Research shows that one of the key predictors of psychological well-being is job satisfaction. When people are stressed at work, this not only impacts their productivity but can make the other areas of their life miserable too.
One of the most rewarding parts of my job is using hypnotherapy for work-related stress to become happier and more productive in all areas of their lives. For many people, having job satisfaction is the key to their overall wellbeing (Barry & Daubney, 2017), so it is vital that stress at work is recognised and addressed in an effective way.
People suffering from stress related to their work have my sympathy. Not only can work-related stress make their working life unhappy, but can spill over into other areas of their life. People with stress at work often start to increasing compensate by using unhealthy behaviours (Lemkey, Fletcher & Barry, 2016), such as substance abuse (alcohol, smoking etc), overeating, or risky sexual practices.
There are lots of potential causes of work stress, including long hours, job insecurity, deadline pressure, bullying, poor work-life balance etc. Whatever the cause, work stress can lead to burnout, which is a challenge to recover from.
People suffering from work stress often can’t relax, even outside the workplace. They become argumentative with colleagues or family, suffer insomnia, drink or smoke too much (‘self-medication’), and eventually spiral into a bad state. The worst cases are those who heroically struggle on without seeking help, and end up with serious health issues. Only slightly luckier are those who go on long-term sick leave, but without seeking professional help to address the psychological impact of the stress. In all cases, the best solution is to take control of the issue by seeking help. This is especially effective help is found early, before the problem builds up.
What are the early signs of work stress? You know you have a problem when thoughts about your job start creeping into your mind when you are not at work, for example, trying to relax at home, or trying to get sleep. Sleep problems can quickly snowball and impact all areas of life. Irritability is common too.
Another sign is drinking or taking other substances in order to help you relax after work. Like sleep problems, substance abuse can fairly quickly take a toll on all areas of life.
Another symptom is that you find yourself talking about the pressures of your work more than you usually do. Talking about your feelings is a good idea, but sometimes friends aren’t very supportive, especially when your job becomes the only thing you talk about.
Lots of physical and emotional problems can be caused by work stress. Stomach problems (e.g. IBS), back pain (due to building up of stress or poor desk posture etc), skin conditions (eczema and other dermatological conditions) heart palpitations, self-doubt and loss of confidences, anxiety, and panic attacks are all typically seen in cases of work stress. Around 140 million working days per year are lost to physical sickness in the UK, averaging approximately five working days per working person per year (Black & Frost, 2011). Don’t let yourself become a statistic.
What to do if you are experiencing work stress
As soon as you notice that your work is getting you down, do yourself a favour and take action. Either contact your Employee Assistance Programme (if your employer has one) or contact me for a free initial consultation on the best strategy to help you regain control of your life and get back to enjoying things again.
Whatever the cause of your work stress, do the sensible thing and get the support of a professional who will help you get your life back on track.
Barry & Daubney (2017). The Harry’s Masculinity Report. Access the report online http://www.malepsychology.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/The-Harrys-Masculnity-Report-2017.pdf
Black, C & Frost, D. (2011). Health at Work – an Independent Review of Sickness Absence. London: Department of Work and Pensions.
Leiya E Lemkey, Clive Fletcher, John A Barry (2016). The impact of job satisfaction and relationship quality on health behaviours in men and women: A pilot study. New Male Studies, 5(1). Access the article online http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/1505929/Tags: hypnosis therapy, relaxation, stress, stress management program