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Work Relieves Stress For Many

Deb Bright discusses findings of a TIPP Poll if immersing ourselves in our work can reduce stress. She also offers a few stress-relieving tips.

Stress on sand

Have you given any thought to whether work helps to alleviate other stresses in your life? After all, plenty of things can cause stress these days! Just look at all of the uncertainty within organizations about whether or not to work remotely. Then there is having to deal with information or disinformation about wearing or not wearing masks and the heightened threat of the Delta variant. On top of all this, what’s happening in your personal life? It’s no wonder that stress levels for many of us are on the rise!

Will burying ourselves in our work help to minimize or alleviate stress?

Well, many survey respondents nationwide weighed in on this question as part of a recent national TIPP Poll. Findings revealed that while 49% of women believe that work is a great stress reliever from other stresses in their life, men scored a surprising 66%.  Overall, 57% think work is a stress reliever.  

TIPP Poll Results: Americans stress, and work.

What captured my curiosity is that 37% of women disagreed and 14% were unsure! Interestingly, according to the TIPP Poll, it didn’t matter if the women respondents were single or married; the percentages were very similar.

TIPP Poll Results: Americans and work relieving other life stresses

Sharing these findings with many working people generated robust and exciting conversations. Here’s a summary of their opinions on what may account for many women not viewing work as a stress reliever of other stresses in their lives!

  • Women may be more honest and open about their feelings than men.
  • Women may feel more pressure to be in the workforce today than years ago when it was more of an option. For many, being away from their young ones while at work isn’t desirable and produces more stress than it alleviates.
  • In many households, women still take on the bulk of household and child-rearing responsibilities. Working simply adds to their list of duties. As one female executive explained, “Work is a diversion from my other stresses in life, but not a reliever.”
  • If female respondents are working remotely due to the pandemic, they may feel the blur between work and home life. How many times during Zoom calls have dogs, cats, and little ones entered the stage during meetings? It’s the “blur” that may leave many women feeling as if the stress is always there.

Whether work serves as a stress reliever or not isn’t as important as finding ways to break away so that you can come back more charged up and willing to face the stresses in your life. Here are two easy-to-implement tips to get you started immediately:

Tip 1: Find A Diversion That Requires Your Full Attention

Exercising may typically be the first thing that comes to mind. The critical thing here is not just any exercise. It’s best to engage in a game of tennis, racquetball, basketball, or football. You get the gist! It’s an activity that needs your full attention. Walking and running are great forms of exercise, but not for what you’re trying to achieve here!

If you are not into exercising, you might try playing with your children, woodworking, or engaging in another hobby that requires all of your attention!

Tip 2: Achieve Some Level Of Accomplishment

Finding something that you can get engaged in is excellent, but what’s energizing is experiencing some level of accomplishment. For example, reading a book, you’ve been wanting to dive into or even reading that technical article will give you a sense of accomplishment. Cooking something brand-new where you become the chemist in the kitchen also works, as does calling or emailing a friend you feel you’ve neglected.

Remember that these tips aren’t intended to resolve the stresses in your life; however, they’ll help position you to come back from your break feeling stronger and with greater determination to better deal with your stresses!

Deborah Bright is the founder and president of Bright Enterprises, Inc., an executive coaching and training organization, and the author of six books, including The Truth Doesn’t Have to Hurt: How to Use Criticism to Strengthen Relationships, Improve Performance, and Promote Change (AMACOM, 2014).


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