Here's How to Manage Your Stress Levels at Work, According to Experts



According to a survey done by The American Institute of Stress involving a total of 800,000 workers in over 300 companies, the number of employees calling in sick because of stress tripled from 1996 to 2000. To make matters worse, an estimated one million workers are absent every day due to stress. The European Agency for Safety and Health at Work reports that over half of the 550 million working days lost annually in the U.S. from absenteeism are stress related and that one in five of all last-minute no-shows is due to job stress. Since the early '90s, Americans have been praising this overworked, overstressed lifestyle. Studies show that in 1999, more than 25 million Americans worked at least 49 hours a week, and 11 million of those said they worked more than 59 hours a week.

It's time for us to stop this vicious stress cycle at work. It's certainly easier said than done, considering that in many cases stress triggers are completely out of your control. I've been so stressed at a former job that it caused me to feel helpless and delusional: Maybe I'm overreacting? I questioned myself, and I kept my head down and did the work for almost a year, allowing stress to overshadow my happiness in and out of the workplace. In reality, I was being mistreated and needed to change my environment to save my mental state. I learned that it's never worth losing yourself in stress over work, as it does more internal and emotional damage in the long run.

We consulted top stress experts to share how to handle stress at the workplace. Sanam Hafeez, NYC-based licensed clinical psychologist; Christopher Calapai, osteopathic physician and stress expert; and Kelly Resendez, best-selling author of Big Voices and women's empowerment advocate share well-researched strategies and advice on ways to choose peace in and outside of the office.