Identifying Work Stress and 4 Ways To Combat It


Working hard is not the same as over-working. 

You love your job and find joy in the product you produce or the customers you care for each day. Occasionally though, sometimes stress takes over, and those “perks” of the job get lost. 

The causes of stress can be different for each of us and different based on industry. Some pressures come from within ourselves, and some come from outside sources. 

The following are work-related stresses and what you can do about them.

– Feeling underpaid

Know what you want and why you want it. Ask for a raise and consider your employment options.

– Lack of opportunities

Talk to your manager and be very clear about what you are looking for and decide if it is time to move on.

– Work is boring 

Become curious and look outside your box. Increase your circle of influence and find ways to increase your value.

– Lack of support

Be realistic. If you still feel unsupported start validating yourself. You should be doing that anyway. Take time and validate others and increase your visibility.

– Overwhelming workloads

Ask for help. Never grin and bear it. Most times you are taking on more than anyone was expecting.

– Under Qualified

Keep trying new things, push your limits. Know what you want and work toward the area you want to grow in.

– Unrealistic Demands

When given tasks review them with your boss and set expectations. If there is anything unreasonable speak up.

– Uncertainty

Uncertainty and hope are all in the imagination so imagine possibilities and live in hope.

– Not Valued

You must first recognize your own value. Then display it by asking for what you want and set boundaries and never be negative.


Some of the issues mentioned should be addressed with an honest conversation with your boss. Other problems can only be deescalated or managed by ourselves.

Each of us finds different things stressful. Creating a monthly budget causes a panic attack while someone else can’t fathom presenting to a room full of colleagues. The key is understanding yourself, what causes you to worry, and what works best to curb your stress.

4 Practices to Help You Relieve Stress


Believe it or not, many of us don’t know how to breathe correctly. Yes, it is an involuntary activity our body does to stay alive, but effective breathing is an entirely different beast. 

By taking a moment and becoming aware of our breathing, we can lower our heart rate and destress.  Check out this article for other breathing exercises to help us lower anxiety and feel better prepared. 

Think Positive Thoughts

I know this sounds cliché, but take that stressful nervous energy and don’t try to get rid of it. Refocus it.

Nervous energy and positivity are different sides of the same coin. By refocusing that energy, you can change how elevated heart rate and shortness of breath affect your performance. Start with a mantra full of positive words and repeat it, over and over, until you believe it.  

Keep Learning

While this saying is just about as old as time itself, it still has relevance today. If there is something your job requires of you that you are unsure about or is hard for you to do, PRACTICE IT. Turn your weakness into a strength. 

Not well versed in using excel spreadsheets? Find a course and learn it. Speaking in front of others releases all the butterflies in your stomach? Start with a small group (maybe even yourself in the mirror) and work up from there. 

Take a Short Break

Walking away from what causes our stress can help us gain perspective and refocus on positivity. A break can be a walk around the block break or a tea break. A break from our phones and the things that come with our devices is always a good idea. 

Science has proven that taking breaks throughout the workday makes us more productive. So go ahead and take that coffee break.

Final Thoughts

Remember, we ALL have stress and worry.  I pinky promise, you are not the first person to feel this way. Using these four tips can often bring relief to our minds. Identifying the cause of the stress and differentiating it from work burnout is key. 

If these are not enough for you and your stress affects your personal life, finding a trusted source to chat with can often help us gain perspective and destress. That may be a co-worker, a spouse, a parent, and even a professional therapist. 

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