Dealing With Stress At The Workplace

Stress is something we all have to deal with on occasion. But when stress becomes almost constant, it can have serious consequences.

If you’re feeling stressed at work, you’re not alone. Approximately 40 percent of workers in the UK reported stress at work from 2015-2016.

Additionally, these same workers reported that stress was responsible for feeling physically ill.

Stress is not actually a disease. However, it can cause or worsen physical and mental conditions.

Effects of long-term stress at work may include:

  • Insomnia
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Increased risk of heart disease
  • Sensitivity to pain (i.e. back pain)
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Gastrointestinal issues (i.e. diarrhea, constipation, etc)
  • Skin conditions such as pimples and acne outbreaks

So why are so many of us feeling overwhelmed at the office?

Stress At Work: A Serious Issue

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has identified six principal causes of workplace stress:

  1. Demands of the job: an inability to cope with amount or type of tasks given.
  2. Loss of control: feeling like you don’t have any say when it comes to your job.
  3. Lack of communication: poor relationships with your colleagues and managers can cause problems over time (i.e. grievances).
  4. Sudden changes: if change in the office isn’t managed properly, you can feel insecure about your future.
  5. Undefined role: being unsure of your purpose and how your job helps achieve your company’s goals.
  6. Poor support: a perceived lack of support from staff and managers can make it hard to discuss issues you may have.


Now, your employer is responsible for addressing some of these concerns. But in the interim, let’s delve into some simple techniques to cope with workplace stress.

Physical Activity To Reduce Stress

Exercise isn’t just useful for keeping you fit. Exercise can also benefit your mental health.

Exercise has been proven to help reduce depression and anxiety. Regular exercise also enables your body to better cope with stress.

Mental health professionals consider exercise an underrated approach. Exercise can also improve your mood and self-esteem. (Source)

Don’t worry – you won’t need a costly gym membership. Body weight exercises are just as effective.

The ideal time to exercise is in the morning. Exercise releases endorphins. These will help give your mood and energy a boost before work!

Body weight exercises require no equipment. All you need is motivation and – you guessed it – your own body weight.

Stretches are also a great way to relax your body and mind. Stretching can also help prepare your body for the work day ahead.

Particularly if you sit at your desk, stretching keeps your back supple. You can even perform stretching exercises at the office on break.

Two great bodyweight exercises to try are squats and push-ups. Take 15 minutes to perform this set of exercises:

  • 20 push-ups (you can do knee push-ups if regular push-ups are too difficult)
  • Toe-touch stretch (bend over to touch your toes and hold for 20 seconds)
  • 30 squats (make sure to keep form – keep your knees bent and back flat, arms straight ahead)

You can adapt this routine as needed. Perhaps you’ll want to start out with lower repetitions. You can also add other exercises and stretches.

Aside from reducing stress, you will improve your fitness over time. A positive, active morning routine can change your whole outlook for the day ahead. (Source)

Other Techniques To Reduce Stress

Aside from exercising, there are other techniques to reduce stress.

Breathing exercises can be performed anywhere. When you are under stress, you tend to take shorter breaths than usual. In turn, more stress is put on your nervous system.

Your nervous system manages many things, among them the stress response. Breathing exercises involve taking slow, deep breaths.

This sends a signal to your nervous system that all is well. Your nervous system manages many things, among them the stress response.

Breathing exercises can help lower high blood pressure and reduce stress. There are many types of breathing exercises.

You can start by trying out the following:

  • Inhale through your nose for 4 seconds.
  • Hold your breath for 7 seconds.
  • Exhale through your mouth for 8 seconds.

Repeat several times. You can adapt breathing exercises as necessary. (Source)

A daily dose of vitamins can also improve workplace stress. Vitamin B can help boost energy and reduce fatigue.

A healthy nutritious breakfast can prepare you for the day ahead. Don’t forget to eat foods that contain B-vitamins. Nuts, eggs, and vegetables are all high in vitamin B. (Source) is all about providing easy to follow health advice that anyone could understand. We pride ourself in creating content that empowers everyone and anyone to make the right choices for their health!


Helen Sanders is chief editor at Established in 2012, Health Ambition has grown rapidly in recent years. After starting my own weight loss journey many years ago, it was very apparent that there is a lot of misinformation out there. That’s why I decided to put my time to good use and create helpful, easy to follow advice that everyday people living everyday lives can follow.

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