Stress at Work

Work Related Stress

Work Related Stress

Work related stress is how you feel when you have demands at work that exceed how much you feel you can cope with. Over 11 million working days are lost each year because of work related stress, and stress can contribute to conditions such as anxiety or depression.

Work is usually good for us as it gives life structure and most people get satisfaction from it. A certain amount of pressure at work is usually a good thing as it can help you perform much better and prepare you for challenges. But if the pressure and demands become too much, they can lead to work related stress.

Stress can be caused by lots of things, these include;

  • An excessive workload or unrealistic deadlines
  • Regularly being under pressure to meet targets or deadlines
  • Difficult relationships with colleagues, or bullying at work
  • Management style
  • A lack of control over the way you do your job
  • Being unclear about your job role and what you’re meant to do
  • Being in the wrong job for your skills, abilities and expectations

Sometimes there is no single cause of work-related stress. It might happen if small things build up over time, or due to a mix of things in both your work or personal life.

Work related stress can have both mental and physical effects. Everyone reacts to stress in different ways so the impact and signs of work-related stress can vary and depend on your personality and how you respond to pressure.

Common symptoms

Some common emotional effects or symptoms of work-related stress include;

  • Feeling that you can’t cope with your workload
  • Finding it hard to concentrate on a single piece of work you need to do, and remember things
  • Feeling depressed
  • Lacking confidence in your workplace
  • Feeling anxious
  • Not feeling motivated or committed to your job
  • Feeling disappointed with yourself at work
  • Being indecisive at work
  • Feeling irritable or having a short temper
  • Mood swings
  • Feeling overwhelmed

You might get physical effects too, which might include;

  • Feeling tired and that you have no energy
  • Aches and pains
  • Feeling sick
  • Headaches
  • Putting on, losing weight
  • Chest pains or tightness in your chest

You might also start behaving differently and you might

  • Eat more or less than usual
  • Have trouble sleeping
  • Isolate yourself from others
  • Drink more alcohol

These problems can happen for reasons other than work related stress. But if you feel like you’re struggling and its been affecting your mental or physical health for longer than a couple of weeks, talk to your employer to get some support. Or go and see your GP.

Some days will be more stressful than others so its important not to overreact to small changes in your behavior. But if you feel consistently stressed for a while, longer than a couple of weeks, or any changes in your behaviour continue, you should get some help.

Their isn’t a specific test to diagnose stress. If you’re having mental health problems as an effect of stress and feel you need medical help, talk to your GP. They will be able to offer help and treatment, and more importantly, advice on how to deal with your mental health issues.

Contact us to discuss how we can help you.

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