It’s apparent to any working professional that the stresses of any job can have both obvious and hidden consequences if left unchecked with no remedy. Because the stresses of each day can accumulate in ways that may not be immediately perceptible, the negative consequences to your health can go unnoticed until they manifest as chronic problems. Here are five ways that your job can negatively affect your health along with practical ways to prevent or alleviate that stress.
Here are five ways that your job can negatively affect your health along with practical ways to prevent or alleviate that stress:
1. It can rob you of sleep.
Those of us in the healthcare field know the ways that the human body relies on sleep to renew and maintain health. While the nature of certain health related jobs can be demanding with long hours, there are going to be nights where the stresses of the job make you have difficult falling asleep.
To begin battling those sleepless nights, experts suggest pinpointing the actual sources of stress rather than dwelling on specific incidents. This will allow you to identify the source of your stress so that you can find ways to alleviate it rather than getting hung up on the emotions that surfaced during a specific stressful event.
Furthermore, establishing a pre-bedtime routine conducive to peace and rest will help you fall asleep. One such routine could be a period of meditation with calming incense. It’s also important to consider whether your bed is preventing you from falling asleep. Meditation could help lull you into a calmer mental and emotional state, but an unsupported mattress and pillows could quickly alter your mood. Lastly, a cooler room temperature can help you fall asleep.
2. It can lower your immune system.
Studies have shown that workplace stress harms the immune system and increases the risk of depression.
It’s been thought that being consistently too busy at work and working long, hours were common causes of workplace stress. Researchers now have a different perspective; they believe that a general underlying negative attitude can permeate workers leading to stress.
You may find that your negative attitude comes from the frustration of being under-appreciated by your peers and
superiors. While you cannot force your co-workers and superiors to appreciate you more, you can re-focus on other sources of appreciation, perhaps from friends and family members.
3: It can affect your relationship.
In addition to the effects of workplace stress on your health, stress can also affect your relationships at home. When problems or conflicts happen at work, it can be too easy to unconsciously bring them home with you. One of the ways that you can keep workplace negativity from affecting your relationships is to learn to identify and actively manage negative emotions.
It can help to note the things that cause you to stress during the day, and how they made you feel. No need to write a soliloquy, so just use shorthand like ‘angry patient in pain’ or ‘rude physician,’ and couple each instance with how it made you feel, such as ‘angry,’ ‘vengeful,’ ‘under-appreciated.’ This can help your correctly direct your emotions toward their causes rather than taking them out on your spouse, partner, child, friend, etc.
Once again, look for the little ways that your loved ones can make you feel better. This raises your feelings of appreciation for them and helps you separate yourself from negative feelings that carry over from work.
4 & 5: It can make you gain weight or be prone to stress headaches.
The everyday stresses of the job can lead to poor eating habits as well as stress-induced headaches. With so little personal time in the workplace, it can be difficult to find the energy you need to exercise and make good dietary choices.
The people at your job can have a big impact on your stress level as well as what you eat. You can’t choose the people with whom you work alongside, but you can choose the people with which you’ll spend time if a break opportunity arises. Rather than spending time with negative people at work or indulging in bad food choices during breaks, seek out positive co-workers who are more supportive.
Having just one great co-worker with whom to spend your time can provide the support you need to de-stress and avoid eating foods that temporarily satiate your negative emotions. The same is true for those stress headaches, which time spent with negative people can exacerbate.
By developing a buddy system with positive people, you can find the positive reinforcement you need to lower stress from the day, eat right and have a supportive before or after-work exercise partner. You don’t have to go to the gym or run six miles. You can take a spin class, go for a bike ride, or participate in other fun activities that get you moving while helping to lift your spirits.
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