Does work have you wanting to change your number, your hair color and your name? Do you cringe each time you hear the tell-tale ding of your inbox? If so, you’re not alone.
According to Forbes, stress levels have risen 20% over the past few decades, reaching never-seen-before levels. But why? Long hours and ridiculous workloads are part of the problem. Technology adds to that stress by creating round-the-clock work schedules many people find difficult to unplug from.
Work-Related Stress Is an Epidemic
All workers experience some levels of stress. But the stress is getting out of control. The American Institute of Stress says that most stress comes from an unmanageable workload (46%) followed by people issues (28%), work/life responsibilities (20%) and lack of job security (6%).
Another major factor contributing to your stress level could be your boss. Some managers seem to have a knack for ramping up the stress. This is often because they can’t handle the stress themselves. Once they flip their lid, they pass the stress along to their employees.
Effects of Unchecked Stress
Stress causes a whole bunch of health, mood and behavioral issues. Headaches, muscle pain, chest pain, stomach ailments, depression, irritability, anxiety, angry outbursts, drug abuse and social withdrawal are all symptoms of depression. But that’s not all. Left unchecked, stress can contribute to serious health conditions, such as high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, gastrointestinal issues and chronic pain.
How to Manage Stress at Your Job
Fortunately, you can do something about stress in the workplace. You don’t have to keep burning the candle at both ends. Following are a few ways you can decrease your stress level:
- Get Organized – Take a few minutes at the beginning of each day to get organized and map out your day.
- Take Breaks – Be sure to take plenty of breaks at regular intervals. And don’t just browse the web for a minute. Get up and walk away from your desk.
- Control Email – Don’t check your email multiple times per day. Schedule time to check your email and ignore it the rest of the time.
- Clock Out – It’s easy to take work home with you. Don’t! Whenever you’re clocked out, strive to keep work matters off your mind.
Scope creep, information overload, unrealistic deadlines and the constant need to be online have made work stressful. For some people, it’s even downright unbearable. Fortunately, there are things you can do about it. You are in control. And it’s up to you to establish the work boundaries that will give you the work/life balance you need.
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