Job Stress: 3 Signs You Need to Chill Out at Work

Job StressSome people are more relaxed than others. These easy-going types tend to handle stress well and keep a level-head even when things get crazy. But, maybe you’re not one of these mellow individuals. Perhaps, you tend to be a little more high strung and get worked up more easily. That’s OK – it doesn’t make you a bad person, but it does mean that you’re probably more stressed out than others. If you think you may be bringing too much tension to the workplace, check out the three signs that you’re stressing too much at work.

You have zero patience for delays.
Do you go a little nuts when a vendor puts you on hold or you have to wait behind a slow-moving co-worker at the fax machine? If you always feel like you’re in a rush and just can’t stand to wait, you’re probably lacking patience.

While there’s nothing necessarily wrong with wanting things done quickly, the problem comes when your expectations clash with reality, causing unnecessary stress for yourself and others. Accepting that you can’t control how quickly others get things done and that delays are a part of life can help reduce the amount of pressure you place on yourself to always be moving forward.

You’re wound tighter than a pocket watch.
When things don’t go the way you planned, do you get upset? Do you hate surprises and have a strict schedule for nearly every moment of every day? If so, you most likely find yourself frequently overwhelmed by life’s unpredictability.

There’s a saying, “Blessed are the flexible because they won’t break.” Having rigid expectations can lead to a lot of frustrations when plans change or go awry. Life is full of surprises, and it’s just not possible to always anticipate the future. Instead of getting upset by the unexpected, take a deep breath and try to be flexible. Learning to appreciate life’s little surprises can make your life much easier and your stress level much lower.

Your office nickname is “the ticking time bomb.”
Do you work with a bunch of people who drive you bonkers? Do you have to bite your tongue daily to keep from snapping at them? If you find yourself getting irritated with those around you on a regular basis, it’s probably not them causing the tension. Sure, people can be annoying and grating on the nerves, but that’s only if you let them.

To stop the cycle of aggravation, work on accepting your co-workers’ flaws. Remember, no one is perfect, including you. When you feel your blood start to boil, remind yourself that you need to calm down and not take things so personally. Instead, make an effort to discover your co-workers’ good traits and focus on those aspects when you’re feeling annoyed.

Next time you’re feeling all wound up, take a moment to calm down and think about what upset you. Chances are, it’s not as big of a deal as you originally thought. Striving to reduce your stress level will improve your on-the-job outlook and your relationships with others.

Let us know how you deal with work stress in the comments section below.


  1. Genie Zenowich

    I have a Nerf airplane named “Myself”. “Myself” is written in Magic Marker on the body of the plane. When I start really getting too wound up, I go to the second floor balcony at work and throw “myself” over the ledge. It’s good for a laugh all around and reminds me not to take “Myself” too seriously.

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