Stress is a part of life, so you can't always avoid it. In fact, there are times when stress can be good for you and motivate you to change. What matters most is the reason why you're stressed, how long it lasts and what you can do to end it. This is especially true when it comes to dealing with work-related stress.
What Is Work-Related Stress?
Work-related stress is the pressure or worry you feel in relation to your job duties and work environment. When you think of work-related stress, you may picture a demanding boss or coworkers that are hard to get along with. While both of these situations can create a stressful work environment, additional factors include:
- Unrealistic workloads
- Negative work environments
- Unclear performance expectations
- Low salaries with no room for advancement
If you find yourself in one or more of these situations, and you dread going to work, then you are dealing with work-related stress.
How Does Work-Related Stress Affect the Body?
Work-related stress isn't just something that can irritate or annoy you. It also affects your body and can be very damaging to your health. For example, if you experienced birth trauma when you were born and developed seizures as a result of it, then work-related stress can be a trigger that causes you to have an epileptic episode. While this example may seem a bit extreme, it demonstrates the seriousness of work-related stress and the importance of finding effective ways to manage it.
If you suffer from work-related stress, common symptoms you may experience include:
- Muscle tension
- Trouble sleeping
- High blood pressure
The longer these symptoms continue, the more they'll affect your body and they can lead to serious illnesses such as high blood pressure, depression, stroke or heart disease. To keep this from happening to you, there are several simple ways for you to manage your work-related stress.
Practice Relaxation Techniques
A simple and easy way to address work-related stress is by practicing relaxation techniques such as meditation and deep breathing. While you'll want to find a private space like your car or an empty office to meditate, you can do deep breathing exercises alone or at your desk when you feel yourself getting stressed. The more you practice, the easier it will be for you to do one of these, so you can keep work-related stress from creeping up on you.
Take Your Breaks
Sometimes when you're trying to finish your work or make a deadline, you may be tempted to skip your breaks and continue working. To help reduce stress, you need to take your breaks and give yourself time to walk away for a minute and relax your mind. When you're busy and have to postpone your break, that's alright as long as you still take it at a later time.
Go for a Walk
Whether you walk to a nearby place for lunch or take a quick walk around the building, it helps to step away from your work area and go outside. Not only does this allow you to step away from a stressful environment, but it allows you to get some exercise by walking, which is also great for stress relief.
Listen to Music
If you have a job where you can listen to music while working, then put on some headphones and crank up your favorite tunes. Doing this will help you to relax while blocking out some of the stress and negativity around you. Just make sure your music doesn't affect your productivity. You can also put on some instrumental music or nature sounds instead, which may help you to focus more while still blocking out any outside distractions.
Whether you love or hate your job, there are times when it can become a bit stressful. By incorporating these suggestions into your daily routine, you'll be able to manage your work-related stress and improve your life.
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