When people say "my job will be the death of me," they may be closer to the truth than they think. The effects of stress in the workplace account for over half of all work-related claims since sufferers are frequently sick.
If the causes of stress in the workplace are not addressed, research shows it can lead to an increased risk of serious health issues, such as:
- heart disease
- stomach ulcers
- poor immune function
- disorders of the upper back and shoulders
Hopefully by learning about stress, you can reduce the effects of stress long before it manifests in such serious health issues.
Recognizing the Causes of Stress
If your job is keeping you awake at night or causing frayed nerves, these are typical effects of stress that can lead to lower immunity, frequent illness, and eventually taking a significant toll on cardiac health.
Stress levels rise when workers are overworked and frustrated. Ironically, they struggle to get on top of the workload or situation by working even longer hours. If possible, discuss the situation with a senior or communicate your needs to your boss. Often sharing the problem can lower the effects of stress and may help reduce the causes of stress too.
Learn to protect yourself from mental and physical strain by switching off your phone and enjoying down time to relax and recharge your batteries. If the cause of stress is not addressed at an early stage it can lead to burnout and breakdown.
Other causes of stress can be related to worries about possible job loss or redundancy, having to accept lower hours and reduced income, or even not having a job at all. Job-related worries are front and center for many people during a struggling economy.
Related: The Stress Menopause Connection
Lowering the Effects of Stress
There are myriad methods of relaxation and exercise techniques to help you counter stress and help to reduce the tendency to worry.
Start a stress (or a health journal). Writing down your thoughts and feelings can help you identify the causes of stress in your life, and how you reacted to it. Upon reflection, you may be able to react more positively or differently next time. Talk to a friend, or perhaps a counselor to discuss your concerns.
Regular aerobic exercise is known to reduce stress, replacing the adrenaline and cortisol with endorphins that trigger feelings of euphoria and banish the effects of stress, at least for a time. Other good ways to manage the effects of stress include yoga, tai chi and qigong. These practices instill prana, or healthy breathing techniques, the art of meditation and effectively lower the effects of stress safely and naturally.
Finally, find the right animal companion for you. Whether it’s a dog, a cat or a frog, sharing time with a pet has been shown to reduce stress, lower blood pressure, and produces a feeling of calm. So enjoy the joys of loving an animal, and if you cannot have one, volunteer at a local shelter. One great way to reduce stress is by napping with a dog (or cat)!