Work-related stress can happen to anyone, so it is important to know the signs and symptoms of it, as well as why and how it occurs so that if you feel you are suffering from work-related stress, you can get medical help straight away.
Stress is not a minor ailment, it can be extremely problematic and have many additional problems associated with it including heart disease, high blood pressure, and depression, especially if it is chronic stress.
According to the Health and Safety Executive, work-related stress is “the adverse reaction people have to excessive pressure of work or other types of demands placed on them.” This basically means that the problems and pressures of work – which could be long working hours, short deadlines, no organisation, bullying, etc. – all impact on the stress levels of the worker, causing them to rise considerably, making them ill.
When these problems go unaddressed for a long period of time, or even become the norm and to be expected in the workplace, health problems are sure to occur.
Work-related stress can manifest in a variety of different ways, and it will depend a little on the person suffering from it, and how they deal with their day to day lives. This is why it can be a difficult thing to notice at first, until it becomes such a problem that working time is lost. Some of the symptoms of work-related stress include:
- A generally low mood
- Taking to alcohol, drugs, energy drinks, or other addictive materials to cope
- Regular absence from work
- The feeling of not achieving anything
- Low productivity
- A negative attitude
- Weight gain
- Weight loss
- Being unable to shake a cold
One or two of these symptoms alone may not mean that you are suffering from work-related stress, especially if you would not consider your workplace to be a stressful or unpleasant place to be, or you are happy with your workload. However, when a number of these symptoms are added together, and you know you are unhappy at work, then it could well be work-related stress and you should seek help.
If you think you might be suffering from work-related stress, the first thing you should do is ask for help. Speak to someone about your worries and how you are feeling – this could be a doctor, a close friend or family member, or perhaps your HR manager at work. Sometimes talking about a problem can help you come up with a solution that will help you.
Depending on the severity of the stress you are feeling, and how it is affecting you physically and mentally, you may need professional help, so never forget that this option is open to you, and it is important that you use the NHS or private resources available where possible.
Ideally, your manager will listen to your concerns and help you by changing the way things are done in the workplace. If not, you may need to seriously look at changing jobs, so that you can feel better. If nothing is done and you have to take time off work, you may even have a claim for compensation, and you can find out more at www.the-compensation-experts.co.uk.
There are, of course, high-pressure jobs, and you may have a career that requires you to stick to deadlines or work under pressure. You employers, though, are still required to help alleviate as much stress as possible so that you can work as comfortably as possible. Remember, work-related stress does not have to be part and parcel of the job. You should not have to work in an environment that is so stressful, you become ill become of it.