How to deal with work related stress?

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  • How to deal with work related stress?
  • Rorschach

    Random violence……bruised knuckles.

    Premier Icon scotroutes

    Learn to say no. Seriously, either take action to reduce the stress or leave.


    If this is temporary and your workload will return to normal soon, there are ways to alleviate the symptoms (to an extent). Have a google, the internet is filled with help on stress.

    If this is likely to last longer than you think you will be able to cope with physically/mentally, you’d be better having a chat at work sooner rather than later. I worked through fairly heavy stress for too long before realising it was having a significant effect on my life, will not make that mistake again. Takes quite some time to get yourself back on track. You employer will help.

    Premier Icon coolhandluke

    Stress is a killer, avoid it.

    If this means saying “no” then say it. If that’s not an option, leave for your own health.

    I’m saying that from a person who tried to sort his stress out at work but my boss didn’t have a backbone.

    I left.

    No regrets, richer, healthier, happier.


    Go out at lunch or in the evening for half an hour to an hour and ride somewhere fast. Makes me feel better and takes my mind away from work

    Premier Icon steveoath

    @rorschach – element of truth there. Getting the stress out on a heavy bag in the gym or a bit of light sparring works for me.


    Failing company or organisation, senior management taking it out on their lower grades for their failures.

    Move on, or resign, or just say no.

    Premier Icon JAG

    Going for a ride was my first plan – however this stiff neck is a killer and put’s me off as I’m having trouble just turning my head through it’s full range.

    I’m going to do some spannering on my Road bike in a minute to see if that takes my mind off it.

    Premier Icon jambalaya

    Have had varying amounts my entire working life, comes with the territory. Symptoms, grumpy (even more than usual), bad skin, tinnitus, headaches, poor sleep … all pretty common

    Taking at least two short breaks during the day and getting out of the building, one of these should be lunch if practicable.

    Time management, make sure you have a to do list and tackle things in priority order (note the importance of doing what your boss thinks is important first, do not be a slave to your email inbox). Do not check your work email once home.

    Talk to your boss (and his boss ?) about workload and need to prioritise, try and get him to agree your priorities

    Share with your partner / wife / mates

    Accept you cannot do everything (related to saying no point above)

    Premier Icon JAG

    I’m having a tough time at work at the moment. Too much work, not enough time, looming deadlines and too much ‘management-support’ 😯

    I’m getting a stiff neck, which I’ve had before when under pressure. I’ve had a hot shower when I got home to ease it but it’s still there. I’m also getting a dodgy stomach and I haven’t eaten much the last couple of days. Although I’m making sure I drink enough.

    I’m also trying to spread the load onto some of my team but I’m still getting this neck pain.

    How do you deal with Stress? Do you get any physical effects?

    Premier Icon footflaps

    Try 7-11 breathing, it works very quickly to bring down stress / anxiety levels and is completely discrete.

    Obviously it’s not a cure, but a useful coping mechanism. NB If you’re half fit, you can easily extend it eg I use a ratio of about 1-30, one large breath in and expel lungs over 30 seconds or more.


    Chronic stress even low level for a longtime is damaging….and can lead to further mental health problems as well….Be kind to yourself and ask for help, is there a occupational health department for advice..? Sometimes its best to slow down or shift focus onto an easier achievable target to help you feel good….Keep perspective if you can…its work not life and death…if you don’t get help then do what you need to do to protect your health its not worth damaging….

    Stress well it gives me burning sensations, grumpiness, painful stomach, weak legs, jittery, poor sleep, palpitations, rashes…its not good but I’m trapped finanacially at the moment…Good luck !!

    Premier Icon ampthill

    I road out a rough patch by learning to meditate

    Maybe try a physio or similar for stretches for the neck

    Premier Icon JAG

    Thanks ALL

    Just sharing this (and finding others suffer too) does help. I’ll take note of all your good advice.


    Something really physical – be that a long run that leaves you exhausted, a bike ride at a really punishing pace, a 30 minute session on an ergo. I’m always amazed at how fast I can run when I’m really stressed, and when I’m done I’m a bit more chilled out, a lot happier, and find it easier to sleep.

    Getting out the door for that run isn’t easy, mind, but even 30 minutes at a proper fast pace will do the trick. You really want to knacker yourself physically (the way work knackers you mentally)

    Premier Icon footflaps

    How do you deal with Stress? Do you get any physical effects?

    Going back to Jan 2008, my stress levels got so high that I cracked and one day just walked out of my job. The next day I went for a bike ride but which was halted by crippling chest pains, so ended up in A&E with a suspected heart attack. Turned out not to be anything serious, other than bruised ribs / torn muscles. My physical stress symptom evolved to be chest pains on the LH side of my chest, so bad it would leave bruising. I think my subconscious evolved that method to get my attention as prior to this I was very good at ignoring stress / panic attacks and just soldering on, hence there was a game of escalation / evolution with my subconscious upping the hints until it forced a lifestyle change. NB Not a recommended technique as you can’t defeat stress head on, just avoid it.


    I experienced it early in my career. It boils down to poor management.
    My current director is brilliant, it took a change to realise what a shit bloke my previous one was.
    I look back now and wish I’d decked the ****.


    I wish I knew chap. Stuck in the “very very good and qualified at what i do, but in industry where all companies are pretty much the same” situation.

