Every job has its own complications that make stress inevitable for workers. While workplace stress is normal and can easily be contained, enduring excessive stress can have drastic effects on an individual’s performance, productivity, personal relationships, emotional and physical health among others. Also, chronic stress can leave you feeling hopeless and powerless.

Common causes of stress in the workplace

Some of the most common factors that trigger work-related stress include;

  • Long working hours
  • Complicated organizational cultures
  • Bad management
  • Over-supervision
  • Harassment
  • Lack of support
  • Job insecurity
  • Boredom
  • Tight deadlines
  • Organizational changes
  • Underpayment
  • Unrealistic expectations
  • Conflicts with bosses or co-workers
  • Heavy workload
  • Ambiguity of roles
  • Symptoms of work-related stress
  • Common behavioral, psychological, and physical symptoms of work-related stress include;
  • Depression
  • Discouragement
  • Dermatological disorders
  • Pessimism
  • Irritability
  • Aggression
  • Reduced innovation and creativity
  • Mood swings and irritability
  • Muscular tension
  • Heart palpitations
  • Gastrointestinal upsets
  • Insomnia
  • Low self-esteem
  • Lack of confidence or self-doubt
  • Apathy
  • Anxiety
  • Reduced concentration, or focusing abilities
  • Sleeping difficulties
  • Low productivity
  • Social withdrawal
  • Alcoholism or drug abuse
  • Diminished sex drive

How to overcome work-related stress

Reach out

Reaching out to someone you can trust is sometimes the best option if you want to beat stress. Talking it out with a close confidant, relative or colleague on face to face or via phone is one of the most effective ways of getting sympathy and support that can help alleviate work-related stress successfully. While you shouldn’t expect your confidant to solve your problems, someone being there, listening keenly and offering their support can help you regain your sense of calmness. Seeking support from a professional social worker is not a cowardly act but a brave step if you don’t have a reliable and appreciative friend you can talk to.


Consider taking care of yourself by engaging in vigorous activities such as jogging, swimming, weight-lifting, cycling, martial arts, aerobics, and gymnastics among others. Exercising regularly makes you more resilient to excessive stress. Also, exercising leads to an uplifted mood, amplified energy levels, enhanced immune system, high confidence levels, sharpen focus and relaxation.

Review your diet

Nutrition matters as far as beating work-related stress is concerned. Start making smart nutrition decisions by increasing your intake on stress-busting foods such as; eggs, green leafy vegetables, salmon, sardines, canned tuna, pumpkin seeds, dark chocolate, flaxseed, avocado, turkey, oatmeal, yogurt, blueberries, and milk. Minimize on caffeine, refined sugar and nicotine. In short, what you eat daily an affect your mood, and energy adversely.

Don’t sacrifice your sleep.

Sacrificing your sleep can adversely impact on your creativity, productivity, cognitive ability, and mood. To overcome workplace stress, you’ll have to consider adjusting your sleep environment to improve the quality of your sleep. Make an effort to sleep at least 7-8 hours every night to enhance your resilience to stress.

Delegate some responsibilities

To beat workplace-related stress, you must be willing to compromise by delegating some duties to others. Don’t try to do everything by yourself lest you want chronic stress to knock you out like a tired pugilist.


Workplace stress is a global problem in most organizations, and extreme measures should be taken to overcome it at all costs.