Can you imagine feeling happy at work? Read our blog to find out how to make work a happier place for everyone beginning with how you manage stress. Workplace stress is a huge issue, and it’s becoming increasingly apparent as the rates of anxiety, depression and worker burnout continue to increase.
Approximately 80% of employees report that their jobs are stressful, and the stress takes a significant toll on their minds and bodies. According to a recent report by the American Psychological Association, “Workers who are not engaged at work or whose jobs are highly stressful are more than twice as likely to be chronically stressed compared to workers who are highly engaged at work.”
Being happy at work matters. We’ve found that people-first cultures are more innovative, and productive, with an easier time retaining staff.
Imagine feeling happy at work. Raise your hand if you want that.
Before we jump into ways to manage stress at work and feel happier at work, we must understand the causes of stress. The best way to learn more about the emotional health of your teams and the financial correlation, I encourage you to participate in a workplace mental health audit. An audit gives you the data to curate a roadmap for your employees that prioritizes the areas they may need support in to thrive reducing worker burnout, company costs, and the potential for a Mental Health Crisis at work.
For more information on that, visit us here and request additional information.
Typically, having an outside entity assess the quality of your workplace culture through a mental health lens is the most effective. Why? It addresses internal concerns like trust and retaliation, increasing the likelihood of effective interventions. Some things we explore:
- Do leaders at our organization model a healthy balance between work and personal life?
- Does your organization dedicate resources for mental health programs, education, and resources beyond EAP? Do those events happen more than twice a year?
- Have you designated safe spaces to discuss issues impacting employees within or outside the organization? Do staff have time in their schedule to access those resources?
- Is emotional wellness integrated into routine experiences like team meetings or monthly events? When was the last time someone asked how are you? Or what do you need from us to effectively do your job? Empathy can be the key to unlocking happiness in your teams and improving retention rates, but that’s a skill that most have to learn.
- Is this a space motivated to focus on workplace mental health to reduce employee stress? How is that conveyed to staff? Would staff agree?
Now let’s get to the good stuff.
Tips to Reduce Stress
Tip #1: Think about where the work-life balance lines have blurred for you and what’s needed to reinforce limits and boundaries for your well-being. Setting boundaries can be as simple as having breakfast before logging on for remote work, delegating responsibilities, using vacation time, or implementing the word no.
Tip #2: Before you respond to someone or a situation, take a breath and take the time to develop healthy responses. Instead of working relentlessly on tasks, take a breath, and prioritize your needs.
Your breath resets you from the inside out, calming your central nervous system and giving your brain time to better process details and make effective decisions under pressure.
Tip #3: Learn to challenge and change your mindset. Your thoughts drive your actions, and we have over 60,000 thoughts daily- most negative. Typical strategies focus on exercise and mindfulness to reduce stress and anxiety, which is excellent, but it neglects the cognitive aspect of the experience- how you think. By identifying and challenging the thoughts that drive stress, anxiety, and overwhelm, you can create more control and ease in your daily life.
Want to become better at recognizing your thoughts? See tip #2.
With tools like this in your toolbox, you get better at moving through work demands and can quickly shift into a space that allows you to invoke calm and move through crises and demands with ease.
In a holistic workplace culture, longevity and managing stress in the workplace requires soft skills like empathy, systemic vulnerability, support, and continuous education. With a framework that supports those areas, you can prioritize happiness in the workplace giving employees the resources to thrive at their highest level while at work. Are you equipped for that?
Author: Amanda Fludd, LCSW-R, is a Licensed Psychotherapist and Mental Health consultant. She works in partnership with organizations and institutions like schools and corporations to assess an organization’s emotional health designing customized mental health and wellness workshops and high performance coaching to address underlying needs.