Stress at work and how to manage it

Stress at work

Stress at work and how to manage it

Stress at work and how to manage it 1920 1280 Paterakis Michalis
Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

In this article, you will find effective management strategies to deal with workplace stress. You will learn to identify what triggers it and recognize its symptoms. With a focus on taking care of yourself, you’ll develop techniques for immediate relief and a long-term plan for a healthier work environment.

It’s time to relax and approach every task with calm and confidence.

What anxiety means from a psychoanalytical point of view

From a psychoanalytic point of view, anxiety is a multifaceted psychological phenomenon closely related to unconscious conflicts and the interaction between the different components of the mind. Sigmund Freud, the founder of psychoanalysis, identified anxiety as a signal of unresolved conflicts between the  id , the ego  and the  superego.


That is the most primitive and instinctual part of the psyche, representing innate biological drives and desires. It operates on the pleasure principle, seeking immediate gratification and pleasure without concern for consequences. It is impulsive, irrational and unconscious, driving basic instincts such as hunger, thirst and sexual desires.


The ego is reality-oriented that develops in response to the demands of the external world. It operates on the principle of reality, aiming to satisfy the ego’s desires in a socially acceptable and realistic way. The ego acts as a mediator between the impulsive id and the moralistic superego, balancing immediate needs with the constraints of reality.


The superego represents internalized moral standards, social norms, and the individual’s sense of right and wrong. It develops through the internalization of parental and social values during the process of socialization. The superego acts as a moral guide, imposing moral standards and imposing feelings of guilt or shame when the individual deviates from these standards.

According to psychoanalytic theory, anxiety serves as a defense mechanism that the ego uses to manage the tension between the conflicting demands of id and the superego. The mind’s attempts to deal with these conflicts can lead to heightened states of anxiety. Unresolved issues from early psychosexual development, such as the oedipal complex, are also thought to influence the formation of anxiety patterns later in life.

By gaining insight into the underlying causes of anxiety, individuals can work towards resolving underlying conflicts and developing more adaptive coping mechanisms.

In summary, from a psychoanalytic perspective, anxiety is viewed as a complex reaction to internal conflicts and as a signal of unresolved psychological tensions. Understanding and addressing these underlying conflicts form the basis of psychoanalytic interventions aimed at alleviating anxiety and promoting psychological well-being.

Identifying workplace stressors

To effectively deal with stress in your workplace, you need to start by identifying the specific stressors that are part of your daily routine. Understanding the causes of workplace stress is the first step in creating a more supportive environment for both you and your colleagues. Common symptoms of stress can include irritability, fatigue and difficulty concentrating. It is important to recognize these signs early to address them promptly.

Communication in the workplace is a powerful tool for managing stress. When you openly discuss workload and expectations with your colleagues and supervisors, you can foster a culture of support and understanding. Don’t hesitate to communicate if you’re feeling overwhelmed; sharing your concerns can lead to solutions that benefit everyone.

Incorporating relaxation techniques into your day can significantly mitigate stress. Even a few minutes of deep breathing or mindfulness can help realign your thoughts and feelings. Also, creating a balance between work and personal life is vital. Make sure you set boundaries and set aside time for rest and activities that rejuvenate you.

Recognising the symptoms of stress

It is important to be aware of the common symptoms that signal stress. These can manifest as irritability, fatigue, headaches or difficulty concentrating. Recognising these is the first step in taking preventative measures to manage your stress levels.

As you are committed to serving others, it is vital to ensure that you do not neglect your own well-being. Identifying triggers in your work environment can help you understand what is exacerbating your stress. Once you know what these triggers are, you can begin to implement coping techniques. Simple methods, such as deep breathing exercises or short walks, can significantly reduce your stress at a given moment.

In addition, many stress management apps are available to guide you through relaxation practices and mindfulness exercises during breaks or after work hours.

Immediate stress relief techniques

Having explored the common symptoms of workplace stress, let’s now focus on techniques you can use immediately to relieve it when it occurs. Take deep breaths, step away from your workplace for a short walk, or try some gentle stretches to release tension. These are simple stress management techniques that can create a buffer between you and the pressures of the moment.

Maintaining a work-life balance is vital and you can start by setting clear boundaries between your professional and personal time. Even during busy periods, remember to take short breaks to recharge. Creating a positive work environment also plays a key role. This means fostering supportive relationships with your colleagues and finding ways to infuse your day with positivity, perhaps by personalising your space or celebrating small achievements.

Promoting a positive workplace

A positive workplace isn’t just about aesthetics; it’s about creating an environment where everyone feels valued and heard. Start by identifying the stressors in your team. Is it workload, communication issues or perhaps unclear expectations? Once you’ve identified them, you can address them by reducing the root causes of stress.

Recognizing the symptoms is equally important. Look out for signs of burnout among your colleagues – such as fatigue, irritability or a drop in performance. When you spot these symptoms, it’s time to intervene with stress techniques. Encourage breaks, share relaxation methods or simply offer a listening ear. Remember, you are not just colleagues; you are a community that thrives on mutual support.

In addition, support a healthy work-life balance. Promote policies that allow for flexible hours or remote work days when needed. It’s about respecting each other’s time and the need to recharge. Cultivating such a culture will not only serve your colleagues well but also create a more resilient and productive team.

