In some jobs and professional projects, stress at work is such a common element that it can become normal, as if it is part of the office where you will be working.
However, the truth is that if this psychological and physiological phenomenon is not properly managed, it often leads to performance problems and even more or less serious pathologies. Therefore, it is not necessary to assume that stress at work is a simple, one-dimensional experience; depending on how we approach it, the results we will achieve in our work and in ourselves will be very different.
Therefore, in the next article we will see how it is possible to manage stress at work by focusing on work routines with more capacity to push us to the limit, that is, those that we develop in situations of great tension.
Situations of high psychological tension generating stress at work
Stress is such an important psychological phenomenon in our lives precisely because it can be triggered by a wide variety of situations. In fact, it is characterized by its appearance especially in contexts to which we are not completely used, those which go out of our comfort zone.
It’s normal to be like this: the ability to feel stress is an adaptation produced by natural selectionbecause it helps us react quickly at key times, when stopping to decide what to do can cost us too much to put ourselves too much in danger or cause you to miss out on an important opportunity.
Thus, stress is the opposite of our state of relative relaxation in which we are “by default” when all of our most important needs are met. It occurs when there is something that upsets our emotional balance to make changes relevant to our present or our predictions. about what’s going to happen, and at the same time, we think that if we’re quick, we can do something to improve our situation or avoid a problem.
Therefore, stress can take as many ways as there are ways for our present to be disturbed by problems or unforeseen events. It is a mechanism for coping with the unpredictable that, in most cases, helps us improve our behavioral flexibility. However, no adaptation resulting from natural selection is useful 100% of the time, and the stress response is no exception. This means that there are a wide variety of situations that can cause a problem with stress if we do not learn to deal with this psychological element well.
While technically this range of stressful contexts is endless, in practice, if we look at the world of work, those that often lead people to extreme situations are easier to pinpoint. Like that, the ones we see most often in psychology consultations are the following.
- Exam preparation (although not paid work, there is a competitive aspect and schedules)
- Very demanding jobs in which human lives are at stake: surgeons, air traffic controllers, etc.
- Development of projects with high workloads and tight deadlines.
- Jobs closely linked to maintaining a personal brand on social networks: influencers, designers, youtubers …
- Competition in the field of elite athletes and professional sport
- creative works in which inspiration blockage is a serious problem
- Situations where the workload is assumed due to understaffing
Stress management strategies associated with difficult professional projects
These are some of the most widely used stress management strategies in psychotherapy to help people cope with a very demanding work environment.
1. Practice mindfulness
Mindfulness is a very useful resource for improve the ability to maintain good emotional balance, as long as we use it as a habit consistently. This allows us to shift our attentional focus to the present and stop harboring unsupported fears and obsessive thoughts that cripple us.
2. Practice relaxation techniques
Relaxation techniques such as deep breathing or Jacobson’s progressive muscle relaxation they aim to influence the psychological from the psychological, that is to say to ensure that the slow rhythms of our body are reflected in the way we deal with the present and the stimuli to which we are exposed.
3. Establishment of guidelines and segmentation of tasks
Many very stressful jobs cause a lot of discomfort as they expose us to intimidating uncertainty. We are asked the question: What to do next? Being all so complicated and faced with so many tasks, we are paralyzed because we do not see ourselves capable of facing everything, the situation overwhelms us.
Therefore, in psychotherapy, people are trained in the ability to establish guidelines and segmentation of tasks, so that from the start we establish a clear sequence of activities, made up of short-term goals that serve references to our progress and are always there to motivate us.
4. Attention skills training
The difference between knowing how to focus on the task correctly and not doing it it may involve doing this activity in half the time or not. This is why it is one of the aspects of psychological intervention the most valued by professionals, top athletes, opponents …
5. Learn good resting habits
Being very indulgent with ourselves in the way we rest between tasks can cause us to lose control over the minutes spent resting and constantly fall into procrastination, let the work pile up for us.
But at the same time, the lack of time to rest will bring us to a point where we are unable to focus and end up resting more evenly, but in a chaotic and non-restorative way.
Therefore, it is important to learn how to divide the hours of rest into our schedule that adjust to the demands of the job and our personal characteristics.
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