The Downside of Making Work Your Identity: 9 Unique Tips for Managing Stress at Work

By Mimansa Singh

Work Can Be a Source of Belonging or a Cause of Stress

In earlier times our sense of belonging and identity would largely be defined by family, but in today’s society work forms a major part of our self identity. An average person in India spends 40-50 hours per week at workplace, so a healthy work environment certainly contributes to the well being of an individual.

Workplace also becomes a source of pressure, especially in the current competitive setup. From tight deadlines to stretched working hours to dealing with difficult co-workers or bosses, these certainly add to various other stresses to our day to day living.

Relationships are Extremely Important in Determining the Work Environment 

Relationships at the workplace play a significant role in the work environment. Our relationship with our team workers, colleagues, immediate superiors and bosses affects our well being and growth in the organization. We all face interpersonal conflicts at workplace which can affect our emotional well being.

It is not uncommon to hear, individuals struggling with interpersonal relations at work, feeling disturbed, resulting in a sense of uneasiness at workplace. This triggers a vicious cycle of avoidance, sometimes feeling anxious, angry or helpless making one feel vulnerable having a negative impact on one’s motivational level and professional growth.

WHO Recognizes the Importance of Mental Well-Being at the Workplace

WHO has centered this year’s theme for World Mental Health day (celebrated on 10th October) as Mental health at the workplace. This advocates mental well-being at workplace and building support to address stress and mental health related concerns.

Here’s How You Can Better Deal with Stress at Work

1. Communication: Open and direct communication is the key to a healthy and positive relationship. This helps in building a close bond with colleagues. Talk about yourself more as that will help people understand you better and will also give the other person an opportunity to express themselves.

2. Recognize your strengths and weakness: Being aware of your strengths and limitations helps you to be in control of situations. Having a positive self esteem at workplace, helps you take criticisms more constructively and makes your stronger as a leader.

3. Evaluate the situation: Have a realistic approach to life. Understanding both what can be changed in a given situation (that lies more within you) and what is external that’s not in your control, helps you gain mental strength. Don’t immediately reach to conclusions. Being patient is very important.

4. Create support systems at workplace: A good support system can act as a small close connected work family. This certainly provides comfort and adds to your resilience in times of struggles. Hence, it’s important to invest in building good relationships and engage with co-workers both at and outside workplace.

5. Be an ally: The cut throat competition and constant struggle to go up the ladder often evokes a feeling of insecurity and jealously amongst each other at workplace. Be an Ally and not a bully to the other as that’s a sign of a healthy competitive environment.

6. Believe in yourself: We often tend to look for validations from others around us. Believe in your abilities and stay connected with your inner being as you are the best judge of your own self!

7. Work-life Balance: Our life has various spheres- family, work, social, leisure and interests and it’s important that we invest and maintain all of them. So be mindful of your engagements and avoid any spill-over effect.

8.Build Acceptance: We often believe acceptance means surrendering. Acceptance in the true sense is building a radical understanding of the situation or person as it is. This reduces the constant conflict of ‘why’ within and helps you embrace the circumstances and deal with challenges with greater strength.

9. Seek help: Mental health related concerns are common at workplace and it’s essential that we talk and also encourage people to talk and seek help when needed.

About the Author

mimansa singh photo

Ms. Mimansa Singh Tanwar, is Clinical Psychologist and the Coordinator of the Fortis School Mental Health and Clinical Psychology Program with the Department of Mental Health and Behavioural Sciences. She has been practicing in the field of Psychology for the last 8 years and has been integrally involved in working with children and adolescents. Her passion is in working towards enhancing the mental health of school aged children. She has been also been conducting numerous workshops and seminars over the years with students, teachers and parents. She also conducts workshops in corporate on lifestyle and stress related issues and has keen interest qualitatively working towards mental well-being in organizations. Through media she has been working towards making Mental Health a priority for the young members of our society.


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