What is Work Stress? 5 Healthy Ways to Cope, Plus 15 Affirmations


There are many ways to alleviate work stress

Unless you’re independently wealthy, you have a job. But most workplaces can be stressful sometimes. This work stress can make you nervous, uncomfortable and looking for a way to cope.

Use these 15 affirmations for work stress to calm down and manage your nerves. The storm always passes.

    15 Positive Affirmations for Alleviating Work Stress

    1. I avoid allowing work stress into my life.
    2. Work stress rolls right off of me, like water off a duck’s back.
    3. I do not get bogged down by stressful situations.
    4. I enjoy my job and the kind of work that I do.
    5. When I choose to like my work, it is easier to let go of stress.
    6. Challenges are opportunities to learn each day.
    7. I embrace all that my job has to offer.
    8. I work through stressful situations and keep the peace in my heart.
    9. My joy always overpowers my work stress
    10. I see the bigger picture and get through stressful moments with ease.
    11. I choose to make work a happy time.
    12. Today, I enjoy my job without professional stress.
    13. Peace, calmness, and joy gets me through workplace challenges.
    14. Stress is a temporary storm. Sunny days are on their way.
    15. Breathe in calm. Breathe out worry.

    What is Work Stress?

    What is work stress? Can it be defined? The Canadian Mental Health Association provides this lengthy but accurate explanation. When you’re at work dealing with an uncomfortable situation, keep this in mind:

    “Stress is a reaction to a situation – it isn’t about the actual situation. We usually feel stressed when we think that the demands of the situation are greater than our resources to deal with that situation. For example, someone who feels comfortable speaking in public may not worry about giving a presentation, while someone who isn’t confident in their skills may feel a lot of stress about an upcoming presentation. Common sources of stress may include major life events, like moving or changing jobs. Long-term worries, like a long-term illness or parenting, can also feel stressful. Even daily hassles like dealing with traffic can be a source of stress.” 

    From: “StressOpens in a new tab.”, Canadian Mental Health Association, 2018

    Workplace stress is the physical and emotional responses that occur when job demands and the amount of control you have over meeting these demands do not match up.

    This work stress can come from the actual loss of control such as having a deadline move from two weeks to two days. Or it can be the perceived lack of being able to meet the demands such as not thinking your skills are good enough to do the task.

    Work stress can come from a bunch of different factors or from one source, i.e. a tyrant boss.

    The tricky thing about stress is it a perception. Some stress gets people fired up. They enjoy the challenge of a tight deadline or performing a risky surgery. Other people crack under pressure and need a job that is predictable and low-stress. This low-stress job may be boring to some people, who get stressed out when they have nothing to do. See how one man’s stress is another man’s thrill?

    What Causes Work Stress?

    There are mental and emotional manifestations of stress, but there are physical ones as well, and recognizing them can help make it easier to understand where most of your stress is coming from.

    Knowing where you experience most of your work stress won’t remove it, but understanding where it comes from is the first step to lower your stress levels.

    Some things that make you stressed on the job can include:

    • Performance evaluations
    • Deadlines
    • Making mistakes
    • Work overload
    • Training
    • Conflicts with co-workers or boss
    • Environmental factors such as large crowds and smells
    • Feeing incompetent, self-doubt
    • Commuting
    • Excessive traveling

    5 Healthy Ways to Deal with Work Stress

    1. Take a Relaxing Breath or 5

    The 4-7-8 breath method can relieve work stress

    Conscious breathing is great for calming you down. It is an essential part of meditation, which is also a stress-relief tool you can use anywhere.

    Relaxing breath or 4-7-8 breathing method is a popular way to control your breath and relax. You count to four as you inhale, hold your breath for a count of seven and then exhale for a count of eight.

    Dr. Andrew WeilOpens in a new tab., wellness pioneer and proponent of this technique created a video showing youOpens in a new tab. the exact steps. You can do the breathing anywhere and you don’t need anything else to do it. Your co-workers won’t even notice you are doing it.

    2. Squeeze a Stress Ball

    These squishy stress-busters have been around a while, but that’s because they can actually ease stress. They’re small, lightweight, and designed to be squeezed when you feel stressed out. Even if you feel a little silly at first, they work.

    When you have work stress or any kind of stress, your body tenses and clenches. Squeezing a stress ball forces you to tense and release, which relieves stress.

    Any physical activity can dissolve stress, so if you can, go for a 5-10 minute walk during a break, or do some wall pushups in your office.

    3. Leave Work Stress at Work

    When you get home from a challenging job, leave your work stress behind. Don’t let it ruin the rest of your day.

    Separating work and home can be difficult if you work from home. It helps to have a work mode and an at-home mode. For example, when you are in work mode you wear professional clothing and something that indicates work mode for you. This could be putting on your shoes, wearing glasses or putting an open sign on your desk or office door.

    When your workday is done. Change clothes, take down the sign and take your shoes or glasses off. This way there is a physical transformation that tells your brain “I’m home.”

    4. Manage Stress Daily

    Managing work stress daily means finding activities such as yoga and meditation.

    Instead of waiting to have a stressful day at work to manage stress, have a system in place to manage stress daily. You can use prayer, meditation, yoga, exercise, a vision board, talk things over with friends or family, affirmations and anything you enjoy doing to keep stress away.

    If you realize you are in a job where you cannot manage the stress, it is time to look for a new job. This could mean changing careers, finding a career path that is less stressful and assessing your personality to find the right fit.

    5. Let Go of Work Stress Completely

    Think about this: If stress is the perceived gap between the demands of a situation and your perceived abilities to meet that demand, then stress is all in your mind.

    The law of attraction states that we attract what we think about. When you are constantly thinking about work stress, you are telling the universe that you want more stress.

    Letting go of the stress and choosing to find joy at work will deliver more joy. When you feel that pit of your stomach feeling and start worrying about work. Stop. Think about having the best outcome.

    Think about what you want to happen at work. Imagine having a huge win at work. Raise your vibration and get out of stress mode.

    Try it. Would you rather have happy daydreams or worry about workplace disasters? Both create your future reality. Good luck and relax.

    Tracey Lamphere

    Tracey Lamphere, M.S. IMC is the editor of Job Affirmations, a publication that provides information and ideas to use mindfulness, positive affirmations, and visualizations to transform your career.

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