Tips For Handling Stress at Work

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Stress and work seem to go hand in hand. Today, the American worker is both the most productive and the least likely to take vacations. This along with a continued presence of stagnation in our economy and a loss in actual buying power in real wages, is putting exceptional stress on the families that depend on that wage value. Meanwhile, corporations are continuing to make record profits and not investing, as a whole, back into the economy. Moreover, new technologies like Artificial Intelligence, Finance technologies, 3D Printing and Self-Driving cars are threatening the stability of many jobs once thought safe. Today a shocking number of occupations, some that require four year degrees and/or thousands of hours of real experience real world experience are actually well below what many would expect. Here are just some occupations that are shocking low in their market valuation:

Adjunct Professors, make an average $21,600 for full time, however few make more than 35hrs per week.

Home Health Ade make an average $21,830 annually.

Regional Pilots make and Average $22,400 annually and training can cost upwards of $100,000.

Veterinary Technician makes $31,470 average and require a four year bachelor’s degree.
The major source of stress should be the primary concern. When talking about stress at work and the first to be addressed with tips for handling the stress at work.

Many corporations place tremendous stress upon their workforce vis-s-vie one simple equation often repeated: The simple application of responsibility for production, without the authority to decide on the manner in which that production occurs. To understand how this works, we need only consider an example: Joe is a worker at X Brand manufacturing, his supervisor gives the quota of 1000 pieces each day. However throughout the day many issues accumulate from further upstream in the process which prevent or slow down the ability to reach such quotas. This little unrecognized effect is at the core of much of our work related stress. Having no authority to control the quality along with the responsibility for production demands, exacts a tremendous stress on workers every day. These are just a few examples of what is now considered “the new normal” and along with the growing concern over our jobs, all of this just adds to the importance of managing stress at work. Stress is actually a mental state that results from a perceived stress, and as such can be dealt with through a much larger range of techniques.

Most resources point to palliative measures and unless we are able to address the main source of stress in our labor force. The solution seems obvious for workers around the globe, they need to gain control over their labor and begin to empower themselves. Part of this empowerment can come from supporting Democratically Run Worker cooperatives and/or the conversion of sole proprietorships and corporations into ESOPS. Worker empowerment can go a long way in reducing the daily stress surrounding production by giving them authority over their work as well as responsibility. The UN called 2012 the year of the Cooperatives and it was the start of significant activities surrounding the integration of Democracy into our workplaces. Socially, we have other options in how work is structured and these we can go into more in the coming articles.

{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

Melissa March 22, 2016 at 10:28 am

Wow, the fact that those are the salaries for people requiring a college education and/or significant training – how is anyone supposed to survive on that? I have a four year degree, excellent credentials, haven’t taken a vacation in over 6 years….and I still can’t afford to support myself. The financial burden combined with the everyday stress of work is a real challenge.

Felicia March 22, 2016 at 10:45 am

What is even worse is that at many companies employees are making these low salaries and doing the work of three people. No wonder we are all stressed out!

Ashley March 22, 2016 at 4:03 pm

This is a well-written and informative article. I can really relate, as I imagine most in the workforce can.

Tammy March 23, 2016 at 10:09 am

I often feel like my entire life is work. I wish I could find more balance, but I need the money to get by. It is incredibly stressful. I wish there were another way. The stress really gets to me

Bernard March 23, 2016 at 10:40 am

Great piece Evangeline! I don’t think many people realize the physical harm stress can do to your body – be it headaches, backaches, anxiety, etc. Managing stress is crucially important to your everyday health and well-being.

Uma March 24, 2016 at 3:55 pm

Those salaries are shocking to me. All that training and barely making anything? Yikes! Stress indeed.

Harold March 30, 2016 at 1:00 pm

This is all true, but I also think it is important for workers to take accountability for the choices they make to contribute to their stress as well. I know that if I left even 5 minutes earlier in the morning I wouldn’t be speeding to work, worried about being stuck in traffic. There are some things that we as employees can do to alleviate the self-inflicted stress and it is important to also be accountable for our own actions. If you have deadlines, make sure you get the work done with some time to spare. If you keep procrastinating it adds to the stress as you are rushing to get projects done before you have the boss asking for them. I make sure to take my scheduled breaks during the day as well because it gives me a chance to recharge and clear my mind. Get to bed early, eat healthy, drink water during the day – all important things that will contribute to your well-being and stress levels.

