Work stress is a common experience among most individuals. Often times, factors such as increased workload, unsupportive supervisors, low salaries, and isolation within the work environment can result in increased work stress. While most individuals experience some degree of work stress, it is important to note that long-lasting work stress can negatively impact a person’s physical and emotional health. Specifically, persistent work stress can result in physical symptoms, such as headaches, stomachaches, and sleep difficulties. In addition, uncontrolled work stress can lead to emotional difficulties, such as anxiety and depression.
The American Psychological Association outlines a variety of steps individuals can take to address the physical and emotional effects of work stress. Some of these steps include:
- Developing boundaries within the work place. This may entail devoting certain hours of the day to work and certain hours of the day to non-work activities.
- Participating in healthy activities. In order to address the stress that may arise with work, it is important to ensure that you are getting enough sleep, eating properly, and exercising.
- Engaging in relaxation exercises. It is important to try to relax by utilizing deep breathing techniques or meditation activities.
- Reach out to your supervisor. Talking to your supervisor about work stressors can be useful as supervisors are sometimes unaware of the stress you may be experiencing. Discussing your stress with your supervisor may result in your supervisor changing your workload and/or your supervisor may work with you to develop more adaptive ways to managie your stress.
Utilizing the above-mentioned techniques may be useful to ensure that you are able to manage the demands of work without letting them take a toll on your physical and mental health.
By: Jenny Wittmann, M.A.