Did you know that at least six million people per year take sick leave due to stress-related factors? These numbers are continuously on the rise due to increasing competition and the pressure of performance at the workplace.
"The clock ticking, deadlines to meet, targets to catch up on ... "-the works, really. We all are familiar with these situations. But some of the 'pressures' can be productive and some can be horribly disconcerting. While pressure and stress are manageable for a short while, what happens in the long run? How does it affect your mental, emotional, and physical wellbeing? Work-related stress is usually caused due to a combination of various factors. It is different for different people, and each individual will experience different degrees of it. Which means, some people will be worked up about the smallest thing, whereas others can handle great amounts of pressure without breaking a sweat.
The first step to dealing with chronic stress is to determine what triggers it in the first place. Here are some typical conditions to be aware of:
- No control on amount of work
- Too many time-based pressures
- Inflexibility in working hours or excessive overtime
- Excessive responsibilities and huge span of control
- Lack of interest
- Monotony of the job
- Lack of professional training and learning
- Improper balance between professional and personal life
- Difficulty in social relationships at work
- No support from colleagues and seniors
- No proper job prospects
- No structure or organization at work
- Hostile supervisor or management
Such people will show some signs or symptoms, either physically, emotionally, or in their behavior. Here are some of the common warning signs and symptoms of stress:
- More vulnerable to common colds and infections
- Migraines or headaches
- Tensed muscles
- Pain in the back and neck
- Digestive problems
- Increased heart rate and chest pain
- Excessive sweating
- Skin rashes
- Bad vision and blurriness
Emotional and Behavioral changes:
- Insomnia or difficulty in sleeping
- Irritability or short temper
- Feeling of helplessness
- Agitation and inability to relax
- No sense of accomplishment
- Excessive eating or loss of appetite
- Lack of concentration and focus
- Lack of motivation
- No commitment to work
How to Deal with it?
The best help is self-help; learn to push yourself out of such a situation. Make some changes in your work-life. These include prioritizing your tasks and better time management. Delegate as and when required and try to get back some of the control you may have lost. It would be advisable to talk about this with a counselor or even your immediate supervisor. They would be able to offer any help and also help you create a remedial plan. One major lifestyle change you can make is to not carry your work home and instead, spend that time to learn something new, try your hand at a hobby, or just be with the family.
It's important to know that stress can be dealt with a positive mindset and being open to change. So drive those worries away and embrace your work with open arms!