Your body might already be showing the first signs of work stress. Unfortunately, it has become common to dismiss these as a natural and normal aspect of having a job.
Being under chronic work pressure can not only interfere with your ability to perform your job well, but also harm your health in the long run.
In fact, prolonged job stress can impact both your physical and mental well-being, just as smoking or lack of exercise does. Monitoring your work habits will ensure that you are not prioritizing your wok over your health.
What Causes Work Stress
The American Institute of Stress points out that these are the four main reasons that cause work pressure:
- Workload – 46%.
- Interpersonal issues – 28%.
- Juggling work and personal life – 20%.
- Lack of job security – 6%.
That said, every workplace is different, and each individual might respond to the pressure of their job differently. For instance, for some students, essay writing might be a task they enjoy. On the other hand, others might be anxious about meeting the deadlines and use a reliable essay service such as EssayWritingService to help them through their academic journey.
The same is applicable to working professionals. What might be easy to handle for some might be a challenging task for others. However, the earlier you recognize the signs of work stress, the easier it will become for you to do something about it.
Signs of Work Stress
The first step in combating work stress is understanding how it is affecting you. Below are some of the common indicators that you are dealing with a highly stressful work environment.
Changes in How you Act or Feel at Work
- Tendency to take time off work.
- Leaving for work later.
- Lack of motivation or commitment.
- Being withdrawn or losing focus at work.
- Emotional reactions such as being extra sensitive or aggressive.
- Diminished creativity.
- Issues with coworkers.
- Lower tolerance level or impatience.
- Chronic headaches.
- Muscular tension.
- Gastrointestinal problems – such as diarrhea or constipation.
- Dermatological issues.
- Anxiety, depression or other mental health
- Pessimistic outlook.
- Being unable to cope with work demands.
- Cognitive difficulties.
As you can see, such issues can keep your defenses on high alert and even lead to high blood pressure, chronic pain, and affect your immune system.
If you find yourself experiencing these signs, it is time to take swift actions.
How to Deal with Work Stress
The first step to deal with work stress is to identify what is causing it. Once you know which areas of your job make you unhappy, you will be able to have better control over how you tackle it.
Get Up and Move
Exercise can do wonders to your stress, especially if you can commit to it regularly. Aerobic activity elevates your heart rate, which can lift up your mood instantly, thus leaving you with increased energy and sharpened focus.
If you have the time, use your breaks at work to do a quick stroll around the block. You can even fit a quick run during your lunch breaks.
In the worst scenario, try to get up from your desk and move around while at work. This will allow you to break up your work mode and help you regain your focus.
This simply means that you need to pay attention to what is happening around you and bring your attention to the present.
In other words, we naturally worry over future projects or deadlines and let it engulf your thought process. At times, you might need to pull yourself back to reality.
You can do some calming breathing exercises or quick meditation without even having to leave your desk. Take a minute of break frequently to identify the sounds around you, relax your muscles, and reboot your mind.
Get Enough Sleep
It might seem contradictory to ask you to get enough sleep when your stress might be stopping you from it. One way to tackle this is to make sure that you build a night routine that helps you calm your mind before you go to bed.
If you didn’t know this already, using a phone or tablet will only strain your eyes, which can make it difficult to fall asleep. Instead, stop using any electronic devices that emit light for a while before your bedtime.
Once you have built a regular sleep schedule, you will find it easier to fall asleep at the same time of the day.
Make Wise Food Choices
Low blood sugar can only make your anxiety and irritability worse. On the other hand, if you eat too much junk food, it can also make you feel lethargic. Preparing a healthy meal can be one of the ways that help you work through stressful days.
Eat small and frequent meals that will help your body maintain blood sugar and help keep your energy up.
It is indeed possible that you are not fully aware of what your stress response is while you are actually working. You might be caught up with the demands without realizing the toll it is having on both your mental and physical well-being.
Although you cannot change your work environment in one day, the steps we mentioned here can help you take care of yourself before it disrupts other aspects of your life.