Whenever people talk about hazardous jobs, they invariably call to mind construction workers or policemen. While these jobs certainly have their dangers, more sedentary jobs like office workers also face health risks that they may not even realize exist. Mental stress, for instance, has been linked to various health concerns that should not be brushed aside. While stress may take it’s time to wreak havoc on a person’s mind and body, its damage is definitely something you want to ward away in order to protect your physical health and mental and emotional well-being.
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Health Risks And Stress
According to the American Institute of Stress, workplace stress is linked to increased risk for “heart attack, hypertension and other disorders.” Although stress tends to be a subjective experience–some people have better coping ability than others–an abundance of stress over a long period of time can also lead to conditions like anxiety and depression. Other health risks associated with stress include obesity, gastrointestinal disorders, diabetes, asthma, and even premature aging. By adopting the following tips, you may be able to decrease your health risks for a stress-induced condition.
#1 – Recognize The Signs Of Stress
In order to effectively manage stress, you need to be aware of the ways stress affects you. You can do this by paying attention to the symptoms you experience at work. For instance, stress may cause you to experience headaches or fatigue. Some people actually lose hair or break out with rashes when subjected to an abundance of stress. Once you begin to experience these signs of stress, it’s essential to remove yourself from the stressful environment for an emotional recharge. You’ll have an easier time coping with work once you can alleviate these symptoms of stress.
#2 – Embrace A Fitness Routine
Exercise is an effective way to cope with chronic stress. Not only does it positively influence your physical health, it also supports your emotional well-being. The feel-good enzymes that are released in your brain during exercise make your entire body including your mind feel good. Even though stress can cause fatigue, it’s important to make time for keeping fit.
#3 – Maintain Workplace Boundaries
Sometimes it isn’t a particular task that makes work stressful; it’s a particular colleague. If coworkers are adding to your stress level, you may have to create some workplace boundaries. For instance, simply closing the door and informing others that you don’t wish to be disturbed until after lunch could help you minimize unnecessary interruptions. By refraining from workplace gossip or unnecessary social interactions with the people who cause you stress, you can more effectively diminish the stress they cause.
#4 – Get Rest
By getting at least six and half hours of sleep each night, your body has a better chance of repairing the damage that stress caused your body during the day. Both your mind and body need adequate sleep in order to function optimally the following day. When you don’t get stress, your mood is apt to be negatively affected by workplace stress.
#5 – Take Breaks
While a busy day may cause you to skip your breaks, it’s important that you include some spaces in the day where you can just breathe easy. In fact, when you’re feeling especially stressed out, stop and take a series of deep breaths. Some people may actually get up from their desk to stress or do five or ten minutes of yoga. You should also try to leave the office for lunch in order to remove yourself from its stressful environment.
#6 – Eat Well
When coping with a bout of stress, you should definitely make sure you’re keeping up with your nutritional needs. When your mind is under siege, it can be tough to remember to pack nutritious snacks or refrain from eating your favorite comfort foods even though they may be unhealthy. Because stress can negatively impact your immune system, you need to make sure you protect your physical health as best as you can by eating the vitamins and nutrients that support optimum health.
#7 – Personalized Coping Strategies
You can also minimize workplace stress by thinking about what best eliminates stress for you. Perhaps you listen to classical music or drink herbal tea. Learn to recognize the things that make you feel good and incorporate some of these elements into your work day. Keep a stress ball on your desk or listen to an audio book on your breaks. You might find that talking to a coworker helps; on the other hand, you might find that too much conversation about a work issue only adds to your stress.
When you learn what works best for you, you can improve the way you cope with the mental stresses of the office.
Keep these tips in mind as you head to work each day. The more effective you manage stress, the better you can enhance your mental and emotional well-being. You might also wish to share these tips with colleagues who may have trouble coping with work-related stress.