So, you're stressed out at work. You have a deadline to meet. The internet is down. The printer is out of ink. The coffee maker is on the fritz. Your co-workers are driving you crazy. The work pile keeps growing bigger. You're not making the money you feel you deserve. Your employer has unrealistic expectations. You feel like you are stuck. There is any number of things that can be listed here. Most of these things are somewhat minor but added up, along with other factors they can lead to workplace stress.

The American Psychological Association says that work-related stress is all too common, and when things start to get overwhelming, your physical and emotional health can be affected. Stress can also lead to bad habits like overeating and alcohol/drug abuse.

Here are 7 things, according to the APA, that you can do to help manage your work-related stress:

  • Track your stressors. Try keeping a journal for a week or two to identify any situations that might be causing you to feel stressed out. Taking notes can help you find patterns among your stressors and your reactions to them.
  • Develop healthy responses. Instead of attempting to fight stress with a big mac or a glass of whiskey, try to make healthy choices when you feel the tension rise. Exercise or Yoga is a great idea, but any form of physical activity is beneficial. How about a walk around the block?
  • Establish some boundaries. With a cell phone in your pocket or in your bag, it’s super easy to feel pressure to be available 24 hours a day. This is where you can benefit by establishing some work-life boundaries. Maybe you don't check email from home in the evening, or don't answer the phone during dinner.
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  • Find some time to recharge. Our bodies need time to replenish and return to our pre-stress level of functioning. It's not always an easy thing to do, but if you can take some time to "switch off" from work, you will benefit greatly. Set aside periods of time when you are neither engaging in work-related activities nor thinking about work.
  • Learn how to relax. Try to slow things down. Meditation, deep breathing exercises, and mindfulness can help to relieve stress. Try to dedicate a few minutes every day to focus on a simple activity like breathing, walking, or enjoying a healthy meal.
  • Talk to your supervisor. Of course, the thought of this one may lead to more stress. However, employee health has been linked to productivity at work, so the incentive is there for your boss to create a work environment that promotes employee well-being. An open conversation with your supervisor could go a long way.
  • Get some support. Accepting help from trusted friends and family members can be very helpful in relieving stress. Maybe your employer has stress management resources available through an employee assistance program. Counseling from a mental health professional is also a good option.

If you're feeling stressed, don't just try to power through it by squeezing one of those stress balls. Talk to someone. Take positive steps.

Pins and needlesneedles and pins, a happy man is a man who grins. ~ Ralph Kramden


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