5 Tips For Coping With Job Stress

Most of us experience some level of stress during the work day. Although the stress is usually tolerable, in many situations it is excessive or prolonged. If you find yourself overwhelmed by stress, you need to be armed with excellent coping skills. The source may be the stress of impending deadlines, a demanding boss, rude clients or an annoying co-worker. In the current economy, a huge stressor for many employees is fear of losing the job. Working under these conditions for extended periods of time can result in health issues and definitely affects job performance. Obviously poor job performance or excessive absence for illness can put you on the fast track to unemployment.

There are several strategies that will reduce the stress and help you remain focused on the job. Try these tips:

1) Stay healthy.

It is essential that you eat regular nutritious meals. You need to exercise every day for at least 20 minutes. If you are not the gym type, do some simple things that enforce exercise. For example, take a parking space as far away from the store or mall as possible. The walk will be great. If you have the opportunity to take stairs or an elevator, select the stairs. This is great cardio exercise.

2) Vent.

Find a trusted friend or family member and get your anger and frustration out in the open. Keeping negative feelings and thoughts locked inside will insure health problems. One word of caution - do not vent to co-workers no matter how trustworthy they appear.

3) Self-talk and affirmations.

This may sound ridiculous to some, but give it a chance. It works! When things get tense at work, go to the restroom or outside and do some deep breathing and self-talk. In one job situation, I had branded my brain with "this too shall pass." And, it did. You can write your own positive affirmations; a few affirmations to get you started: I deserve the best and it comes to me now. I am now free to do the things I love. Good things happen to me every day.

4) Humor.

Watching a good comedy and laughing out loud is a proven stress reliever. This is a technique used with patients suffering from serious illness. This is not the time to watch dramas and love stories guaranteed to start the tears flowing. Laugh, laugh, laugh and laugh some more.

5) Consider a Job Change.

Depending on your occupation and location, you may want to consider a job change. If the stressor is the boss, this may be the only option. With the job market as fragile as it is, I would try coping with the stress first. If the major stress is fear of becoming unemployed, you owe it to yourself to try some coping strategies. If you do not get a handle on the stress, you are setting yourself up for failure.

Even low level stress can be detrimental if it is never ending. It will adversely affect your health, happiness and your relationships with friends and family. Using these coping strategies on low level stress is a proactive step toward having more control over your life and your emotions. It is wise to practice coping strategies before the stress becomes unbearable.

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Mel Otero, author, worked in management in the mortgage banking industry and title insurance industry for over 25 years. She has been mystery shopping part time for over five years. She has started web sites and written articles to provide information, resources and inspiration during this difficult economy. She loves to write, learn, and share information.

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