Work Stress, Causes & What can we do about it ?
Since work stress has increased significantly, people have wondered about causes? First of all is the separation between work and home declining. Majority of individuals have work-phones that are connected to their e-mail. Many people tend to “check” constantly their inbox and before they know checking the e-mails becomes a habit or even an addiction. For those who come home to a spouse or children after a long day, can be easily distracted if the mind is dwelling at the last e-mail. Plus with work phones becoming so common it is easy to get a hold of you outside the workplace.
Personality can also have an effect in this matter, certain personality types are more vulnerable to stress than others. One personality type within psychology is the conscientiousness type. That person is organized, trustworthy, shows self-esteem and fulfills its duties well, is ambitious and appreciates routine. That type might struggle with the balance between home and the workplace since it is highly ambitious for both things. This could result in inner conflict (dissonance). However, this type of personality is also very resourceful and will try to find a solution to achieve that balance.
Another example is the extroversion type. Individuals that score high on extroversion are more likely than others to ignore stress symptoms. Extraverted individuals have more of so-called positive emotions. As a result, stress symptoms can be easily dismissed by these individuals. Long term stress can develop into depression if untreated and ignored. That’s why it is very important to pay attention to the symptoms.
An example of common stress symptoms:
– Sleep disturbances
– Skin problems
– Digestion problems
– Increased heart rate
– Joint pain
– Problems with concentration & memory problems
– Repeated infections
– Change in mood
– Increased intake of caffeine drinks, alcohol or nicotine
Minor precautions could reduce stress for many:
- The work phone can be left at work, or take notifications off your phone when at home.
- Have a clear idea of what your employer expects. Does he/she really expect that you are checking your mail after work hours? Hence wants you to be at work all the time.
- Regular exercise does wonder as a stress reducer.
- Reduce the intake of caffeine drinks, alcohol consumption or nicotine
- The social part is very important. One side effect of stress is social isolation. Meeting friends & spending time with the people around you can boost our oxytocin, usually called the love hormone.
- Indulging in your hobbies is something that can have a profound impact on your well-being. Doing something for yourself has a positive impact both physically and mentally whether it’s playing a musical instrument, reading a good book or whatever it is.
If you think that you have some signs of work stress, it’s worth considering how you can reduce it. Long term stress can be subtle and can develop into depression if unnoticed. However, it is also treatable and therefore important to seek help if you think you have numerous signs of work stress.
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Picture by: Snæþór Sigurbjörn Halldórsson