You are currently viewing Are you stressed ? Discover 3 indicators and  4 techniques on how to manage stress

Are you stressed ? Discover 3 indicators and 4 techniques on how to manage stress


Stress is a feeling of strain or pressure that comes from both external and internal sources. It can be caused by a wide range of situations and emotions, such as workload, relationships, financial worries and even physical pain. Stress can often be beneficial in motivating people to work harder or faster, but when it becomes too much, it can have a negative effect on productivity and overall well being. In this blog I will outline the causes, effects, and ways to manage stress with excerpts from my own life experience.

How Stress Affects Productivity

When stress levels become too high, it can have a significant impact on productivity. Stress can lead to reduced concentration, which makes it difficult to focus and complete tasks. It can also lead to procrastination, which can prevent tasks from being completed in a timely manner. Stress can also lead to physical symptoms such as headaches and muscle tension, which can make it difficult to stay alert and productive.

Unmanaged stress leads to a vicious cycle

Unmanaged stress can lead to a vicious cycle of physical, mental, and emotional issues. When stress is left unmanaged, the body’s fight-or-flight response can be triggered, leading to increased levels of cortisol and a wide range of physical symptoms such as headaches, irritability, difficulty sleeping, and even digestive issues, or in worse case, high blood pressure and heart diseases.

This physical stress can lead to increased levels of mental stress and anxiety, which can then lead to further physical symptoms and a heightened sense of emotional distress. In turn, this can lead to poor decision-making and unhealthy coping mechanisms, such as substance abuse, which can further exacerbate the cycle of stress.

This can lead to a vicious cycle, with physical and mental health issues feeding off each other and leading to a damaging spiral of ill health.

In 2012, starting with a stressful job, my eating habits and sleep pattern got affected, which further led to increased smoking to cope up with the same. All this quickly deteriorated into a High Blood Pressure at age 27, and I was forced to rethink about life. Once I changed the causes, realigned my goals and took right actions, everything got corrected again and a 1 year long High Blood Pressure vanished like a mist in the morning.

It is important to recognize the signs of unmanaged stress and to take proactive steps to reduce and manage stress levels in order to prevent this vicious cycle.

Causes of Stress in the Workplace

There are many things that can cause stress in the workplace. Here are some of the most common causes:

1. Unclear Goals and Expectations

When employees don’t know what is expected of them, it can be a source of stress. Without clear expectations, employees can struggle to focus and can feel overwhelmed.

2. Lack of Control Over Workload

When employees are given too much or too little work, it can be a source of stress. Too much work can lead to feeling overwhelmed and not enough work can lead to feelings of boredom.

3. Unhealthy Work Environment

A work environment that is hostile or unsupportive can be a source of stress. This can lead to employees feeling isolated, unappreciated, and unsupported.

4. Poor Work-Life Balance

When work takes over our lives, it can be a source of stress. When employees feel like they don’t have enough time for themselves, their family, and their hobbies, it can lead to feelings of burnout and exhaustion.

Cognitive Dissonance can lead to stress

Cognitive dissonance is an uncomfortable psychological state in which an individual holds two or more conflicting beliefs, ideas, or values. It is the mental conflict that occurs when a person’s beliefs, ideas, or values do not match up with their behaviours or actions.

This state of tension and discomfort arises when an individual is forced to choose between two conflicting beliefs or values. For example, if an individual strongly believes that smoking is bad for their health, yet continues to smoke, this creates cognitive dissonance.

Cognitive dissonance can lead to increased stress and psychological distress, as the individual is aware that their beliefs and attitudes are in conflict, yet they are unable to resolve the conflict. At work, I have seen cognitive dissonance leading to a feeling of burnout despite a seemingly successful career.

As such, cognitive dissonance can also lead to behavioural changes and a willingness to adjust one’s beliefs in order to reduce the tension caused by the conflicting beliefs.

Signs of Stress in the Workplace

It is important to be aware of the signs of stress in the workplace. Here are some of the most common signs:

1. Physical Signs

Physical signs of stress can include headaches, fatigue, muscle tension, chest pain, stomach issues, and difficulty sleeping.

2. Emotional Signs

Emotional signs of stress can include agitation, irritability, mood swings, and negative thinking.

3. Behavioral Signs

Behavioral signs of stress can include changes in eating habits, difficulty concentrating, and a decrease in motivation.

4 Strategies on how to manage stress

If you feel that you are suffering from stress, here are 4 strategies to controla and manage stress.

1. Identifying the Causes of stress to manage it

Identifying the causes of stress is the first step in managing it. Common sources of stress include work, relationships, health issues, and financial problems. It is important to identify the specific sources of your stress and the triggers that lead to it so that you can begin to manage it.

Proper goal alignment can greatly reduce cognitive dissonance and provide you a sense of purpose.

2. Developing Coping Skills

Once you have identified the sources of your stress, you can begin to develop coping skills to help you manage it. Coping skills are strategies that you can use to manage stress in the moment or to prevent it from getting worse. Examples of coping skills include relaxation techniques, positive self-talk, deep breathing, and physical activity.

3. Practicing Self-Care

Practicing self-care and taking care of your health is an important part of managing stress. Self-care means taking the time to do activities that are enjoyable and beneficial for your mental and physical health. Examples of self-care activities include getting enough sleep, eating healthy meals, exercising, and spending time with friends and family.

These are all simple to follow systems that can quickly break negative patterns and become rewarding habits.

Regular physical excercise is a great way to manage stress.
Physical Exercise is an exceptional stress-buster. If you don’t know where to start, start here.

Physical excercise can be a great way to decrease stress and has the same effect as taking stress busting drugs. Excercise releases endorphins, the hormones that counter stress and boost the feeling of happiness and relaxation.

Special attention must be paid to the psychological effects of exercise. These are so powerful that we would like to propose that exercise may be considered as a psychoactive drug. In moderate doses, it causes very pronounced relaxing effects on the majority of the population, but some persons may even become addicted to exercise.

Exercise acts as a drug; the pharmacological benefits of exercise, British Journal of Pharmacology, Sep 2012

4. Seeking Support to manage stress

It is important to seek support if you are struggling to manage your stress. Talking to a trusted friend or family member, seeking professional counseling, or joining a support group can be great sources of support.

Managing stress can be easy by getting down to the drawing board and redesigning your life. Once we start believing that a large part of our environment is created by our own actions, we can quickly start correcting them.

Let me know in the comments if you have had any specific situations that you had to deal.

Leave a Reply