A healthy job is likely to be one where the pressures on employees are in line with the employees abilities and resources, to the amount of control they have over their work, and to the support they receive from people who matter to them.
How can work stress occur?
- Conflicting demands
- Unclear performance expectations
- Few opportunities for growth or advancement
- Work isn’t engaging or challenging
- Lack of social support
- Excessive workloads
- Low salaries
Work-related stress is the response people may have when they are presented with work demands and pressures that are not matched to their knowledge and abilities and which challenge their ability to cope. Work stress occurs in a wide range of work circumstances but is often made worse when employees feel they have little support from supervisors and colleagues, as well as little control over work processes. There is often confusion between pressure or challenge and stress and sometimes it is used to excuse bad management practice.
In recent times, researchers have studied the relationship between job stress and physical illness. Some of the symptoms include sleep disturbances, upset stomach, headaches, high blood pressure, loss of appetite, insomnia, short attention span and depression. As an employee it’s your responsibility to look after your mental and physical health too. There are many ways to do this, such as learning to relax, taking short breaks throughout the day, prioritizing, managing time well and communicating effectively with coworkers. Lifestyle changes such as increasing exercise and making healthy food choices are other ways that employees can decrease stress, as these good habits will carry over into the workplace.
At McLean Counseling Center our professional mental health experts offer therapy that can intervene in ways that will prevent the initial stress response. We will work with our patients to give them all the necessary and available tools to help them reduce intense stress and shorten how long their stress lasts. Learn more about our work stress management program.