The Bottom Line on Employee Stress Relief
Do your employees practice healthy stress relief? According to research from Carnegie Mellon University, stress has increased 30% over the last 30 years.
Stress is a continuum in an employee’s day.
We get yelled at by a loved one, can’t find our keys, and are forced to change our outfit from an accidental spill. What happens at home is brought to work and builds as the day progresses. Stress affects the body and the mind. It interferes with attention, mood and judgment- just to name a few. Then, we don't just let it affect ourselves, we push it onto others.
For employers, stress affects retention, absenteeism, outcomes, conflicts, health care spending, accidents and company culture. If stress messes with your employees, then it is going to mess with your bottom line. According the World Health Organization, annually $300 Billion in healthcare dollars are spent due to stress alone.
Tackling stress at work can be a proactive and preventative effort.
Establishing habits backed by evidence based practices are the proven methods for stress success. You may witness those that break from their desks, hoping a handful of break room carbs will fuel them into a groove. Others fight attention and hold off to the end of the day to take some personal time. But, true stress regulation exercises are mind altering relief that have real effects and lasting results. For instance, research from Mount Sinai found that meditation had significantly more lasting effects on the stress response over taking a vacation. While that desk break might refuel energy, other methods have shown to be more efficient.
Meditation has an extensive list of benefits and can be practiced starting off for a few minutes per day. Positive psychology journaling establishes better thinking to encourage a more opportunistic outlook. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or CBT is a strong method for altering damaging thoughts to create better outcomes.
We can’t control what happens throughout an employee’s day, or how it subsequently affects them. We can provide them the tools to cope, so it has less of an impact on them and the company.
Stress management has beneficial characteristics that boost morale and leave employees more productive and with better time management skills. They can make better decisions and handle relationships with ease when stress is out of the way.
The continuum of stress doesn't have to build into a work day. Make stress regulation a team effort by offering proven tools to your employees. We all want the best for our coworkers and our businesses. Establishing true stress regulation habits is a solid step toward having a well-rounded environment.
Cara Jacobsen is the Clinical Director for DataDog Health developing MINDSET, a biomedical app that manages and measures stress regulation for businesses and institutions. She has a Masters degree in Social Work (MSW) from St. Louis University.