Lee March 30, 2016 at 1:48 pm

It is really quite depressing seeing the numbers and how little people make, despite spending tons on education (usually loans). Although life is stressful, I try to remind myself of how lucky I am to be living healthy. Money seems like the end all be all, but health is most important. You will only make things worse for yourself health wise if you are constantly stressed, so it is vital that you have an escape from it every once in a while to maintain your sanity.

Curtis March 31, 2016 at 10:55 am

While much of this is true, I think it is also important to anticipate that other factors will occur throughout that day that could distract from your main goal. While it can’t always be controlled, it is still important to plan for the unplanned in a sense and don’t procrastinate. Getting work done and prioritizing and saving the downtime for after goals are met is one way to deal with unexpected occurrences. I think it is important not to point fingers and place the blame on others. Like Harold mentioned, you have to take control over your own life and work with the cards you are dealt in some instances.

Jackie Dawson April 1, 2016 at 2:47 pm

What used to be considered the middle class are now the working poor. The stress continues to grow in most industries as we compete in an ever shrinking economy.

Kayla April 5, 2016 at 2:47 pm

This sort of stress can be so tough on the body! Whenever I feel like I can’t get away from my work I tell myself that I need to go out and do something just for me. A walk in the park, a breath of fresh air, or hanging with some old friends is a nice get-away even if it’s short.

Maya April 7, 2016 at 1:56 pm

Worker cooperatives are not the solution. Time management is.

Tommy April 7, 2016 at 3:42 pm

I agree with you Curtis. Nail on the head right there.

Bobby April 7, 2016 at 3:57 pm

A democratically run cooperative isn’t the fix for stress. I find those salaries hard to believe too.

Alexandria April 11, 2016 at 8:34 am

It doesn’t seem productive to have an office run as a cooperative. Having to run things by every employee seems like a waste of time for many issues that could just be dealt with, especially if there are a minority of employees in strong disagreement. Nothing would get done. There is far too much stress in the workplace, but I don’t think removing management from companies is the solution. It seems like a recipe for chaos, thus creating MORE stress.

Lori April 14, 2016 at 3:27 pm

wow, great article. I love the straight-forward facts. Everything relates all too well

Kelley April 28, 2016 at 1:50 pm

I don’t know. Is there a way to remove stress? isn’t that easy.

Amma April 29, 2016 at 1:35 pm

Meh, I dunno if all this is the solution. If your job makes you that ill it is time to start considering other options. I’ve been exercising a lot to alleviate my stress and wind down all the negative energy I have during the day and it is a tremendous help.

Lara May 5, 2016 at 10:31 am

I have always found that keeping a healthy diet and exercising helps ease my stress. Thanks for sharing all this information.

Diana May 9, 2016 at 11:28 am

I go to the gym after work each night. It helps me loosen up and relax.

Anastasia May 10, 2016 at 11:12 am

Here is the real trick: get ahead of the stress before it brings you down. If you let it build and build it will become too much to deal with it. Start before it makes you sick! Eat healthy, exercise, take breaks during the day, leave the work at home, handle personnel issues immediately before they become monstrous.

Shannon June 9, 2016 at 10:55 am

Anastasia – you’ve got it right! Those tips are key. You need to take control of the stress before it takes control of you.

Damaris June 22, 2016 at 3:12 pm

So many good comments here. Seems like a lot of us must be stressed!

Sheila September 1, 2016 at 11:04 am

Go outside for a walk during lunch. It will get you some fresh air and sunshine and rest your mind. Listen to good music or an audiobook and escape the cubicle for a bit.

Bertrand September 26, 2016 at 11:32 am

I keep a hand exerciser at my desk to which I can transfer stress during trying phone calls, or before meetings. It gives me a focal point for boredom or anxiety, and since I started using it, I no longer need a bottle opener.

Terrance Jordan September 26, 2016 at 11:48 am

Go holistic! Essential oils are great with remedying stress or any other emotions. Dab a little on your temples or behind your ear and you’ll be fine.

Patrice September 26, 2016 at 12:39 pm

Wow. Stress is definitely something everyone can relate to! I definitely agree with some of the suggestions for handling the stress, such as better time management or taking a walk outside. I think one of the issues is that we have stress from all directions! Not just work place stress, but family stress and other personal stressors; and because we spend most of our hours at work, we feel the weight of all this stress there! I know some companies do try to help employees with this stress ( such as longer breaks, or flexible start times ) but I do think personal stress/time management is the place to start!

Sunshine November 24, 2017 at 11:13 am

Work is not meant to be stressful. I am glad to have a stress-free work environment.

Surround yourself around positive people.

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