Science says work stress is worsening your health in these ways

If you’re stressed out at work, that’s already a problem, but now you can add another level of discontent – your job could negatively impact your physical health.

Your work has a significant influence on the overall quality of your life, and there is a lot of data on its effects on your mental and emotional well-being. But research also shows it’s important for everything from energy levels and waistline to sleep and even longevity.

Fortunately, it is entirely possible to take action to reduce these negative effects.

The science behind work-related stress

There are many factors that matter to your health and they obviously interact with each other. But work tends to be especially important because it takes up a lot of your time and because it has a spillover effect on the rest of your life and on your health.

Your energy. You may be tired at the end of a work day, but your tiredness is likely to be worse if you’ve had a lot to worry about at work. A Texas A&M University study found that if you’re worried, you’re also more likely to feel physically exhausted. There is a link between feeling upset, worried or emotionally anxious and feeling drained and not energetic. This presents challenges because when you come home after a long day or week. It can be rejuvenating to exercise or walk the dog, but ironically, you may have less energy for activities that would invigorate you.

Your sleep. Getting enough sleep is critical to physical health and well-being, and a University of Oregon study linked sleep with better innovation and better problem solving. Additionally, research from Bar-Ilan University has shown that lack of sleep can contribute to obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, depression, diabetes and some cancers. Unfortunately, if you’re exposed to rudeness at work, it can interfere with your sleep, interrupting a good night’s rest. This is what emerges from a study published in Occupational health sciences.

Your duration. If energy, weight and sleep weren’t enough, you may also be worried about how long you will live. Sobering research published in Health Psychology found that when people did not have solid relationships with colleagues, their lifespan was negatively affected. In the study that looked at a 20-year time frame, what mattered most was being surrounded by colleagues who would help solve problems and who were friendly.

With the huge impact of work on physical health, there are some steps you can take to manage your work and also reduce your stress levels and these types of responses can make a positive contribution to your physical health.

How to manage stress

One of the main ways to manage the physical consequences of work is to reduce stress. Your work will always present challenges, and a certain amount of stretching and dealing with problems can be motivating. In fact, trying something new and developing skills in unfamiliar areas is related to happiness. But when the problems are too much, you can take steps to regroup and reinvigorate yourself.

A new Jobskills study found that the most effective ways to reduce stress were meditating (which worked for 81% of people), stretching or yoga (68%), taking a walk or getting away from the desk (67%). ) or listen to music (65%). People have also found that pausing, reading, chatting with colleagues, and muting phone notifications are effective. Bottom line: do what works best for you, but be willing to handle the stress that will come your way.

Where your experience can help you

Another way to do this is to look for a job that aligns with what you are good at and where you want to grow. Your job will never fit perfectly into everything you love to do, no job is ideal, but look for a job where you spend time doing work that engages your skills.

Also talk to your boss about doing more things you enjoy and potentially getting help from team members for activities you don’t like and might enjoy the most. You also volunteer to contribute to projects outside of your current role that will allow you to use and develop your skills further.

Grow your relationships

Feeling connected with colleagues can also be extremely good for your well-being, both emotionally and physically. When you have support, when you have a level of trust and respect, and when you feel that your work is important to colleagues, you will be more satisfied.

Connect with colleagues, ask questions to get to know them, and offer to help others. Plus, invite colleagues for coffee, seek out a mentor, and connect with people both inside and outside your team. All of these actions tend to strengthen positive relationships at work and build strong support systems.

express yourself

When you feel unable to fully express yourself at work, it can be a huge source of stress and pressure. Remind yourself how you have the power to speak, act and shape your work. If you’re concerned about how things are going in your business, share your ideas on how things could be better. If you feel stagnant in your current role, take the time to learn about new opportunities and network to learn from others. If you don’t feel a strong sense of purpose, connect with your boss regularly and ask for feedback. The actions you take can have positive outcomes, and increasing your feelings of empowerment is also healthy.

Work doesn’t have to be a bad part of life. It can be an amazing opportunity to express your talents, contribute to others, and build meaningful relationships. But you will want to be aware of how your work affects you, so you can be intentional about how you will shape the future of your work.

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