 

But why coaching? Just like what we covered, we can determine what most likely root cause is, but the solution needs something more specific which gets into coaching. Coaching enables us to get the specifics of your situation and where we need to go to get you ACTUAL results. 

 

All of what we described above boils to one simple thing. Change. Making change in your life, and that's what I'm known for. Helping my clients make lasting change in their life, consistently. I've helped hundreds of men make changes in their lives around career issues, whether it's people issues, work life balance, letting insecurity get in the way of progress or just communicating better. When you're ready, let's have a chat and start getting you that change today. Email me at, [email protected] to talk further or call me on my cell, 513-668-0445. 

 

My aim in the phone call or email is to understand your situation, so we can figure out how many sessions we can make that lasting change happen in. My goal for you isn't to have you in coaching the rest of your life, my goal is to get you actual results in as short of time as possible. 

 

Dedicated to your success, 

 

-Eric 

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