Stop before Work-Related Stress Becomes a Health Issue

Aug 26, 2014
Tagged with: Stop before Work-Related Stress Becomes a Health Issue

The nature of how work is done has changed radically over the years. It is a far more competitive and cutthroat world today than ever before. Long hours, inadequate rest and constant pressure to perform can take a huge toll on the mental health of anyone.

The workplace today demands you to constantly communicate by using a variety of means that did not exist a decade ago. Technologies like the cell phone and Internet which keep you consistently updated with work and other events can often be a cause of stress. The inability of the workers to relax or take a break can result in what is known as a burnout and have serious psychological and physical effects.

Have you ever spent your weekend agonizing about work on Monday? If you have you could be dealing with higher than usual stress and anxiety about your work. This, if not taken care of, can result in serious medical issues, and can lead to further complications.

Symptoms of Work-Related Stress

Work stresses everyone on occasion, but the problem starts when this stress becomes a norm. Many people are unaware of how stressed they really are, and often believe taking time off will hurt their chances of career advancement. But ignoring occupational stress can result into ailments ranging from mild anxiety to full-blown physical ailments.

If you are having trouble sleeping, feeling run down, eating irregularly or are not enjoying what you do as much as you used to, you could be experiencing stress. While it is commonly agreed that a certain amount of stress keeps us sharp, not many of us take into account the markers showing the adverse effects of stress on us.

While unemployment rates might have lowered in the US, instances of work-related stress are only on the rise. A 2013 survey by the Everest College found that more than 8 out of 10 Americans are stressed out at work. That makes 83% of all American workers stressed. This is a sharp 10 percentage point increase over 2012. The Center for Disease Control has categorically said that more than half of all deaths up to the age of 65 occur due to a stressful lifestyle.

Many times stress can be hard to isolate and difficult to treat as it could have been caused by a range of pressures over time. Introduction to constantly changing technologies is also a commonly known cause for stress. Many people manage to function for a long time with great psychological and physical pain in the hopes of keeping up appearances. But getting treated for stress is of prime importance to avoid long-term repercussions. Some common causes for stress at work are:


  • Lack of time to finish the job properly
  • No clear job description or chain of command
  • No one to complain to
  • Too much responsibility with little authority
  • Uncooperative co-workers
  • Insecurity about holding the job
  • Prejudice
  • Hazardous or unpleasant conditions
  • No opportunity to use one’s talent effectively

Employer’s Responsibility

Every member of the staff has a responsibility to be open about their health and well-being with their manager. If the manager is unapproachable then it is difficult for the employees to be honest with him. When pressure at work can potentially turn into stress the manager has to be made aware. Workloads, deadlines and the environment of the office play a huge role in increasing the stress on an employee.

The employer must make sure that the situation is improved before an employee falls sick. A manager is only legally bound to take things at face value, so it is always better to inform him about your ill-health.

A positive working culture ensures that all the employees are happy and in good mental health. Being able to go to the manager and talk to him or her about your concerns with the work environment or the amount of work coming your way is not a sign of weakness, but of trust.

How to Deal with Work-Related Stress

Exercise is one of the best ways to deal with work-related stress. Not only does it help your body stay in shape, but it also can keep your mind razor sharp by releasing endorphins in your brain which elevate your mood and energy levels. Engaging yourself in activities that interest you after work, like a sport or walking your dog, can also be a calming routine to follow.

What is most important to understand is that giving yourself time to recover from your day at work before powering up for the next day is crucial. As bad as the economy might look today, burning yourself out at work is not going to be of much help if you are not healthy enough to enjoy the benefits of it. What causes you the most stress? How do you cope with it?



Author: Michael Georgiou

  • bobl07

    My favorite stress relief activity is swimming. Thanks for the tips.