With the escalating levels of work-related stress, many individuals have been pondering its root causes. One significant contributor is the diminishing boundary between work and home life. A vast majority of people possess work phones that are linked to their email accounts.
This easy access prompts individuals to frequently check their inboxes, gradually forming a habit or even an addiction. For those returning home to their spouses or children after a long day, this constant mental preoccupation with emails can easily lead to distraction. Furthermore, with work phones becoming commonplace, reaching individuals outside the workplace has never been easier.
Personality also plays a crucial role in this context, as certain personality types are more susceptible to stress than others. One personality type, recognized in psychology, is conscientiousness. Individuals with this personality type tend to be organized, reliable, possess self-esteem, fulfill their duties diligently, exhibit ambition, and value routine.
However, they may grapple with striking a balance between their home life and career due to their high ambitions in both domains. This can result in inner conflict (dissonance). Nevertheless, individuals with conscientious personalities are resourceful and actively seek solutions to achieve that balance.
Another personality trait to consider is extroversion. Individuals with high extroversion scores are more inclined to overlook stress symptoms compared to others. Extraverted individuals often experience more positive emotions, making it easier for them to dismiss stress symptoms.
However, untreated and disregarded long-term stress can potentially evolve into depression. Therefore, it is imperative to pay heed to these symptoms.
Common stress symptoms include:
Elevated heart rateIrritability
Concentration and memory problems
Mood fluctuationsIncreased consumption of caffeine, alcohol, or nicotine
Taking minor precautions can significantly reduce stress for many:
1. Leave the work phone at the workplace or disable notifications when at home
2. Gain a clear understanding of your employer's expectations. Does your employer genuinely expect you to check your email after working hours? Is constant availability a requirement?
3. Engage in regular exercise, a powerful stress reducer.
4. Reduce the consumption of caffeine, alcohol, or nicotine.
5. Foster social connections. Stress can lead to social isolation, so spending time with friends and loved ones can boost oxytocin, often referred to as the "love hormone."
6. Pursue hobbies and activities that bring you joy. Engaging in self-care has a positive impact both physically and mentally, whether it involves playing a musical instrument, reading a good book, or any other fulfilling pursuit.
If you recognize signs of work-related stress in yourself, it's crucial to contemplate ways to mitigate it. Prolonged stress can be subtle and may progress into depression if left unattended. However, it is treatable, making it essential to seek help if you identify numerous signs of work-related stress.