Stress can manifest itself in a lot of forms. It can cause a person to be irritable, nauseous, and tired. It can make someone over-eat, under-eat, become angry quickly, and concentration lag. So when stress presents because of the workplace, a lot of things in a person’s personal life can also suffer because of it.
A recent article on MD Consult delved into such a problem, taking everything one step further and looking at the effect workplace stress can have on the heart. According to the article, “Individuals who experience workplace stress have a nearly one-fourth increase in the risk of nonfatal myocardial infarction or coronary death relative to their nonstressed counterparts.”
The study examined 197,473 people in seven European countries from the span of 1985-2006. They observed the participants as a whole, and then also examined them in subgroups divided by sex, age, socioeconomic level, and region. Overall they found that workplace stress “accounted for 3.4% of coronary heart disease risk at the population level.”
The investigators of the study concluded that their findings “indicate that job strain is associated with a small, but consistent, increased risk of experiencing a first [cardiac heart disease] event such as a heart attack.”
With the knowledge that workplace stress can very seriously affect a person’s life, it is helpful to acknowledge what is making these feelings occur as well as to learn how to deal with them.
Types of workplace stress include job insecurity, feeling out of control in the decisions made, the environment, and financial problems. The American Heart Association has a list of Four Ways to Deal with Stress which is helpful when faced with problems at work (or in everyday life).
1. Positive Self-Talk
Example: Instead of saying “I hate it when this happens”, say “I know how to deal with this; I’ve done it before.”
2. Emergency Stress Stoppers
Example: Count to ten before speaking, go for a walk, avoid busy streets while driving to cut down on driving stressors.
3. Finding Pleasure
Example: Do art projects, read a good book, meet with friends.
4. Daily relaxation
Example: Picture yourself in a peaceful location, take deep breaths.
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