Millennials, I know it’s no surprise to you when I say we have more than our fair share of stress. In fact, we’re the most stressed out generation to date.
Add to that, we are also the generation with the most diagnosed anxiety disorders. But we legitimately have a lot to be stressed and anxious about.
Student debt is at an all time high, unemployment and underemployment is rampant, and political and social uncertainty is the headline of every news story these days; of course we are worried about our futures. All of this stress and anxiety is affecting our everyday lives, and even our productivity at work.
Carrying stress and anxiety at work makes our jobs more difficult than they need to be. While we try our best to leave our personal lives out of the work place, it’s really not all that feasible. We add our personal stress and anxiety on to our work load making it more difficult to focus on and complete.
And while not all work stress is bad, it certainly doesn’t help to have more of it than we need.
An article by Bradley University suggests learning self regulation techniques for work to help manage stress. There are four main tips for self regulation:
- identifying the emotions you and others have
- goal setting
- self awareness
1. Identifying Emotions
Identifying emotions is an important part of self regulating. Being able to articulate how you feel and recognize how others are feeling is one of the main ways we develop our emotional intelligence, which is a big part of work success.
Interacting with other employees is a big part of any job, and being able to effectively communicate and understand your coworkers is going to have a positive impact on your productivity.
2. Goal Setting
Goal setting seems like a no brainer, but it’s often still overlooked. By setting goals and having deadlines, we have a way to focus our stress for the good of productivity.
I don’t know about you, but I work much better when I have a deadline, as countless essays in college finished the night before they were due will tell you. If you have trouble enforcing your own goals and deadlines, tell a trusted coworker so you have someone to be accountable to other than your boss.
You can’t get through any job without developing some adaptability. Businesses are always going through changes, and they are going to affect your projects and your work environment, which can in turn affect your productivity.
This can cause a lot of extra stress, so finding a way to adapt as best you can is going to help your sanity immensely. Ways to improve your adaptability include becoming more open minded and flexible, determining what’s important, looking the the best and worst case scenarios, and asking for help.
4. Self Awareness
Self awareness might be one of the most important aspects for reducing stress and anxiety while at work. Knowing when you need to change your task or take a break is key to avoiding burnout. Also, being aware of your strengths and weaknesses will help you keep from taking on extra tasks that aren’t in your skill set.
Being self aware also allows you to know what kind of interactions and behaviors cause you to react negatively, and knowing these can help you avoid bad situations at work. Avoiding these extra stressors will aid your productivity and keep you stable at work.
Through self regulation, those of us who feel our stress and anxiety gets the better of us at work will find a method to help keep us productive while on the job.
Our lives are stressful enough as it is, finding a way to make work less stressful is important to find a good work-life balance.
Mila Sanchez is a twenty-something writer with a BA in English Linguistics. Her ambitions in life include traveling the world, studying languages, and taking pictures of her dog, Baymax. Connect with her on Instagram and Twitter!