Consciousness and breathing

The ability of your mind to stay present through mindfulness and controlled breathing can significantly reduce workplace stress.

Mindfulness practices can help you achieve this by bringing you into the present moment, thus reducing worries about past or future events. The benefits of mindfulness are numerous, including improved focus, better emotional regulation and increased resilience to stressors.

Incorporating breathing exercises into your daily routine is one of the most affordable stress reduction techniques you can use. These relaxation techniques involve taking slow, deep breaths to activate your body’s natural relaxation response. By doing this, you not only calm your mind but also signal to your body that it’s time to reduce stress hormones and enter a state of calm.

To incorporate these practices into your daily routine, take short periods for meditation or deep breathing exercises. Even a few minutes can reset your stress levels and improve your ability to serve others compassionately and effectively.

Physical health maintenance

While managing your mental state is vital, don’t overlook the importance of maintaining your physical health to combat workplace stress. Regular physical exercise can be a powerful means of stress relief. Not only does it strengthen your body, but it also releases endorphins, improving your mood and energy levels. Try to incorporate activities that you enjoy, making it easier to stick to a routine.

A balanced diet also plays an important role. A balanced diet fuels your body for the challenges you face. Focus on whole foods rich in vitamins and minerals and remember to stay hydrated throughout the day.

Don’t underestimate the value of good quality sleep. Make sure your bedroom is a haven of rest and that you stick to a sleep schedule. Proper rest is essential for your body to recover and fend off the stresses of work.

Also consider your workplace; implementing ergonomics in the workplace can prevent strain and discomfort, which, if ignored, can increase your stress. Adjust your chair, monitor and desk to support a natural posture.

Finally, equip yourself with relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing or progressive muscle relaxation. These tools can help you stay calm and focused.

Communication and support systems

Often, you will find that open and consistent communication with your colleagues greatly eases workplace stress. By developing communication strategies, you create an environment where everyone feels heard and understood. This openness helps to identify stressors early and allows for a proactive approach to managing them.

Remember that maintaining a healthy work-life balance is vital. It is about setting clear boundaries between professional and personal time. Encouraging each other to respect these boundaries can reduce the risk of burnout and improve overall job satisfaction.

Engage in conversations, ask for help when you need it and practice self-care to control your stress.

The importance of psychotherapy in the management of anxiety

Psychotherapy, or counselling, can be beneficial for managing anxiety . Stress has a significant impact on both mental and physical wellbeing and psychotherapy addresses the underlying psychological factors that contribute to it.

Psychotherapy provides a safe space for individuals to explore and understand the sources of their anxiety. Identifying specific stressors is crucial to developing effective coping strategies.

Therapists can help individuals challenge and reframe negative thought patterns that contribute to anxiety. This cognitive restructuring can lead to more adaptive and healthy ways of thinking, reducing overall levels of anxiety.

Learning how to manage emotions is a key component of many psychotherapeutic approaches. Developing emotional regulation skills helps individuals cope with stress in a more constructive way, preventing negative effects on physical health.

Psychotherapy often involves teaching practical strategies for managing stress, such as time management, problem solving and relaxation techniques.

Therapists often work with clients to develop individualized self-care routines. Engaging in activities that promote relaxation and well-being can counteract the negative effects of stress on physical health.

It is important to note that the effectiveness of psychotherapy may vary depending on individual factors, the specific type of therapy used and the nature of the stressors involved.

Stress management exercises

In addition to promoting communication and support, you will find that specific stress management exercises can significantly reduce tension in your workplace. By identifying the triggers that cause your stress, you can adjust your response to be more effective. Practicing relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation or meditation, can be powerful stress reduction strategies. These exercises can be done right in your office, helping to maintain wellness in the workplace throughout your day.

Finally, implementing self-care practices is also vital. This can include small, regular breaks where you step away from your workstation to stretch or walk. Such habits not only relieve physical tension but also provide mental refreshment. Remember, taking care of yourself isn’t just about reacting to stress; it’s about building resilience so you can serve others in the best way possible.

Contacting the psychologist psychotherapist

A psychotherapist acts as an ally, providing a safe and non-judgmental space to explore the complexities of your thoughts, feelings and experiences. Whether you are facing specific challenges, in life transitions or simply seeking personal growth, a psychotherapist can offer valuable insights, coping strategies and support tailored to your unique needs.

Investing in your mental well-being is an act of self-care that reflects positively on all aspects of your life. Take the first step today – reach out to a psychotherapist and begin a journey of self-awareness, resilience and empowerment.

Your mental health matters and with the guidance of a qualified professional, you can face challenges, build resilience and create a more meaningful and balanced life. Working with a qualified mental health professional can help tailor the approach to individual needs and circumstances.

*Republication of the article without the written permission of the author is prohibited.

The process of psychotherapy requires commitment, dedication and is only for those who are serious about changing their lives. If you are considering embarking on this journey, call me at 211 71 51 801 to make an appointment and let’s see together how I can help you.

Michael Paterakis

Psychologist Psychotherapist

37 Karneadou Street, Kolonaki

I accept By appointment

Tel: 211 7151 801


    Πατεράκης Μιχάλης
    Ψυχολόγος Αθήνα


      Psychologist Athens