Do you frequently feel stress during work? Do you feel your level of stress is having a negative impact on your performance at work? If you answered “yes” you’re not alone. Most people feel some level of stress during work. To help understand what type of impact stress can have on someone’s work performance and what can be done to reduce stress during work, I have interviewed Clinical Psychologist Jeffrey A. Betman, Ph.D.
Tell me a little bit about yourself.
“I am a Clinical psychologist in practice over 23 years working with children, teens and adults. Consultant to Eton Academy in Birmingham, MI, a private school for students grades 1-12 with learning challenges. I am a consultant to Lawrence Technological University in Southfield, Michigan. I trained at McLean Hospital in Boston, a Harvard teaching hospital.”
What type of impact can stress have on someone’s work performance?
“Workplace stress can be from anything and anyone. This can include projects, bosses, clients and coworkers. Stress can potentially impact a person both physically and emotionally. Physical symptom can include any type of somatic, or bodily complaint such as headaches, stomachaches, or back pains. Emotional symptoms can come out as anxiety, feeling overwhelmed, lack of motivation, or difficulties with attention and concentration. Stress can lower creativity, lower problem solving ability, and lead to more rigid thinking. Any of these symptoms can adversely affect work performance.”
How can someone reduce stress during work?
“Purposely tune out negative people and gossip. Almost nothing is more damaging than listening to negative people. They will bring you down. When feeling stressed, take 3 deep-from-the-diaphragm breaths. Take a 90 second mini break by shutting your eyes. Most stimulation comes in via our visual sense. Laugh. Break every 1-2 hours by taking a walk, daydreaming or meditating. Learn to let things go. Most things truly do not matter. Let go of the things you have no control over. Most people feel they can control things that they really can’t.”
What type of professional help is available for someone who is experiencing stress at work?
“See if your workplace offers an EAP program. If they do, you can get confidential counseling, often at low or no cost. Check if your workplace offers classes such as yoga or Pilates. These are great ways to reduce stress. Private psychologists are available in every community. Check around with trusted friends for a recommendation.”
What last advice would you like to leave for someone who is experiencing stress at work?
“Psychological research and experience boils the stress response down to this: it’s all in how you react/perceive/interpret the potential stressor or event. If it feels stressful to you, then it is. Our reaction to stress is what matters most. Learn to react in a better, healthier way to stress.”
Thank you Dr. Betman for doing the interview on how to reduce stress during work. For more information on Dr. Betman or his work check out his website on psychologicalsolutionscenter.com.
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