Job stress comes in different forms and affects your mind and body in
different ways. Small things can make you feel stressed, such as a copy machine
that never seems to work when you need it or phones that won't quit ringing.
Major stress comes from having too much or not enough work or doing work that
doesn't satisfy you. Conflicts with your boss, coworkers, or customers are
other major causes of stress.
It's normal to have some stress.
Stress releases hormones that speed up your heart, make you breathe faster, and
give you a burst of energy. Stress can be useful when you need to focus on or
finish a big project. But too much stress or being under stress for too long
isn't good for you. Constant stress can make you more likely to get sick more
often. It can also lead to long-term health problems such as
high blood pressure, back problems, and
Look for these signs of job
Most of the time, it's the
major sources of stress that lead to job burnout and health problems. Job
stress can affect your home life too. Here are some common sources of major job
stress, with examples of each:
You can reduce some job
stress by learning how to manage your time and your job duties. Think about the
kinds of events that trigger stress for you at work. Then you can focus on one
or two things you can do that will help the most to reduce stress. Here are
You and your boss
For more information, see:
You and your job
Take care of yourself
identify what's creating stress at work. Maybe it's lack
of control over your job. Or maybe it's worry about losing your job or how you
are doing at work. You might feel stress because you're unable to express your
thoughts and ideas to your boss and coworkers.
why you want to reduce stress at work. You might want to
protect your heart and your health by reducing stress. Or maybe you simply want
to enjoy your life more and not let work stress control how you feel. Your
reason for wanting to change is important. If your reason comes from you-and
not someone else-it will be easier for you to make a healthy change for good.
Next, set a goal for yourself that
involves reducing your stress level. Think about both a long-term and a
Here are a few examples:
After setting your goals, think about what might get in your way. Use a
personal action plan(What is a PDF document?) to write down your goals, the
possible barriers, and your ideas for getting past them. By thinking about
these barriers now, you can plan ahead for how to deal with them if they
Most important, make sure you get support from friends and family in your efforts to reduce job stress. If
your company has an employee assistance program, you might use it to talk with
a counselor. A counselor can help you set goals and provide support in dealing
If you are truly miserable because
of a stressful job, it may be time to think about changing jobs. Make sure you
know whether it is you or the job that's the problem.
quit, spend time thinking about other job options. Not having a job will
probably also lead to stress. Getting another job before you quit is best, but
sometimes that isn't possible. Decide what is less stressful for
you-unemployment or being miserable in your current job. It might help to talk
with a counselor about your choices.
April 20, 2011
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Lisa S. Weinstock, MD - Psychiatry
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