Signs of work related stress

Do You Have These Signs of Work Related Stress?

11 mins read

We spend almost a third of our lives at work. Excessive pressure of work, negative surrounding and a number of other workplace stressors can really do some damage. Make sure you identify signs of work related stress on time and do something about it! 

And signs of work related stress can significantly vary. Ranging from physical symptoms like lingering colds and insomnia, eating disorders, low libido and headaches to general irritability, anxiety, depression and lack of concentration. 

Stress affects both your physical and mental state and should not be taken likely. If workplace stressors that are bothering you don’t go away in a short period of time, you can end up with a wide range of health problems like severe anxiety, depression, type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure.  

First thing to do is identify do you have symptoms of work related stress. Let’s start by naming some. 

Feeling irritable

Another wrong word from anyone by the end of work day, and you feel that you just might lose it?  

Constant irritability is another way that work related anxiety manifests itself. When you spend long periods of time under a certain amount of stress or in stressful situations, your stress levels skyrocket. You can become agitated and develop a short-temper or suffocate those emotions deep inside and wait for them to pop.

Feeling irritable in your work environment is one of the prominent signs of workplace stress. A boring routine that will end when you retire, doing a job you no longer like, being surrounded by jerks or having a boss that is constantly pushing you to the edge, constant pressure to perform, meet tight deadlines and get things done can induce anxiety and depression. Those often manifest in constantly feeling irritable, even in your personal life. That’s why Setting Boundaries With Your Boss and your colleges at work is very important.

There are a number of ways stress gets to you psychologically. Feeling stressed, overwhelmed, agitated and frustrated. Feeling moody. Feeling like you must take control, or that you’re losing control. Feeling bad about yourself, lonely and depressed. All that is just a part of the damage work related stress can do to you.    

Feeling irritable is often connected to insomnia, another sign of workplace stress. Poor sleep prevents you from getting enough rest, and can add on to the mood swings and the feeling of being on the edge most of the time. 

Not healthy at all!   

TED talk on Workplace mental health.

Insomnia

Rest is one of the best remedies for your body after a stressful day at work. You tend to be more active when the body is relaxed and energized. However, it can be impossible to achieve this if work related thoughts keep on crossing your mind preventing you to get the rest your body and mind deserve.  

You may have such thoughts if there is pending work to be completed, frustrations of things turning out wrong, unrealistic deadlines, ext. But – have in mind, without enough sleep, everything seems worse than it is. Insomnia can quickly spiral you downward.   

Although it might be hard, keep your mind relaxed before going to bed or consult a professional for help.   

Regular or lingering colds – signs of work related stress

Stress can make you sick. Prolonged stress at work suppresses the immune system, which makes it easier to get sick and harder to get well. The immune system has a hard time fighting the virus because of the state your body is in.

Stress is the reaction of your body to harmful situations and potential threats. Our body reacts the same, regardless of whether the threats are real or perceived. During stress, a series of chemical reactions occur in the body.

That’s our fight-or-flight response, making us ready to protect ourselves. However, when stress doesn’t disappear after a short time, our body starts to react in a bad way. One of the ways stress does damage is bringing our immune system down.   

Chronic stress can even cause a psychogenic fever – fever caused by psychological factors. 

If you have regular or lingering colds, you might not just be sickish from time to time. You might be under chronical work stress. 

Symptoms and Signs of work related stress.

Headaches – due to workplace stressors

Do you sometimes feel like a clamp is squeezing your skull? 

Stress headaches induce a dull pain or pressure around the forehead or the back of your head. Your neck can also feel dull pain and tension. One of the most common signs of workplace stressors induced stress are frequent stress headaches.  

They can emerge as a reaction of your body on struggles to get the work done at any cost. Many find it hard to balance or schedule working hours properly leaving them feeling pressured.   

Workplace stressors like excess work, limited time to meet the deadlines, unrecognized efforts from management, can be unbearable. If there is no quick solution to workplace stressors, and you can not reduce stress the stress begins to pile up and take a toll on your health. Headaches are often one of the first signs of chronic stress.   

Change in appetite, eating too much or too little

People differ in ways how their body responds to stress. This is evident since some people tend to lose weight when dealing with stress, while others gain weight.  

The change in appetite is the reason for the body changes. You may be able to eat a lot during your stress period or you can suffer from low appetite and fail to eat as required.  

Eating disorders like binge-purge cycles can also be induced by workplace stress. 

Low libido – a sign of work related stress   

Chronic stress interferes with your hormone levels which can result in a lower sex drive. It doesn’t even have to be hormonal, workplace stressors occupy your thoughts, taking your mind off sexual desire. As a result, your libido lowers.  

When you get back home from work, and want to spend some time with your partner, you just don’t feel like doing anything sexual. And that can lead to other kinds of problems in the long run.   

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Smoking and alcohol consumption

Besides the well-known connection between stress and smoking, studies found that alcohol consumption can be connected with work related stress.

Smoking and alcohol consumption are connected to your brain receiving a quick reward center response. That can take your mind off of the stress for a while. However, it can damage your health in a number of different ways. 

Low concentration, low productivity

For most people, stress lowers concentration and increases the feeling of tiredness. Those are also symptoms of depression, a state often connected to work stress. 

Low concentration makes it very hard to focus on work at hand. Pushing through the feeling of tiredness significantly lowers your productivity. And that causes more problems. That is just one of the ways workplace stressors can cause negative spiral to keep on getting deeper.   

TED talk on How stress is killing us and what can you do about it.

Remove the cause and you’ll remove the signs of work related stress  

Work can be really stressful. Everyone knows that. But when work becomes a reason for prolonged work related stress, you have a major problem. Both for your career and, more importantly, for your health. 

Without removing the root of the problem, all you can do is take care of the consequences. The root being, of course – the cause of your stress. If you can’t do anything about that, there are mechanisms to cope with symptoms of workplace stress.  

Different people have different routines to break free from their stress like regular exercises, stress management techniques, talking-out their problems, and getting help. You should try to find what works best for you. 

At least until you change your job. 

You will take some time to recover from work related stress. How much time – depends on the individual case. Anywhere between weeks, months, or in severe cases of burnout, even years. 

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