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Stress is a widespread problem in today’s fast paced world, and workplace stress is extremely common. It can stem from work overload, unrealistic deadlines, difficult bosses or subordinates, conflict with co-workers or office politics.

Here are a few ways to cope with stress effectively:

1. Identify your stress triggers. Maintain a stress diary to keep a record of all the events that trigger stress and record your reactions to stress. Once you have identified your stress triggers and understood your reactions to them, you can pinpoint the causes of stress and determine the possible action you can take to manage them. Remember, being aware is an important step towards managing stress.

2. Develop social support. It is essential to have a friendly ear to share your troubles/concerns. People who bottle up their anxiety often boil over at inappropriate times. This can severely damage their relationships with other people. Don’t isolate yourself; cultivate trustworthy relationships with colleagues and co-workers in whom you can confide without fearing betrayal.

3. Stay healthy and fit. Good general health is key to combating stress. A balanced diet, regular exercise and adequate rest will better equip you to handle stress. Additionally, make sure you avail your vacation days, even if you just stay home and relax.

4. Strike a balance. Cultivating interests outside the work sphere can help bust stress and take your mind off work when not at work. Whether it is golf, woodwork or cooking, take up an activity that you enjoy; spend quality time with friends and family. This will make work related stress seem less overwhelming.

Addressing and dealing with stress effectively is beneficial to both the organisation and the individual employee as it means higher morale and motivation and lower staff turnover.

– Zeeshan Lakhpaty

The writer is a professional corporate trainer. zeeshan@peopleexcellence.biz

First published on January 8, 2012 in the Careers Section of the DAWN National Advertiser.

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