Anyone who has ever held a job has experienced a degree of work-related stress. Some stress is short term, like feeling pressure to meet a deadline, hit your sales quota at the end of the month, or give an important presentation. On the other hand, long-term stress, also called chronic stress, endures over an extended period of time and can become detrimental to a worker’s mental and physical wellbeing.
As workers today are expected to do more with less time and resources, long-term stress has become all too common. In fact, more than 44 percent of employees say they feel more stressed now than they did five years ago.
Common Sources of Stress at Work
Though stress is highly personalized and can vary widely in different situations, these are the most common factors that go hand-in-hand with workplace stress:
- Low salary
- Lack of job security
- Heavy workload
- Conflicts with coworkers
- Work that isn’t engaging or challenging
- Unclear expectations
- Being subject to high or conflicting demands
- Not having enough control
Consequences of Uncontrolled Stress
When stress isn’t controlled properly, the consequences extend far beyond job dissatisfaction, anxiety, and depression. Uncontrolled stress can result in serious physical ailments such as headache, insomnia, high blood pressure, a weakened immune system and obesity. What’s more, according to the American Institute for Stress, uncontrolled stress increases a person’s risk for heart disease by 40 percent, the risk of heart attack by 25 percent, and the risk for stroke by 50 percent.
Strategies for Managing Stress at Work
While it’s not always possible to avoid tense situations on the job, there are steps you can take to manage your stress.
Track your stressors. Keep a detailed record of which workplace situations cause you the most stress, as well as how you respond to them. Develop healthy responses. Harness your typical knee-jerk reaction to stress and make healthier decisions when tensions rise, like taking a walk. Take a technology break. Many of us feel pressure to be available 24/7. Set some boundaries for yourself and don’t check your email after work hours. Learn how to relax. Achieve a better work-life balance by practicing yoga, reading, cooking, playing sports, or anything else that helps you let go of tension and stress. Seek support. Accepting help from friends and family can improve your stress level. A psychologist can also give you tools to better manage stress.
Workplace Stress May Qualify You for Workers’ Compensation
At the Law Offices of Gerald D. Brody & Associates, we’ve helped countless employees collect the workers’ compensation benefits they deserve, including those with claims for stress. If you’ve suffered heightened levels of anxiety, emotional breakdowns, or any of the physical health conditions listed above as a result of your job, call us. In California, mental and emotional conditions are covered under workers’ compensation. Though these cases can be difficult to prove, having the help of an experienced attorney on your side can make all the difference.
Are you ready to speak to an attorney? Contact us today to schedule your free consultation!