Work Stress Solutions and Symptoms

Your Survival Guide to Work Stress: Symptoms and Simple Solutions

Excessive work stress might feel like a natural, yet unfortunate, part of being a working adult. However, studies suggest it’s not natural, or something you’re built to deal with. It’s something you should actively reduce.

In this Survival Guide our Associate Marriage and Family Therapist, Bekke Abe, will show:

  • what is work stress and how can it affect your health;
  • how can you identify whether you’re suffering from work stress;
  • which small steps you can take today toward reducing work stress.

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What is Work Stress and how can Work Stress affect my life


There’s no doubt about it, the effects of Work Stress can be detrimental to your mental health, your physical health and your relationships are real. In fact, it’s so real and so undertreated, the long-term effects are getting worse – specifically in American adults.

 

Work Stress Los AngelesAccording to the American Institute of Stress over the last couple of decades “increased levels of job stress as assessed by the perception of having little control but lots of demands have been demonstrated to be associated with increased rates of heart attack, hypertension, and other disorders.

 

The link is so significant Psychology Today considers whether employers are violating Human Rights when they ignore the wellbeing of their employees by putting unrealistic demands and extensive stress on their employees.

 

Work stress can disrupt your mental health, your physical health and your relationships in very real ways. That’s why shouldn’t just push through. You should actively identify and reduce it. In this post, we show you how to do that – even if it’s just with one small step.

 


This Work Stress Guide was created by Bekke Abe, an Associate Marriage and Family Therapist based in the Sierra Madre and Downtown LA. 

Bekke offers low-fee counselling solutions to professionals. You can connect with Bekke or have our staff match you with another counsellor in your area, by clicking here


How to identify whether you’re suffering from Work Stress


The Physical of Work Stress include:

  • Headaches
  • Exhaustion and fatigue
  • Muscular aches/tension and Joint Pain
  • Irregular sleep patterns
  • Changes in appetite and/or weight (increase or decrease)
  • Gastrointestinal issues (i.e., diarrhoea or constipation)

The Psychological symptoms of Work Stress include:

  • Anxiety, agitation, or restlessness
  • Depression
  • Pessimistic
  • Irritable
  • Difficulty concentrating or remembering things
  • Feelings of worthlessness, fixation on past failures, or self-blaming
  • A difficulty with handling uncertainties
  • Preoccupation with worry that something dire will happen 

The Behavioral symptoms of Work Stress include:

  • Aggression, mood swings and/or irritability
  • Interpersonal relationship issues
  • Low tolerance of frustration and impatience
  • Loss of interest or motivation
  • Isolation (often missing work)
  • Poor work performance

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4 Ways you can you limit stress at work


  1. What can you do to reduce your stress levels at work? Take a moment to think, create and implement a stress-reduction plan for yourself. How can you manage your workload?
  2. What can people at your work do to lessen your stress? Meet and discuss your concerns with your supervisor, employer, or human resource manager and talk about it. I know it’s difficult, but it’s a priority.
  3. You’ll have to prioritize. Organize yourself by making a list of your tasks in the order of priority. Check with your supervisor or employer as to what tasks take priority. Your health is the first priority and that means not everything on the task list at work should take preference.
  4. You’ll have to actively take breaks. Schedule a time to take a 15-minute break; one in the morning and one in the afternoon.

Odds are, if you’re here, you’re feeling the effects of Work Stress in your life to some extent or another. That also means you’ve taken the first most significant step in reduce Work Stress, identifying it. Next up is actively introducing ways to reduce it.

Work Stress is really complicated to deal with and ideally, it’s not something you should work through alone. We’d strongly suggest you connect with us so we can match you with a counsellor. If it’s not for you, you don’t need to commit. If that’s not for you, here are some small steps that’ll help you to reduce your Work Stress.


How to manage limited work-related anxiety 


If you’re not suffering from serious work-related stress or work-related depression, managing your anxiety is a good place to start.

4 Small changes to help to manage work-related anxiety:

  1. Get an adequate amount of sleep. “Too little sleep affects mood, contributing to irritability and sometimes depression.” (Harvard Health Publishing, “Tips for beating anxiety to get a better night’s sleep”)
  2. Make time for good food. Jessica Shelton shared Godfrey’s advice that “The most important dietary change for anyone who has the anxiety to make is to plan meals around whole foods, lowering or eliminating the number of processed foods including sweets and snack foods.” (Shelton, J., “8 Foods that Help with Anxiety and Stress”)
  3. Find time to do something active. “According to some studies, regular exercise works as well as medication for some people to reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression, and the effects can be long-lasting.” (Anxiety and Depression Association of America, “Exercise for Stress and Anxiety”)
  4. Don’t opt alcohol or tobacco as a stress-reliever. It has been found that “alcohol or pot may help you cope with stress or anxiety in the short term. But over time, this strategy can backfire – especially if you are using it to cover up or escape from anxiety or other difficult feelings. In fact, research shows that this quick-fix method to self-medicate actually makes things worse, and puts you at greater risk of alcoholism and other problems with substance abuse.” (Anxiety Canada, “Alcohol, Drugs, and Anxiety”)

If you’re not suffering from serious work-related stress or work-related depression, managing your anxiety is a good place to start.

 


How to work through serious work stress or work-related depression


Depression is really a difficult mental health illness to work through and solve independently, but help isn’t far away. We have an entire team ready to match you with a counsellor you like and that’s located close to you. However, if that’s not for you, here are a few suggestions that might alleviate some emotional stress at your work:

 

  1. Do you really want to do what you do: Stop and examine if your current position makes you feel motivated to come into work every day.
  2. Is your job a good place to do what you want to do: Be honest in your self-examination on whether or not your work environment is a healthy place; is there bullying, discrimination, poor project practices, unclear guidance, and/or poor work conditions (i.e., lack of breaks).
  3. Make your workspace feel more like your home: Personalize your workspace by bringing in personal items, such as pictures, plants, etc. Being in a cubicle can make one feel boxed in and isolated.
  4. Actively take time for breathers: Take short body breaks throughout the day to help you unwind and refocus.

 

If you have tried some of these things, but you’re still experiencing work-related stress, anxiety, and/or depression, despite your best efforts, it might be time to consider:

  • a career change
  • seeking professional therapeutic counselling

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How to find a therapist who specializes in work-related stress, anxiety, and depression


Here are 4 key indicators a therapist is equipped to support you with your work stress:

  1. Your therapist should provide you with a safe space for you to explore and process their thoughts and emotions.
  2. Your therapist should offer you practical communication skills and emotional tools to help you navigate your day-to-day stress and relationships are work. These should include tools like effective communication skills, conflict resolution skills, and emotional regulation tools.
  3. Your therapist, based on their assessment, should make use of  Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) to focus and explore irrational or unhelpful cognitive thought patterns you fall into. This will help you develop problem-solving skills to actively reduce your work stress.
  4. Your Therapist, based on their assessment, should make use of Solution-Focused Therapy to assist you in creating some coping strategies.

 

If you feel that your work-related stress, anxiety, and/or depression is impacting your personal life and relationships, give Sync Counseling Center a call. Or schedule an appointment by sending us an email. We’ll get back to you in 24hours.

 

Sync Counseling Center provides a safe space for you to talk and explore those thoughts, feelings, and challenges.

 

About the author: Bekke Abe, AMFT helps people in the Sierra Madre and Downtown Los Angeles overcome workplace stress, anxiety, and depression. Contact Bekke today for a consultation.