    Only way out is to walk away from it all and start over, but providing for family and having enough left over to basically cover my rent (oh yes it pretty much killed the marriage as well) means that I can’t afford to take a drop on pay.

    reckon heart attack by 40 for me, so not long now 😀

    Only way out is to walk away from it all and start over, but providing for family and having enough left over to basically cover my rent (oh yes it pretty much killed the marriage as well) means that I can’t afford to take a drop on pay.

    Similar here except the marriage part is happy.

    Try being a prison officer!

    Premier Icon bedmaker

    I bite my nails, eat too much chocolate and drink whisky. These things don’t work. A day out in the hills does though.


    I’ve had similar issues in the recent past and learning to say no is definitely good advice, I’m terrible for being overly optimistic and taking on too much. There comes a point when you just have to admit that you sometimes can’t do everything that’s asked of you to the standard you’d want and either quantity or quality has to give.

    This situation is exactly what management should be for. They should have the broader view to make the call about what is in fact possible, what to prioritise and if needed who to disappoint.


    I really wish managers and companies were properly held to account when they push people so far they get ill.
    I’ve got a history of getting way too stressed about work, to the point of getting signed off in late 2006 which was a useful wakeup call.
    From that experience I’d make a few comments:
    1. My GP said to me, very bluntly, ‘it’s just a job’. That was good advice, by that point I’d lost that basic perspective
    2. My stress was largely down to my own response to a nasty situation. When I realised I could avoid the stress by adapting my own response it helped a huge amount. Whilst other people in the company were under pressure and extremely unhappy, I was the only one who let it get to me so much that a Dr had to sign me off…
    3. You may or may not be acting like a victim – you’re likely more in control of the situation than you realise – certainly your response to the situation is 100% in your control.
    4. Whilst you can change your response, you should also push back at the source of the problem – your boss, your bosses boss, whatever. Make them take responsibility. Reading a book on assertiveness may help here
    5. Getting stressed is a family trait which I’ve inherited – I’ve done a lot of work to unlearn that trait which has helped a lot
    6. If this is a long run thing, change your job/career. I’ve moved into contracting, it really helps me detach from the unpleasant stuff (I just think of the money I’m earning by turning up each day!)
    7. Exercise, yoga, meditation – something physical and spiritual to make sure you spend at least some of the day in a positive place. I find the physical release of tension a great antidote too.
    8. Life’s too short to worry about stuff so much that it makes you ill!

    Good luck…

    Premier Icon JoeG

    I can’t believe that no one has suggested masturbation! :mrgreen:


    I did, but it was deleted 🙂

    Premier Icon paladin

    Hypnotherapy, self-hypnosis. …….. Get taught how to chill


    Yoga classes works for my gf quiet a few blokes there as well these days apparently gets her away from everything and i can see the difference instantly when she has done a class really helps her out


    I’ve walked out of jobs twice now due in part to the stress, both times I’ve been lucky and found alternative work.
    If the stress levels cannot be managed and the company arn’t willing to address the issue then I’d start looking elsewhere.
    It’s all well and good finding ways to manage the stress but if the issue still persists managing it will only work for a while.

    My job can have a shit load of stress, if I tried to do everything I was told I need to do I would be in serious trouble by now. I just have to try and not listen to all the latest bullshit, nod smile and ignore it and focus on results.

    b r

    Time management, make sure you have a to do list and tackle things in priority order (note the importance of doing what your boss thinks is important first, do not be a slave to your email inbox).

    This ^

    The key skill to learn is knowing what not to do, not, what to do.

    My last boss but one was brill, when hired I asked him what my priorities were and he basically said to make sure he didn’t get fired. Consequently you quickly realise what is a priority, and what can be left/delayed.

    Also don’t let folk pass you work by just sending you an email with it. Ignore these (unless they relate to your bosses’ priority), and eventually you’ll have a discussion where you just have to say – sending me an email doesn’t take the work from your desk and put it onto mine.

    I suffered work related stress in the early 90’s, pretty much all my own fault. But did learn to handle it, and haven’t suffered since.

    You do though need to separate lots of work (for now) from lots of work for ever. As sometimes it takes a 16 hour day to get over a problem/opportunity.


    Great points from brooes.

    I’ve used medication to get through short term stress, like sleeping pills. But I don’t put up with things for too long and have walked from jobs in the past if the underlying cause of stress – too much work, over-management – doesn’t go away.

    Like others have said long-term stress is a killer so it’s a no-brainer to leave if it keeps on getting worse.


    I just tried 7-11 breathing at my desk, I feel better already
    I’m going home for a ride now ( well in about nine hours ! )


    Going through the same as the OP. Stomach pains, headaches and a hateful neckache. Thought it was more a reason for sleeping wrong rather than stress related. Boss just buries his head, disappears and leaves all the crap on me. It is affecting me, but jobs are not as fruitful as they were. CV is out and about but not proving successful. I come home and in this weather a decent ride in the evenings would be great, but I am mentally exhausted and really have no enthusiasm to go out. The times I do, I love it, but its getting out is the issue. 🙁

    Premier Icon footflaps

    I just tried 7-11 breathing at my desk, I feel better already

    A pleasure. I went to see a therapist / hypnotherapist when I was really ill with anxiety and it was one of the tricks he taught me.

    He also does some excellent relaxation tapes:

    I used to use this one to help me sleep.


    karate seems to work for me…

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