Is your job affecting your mental health?
Posted: Dec 03, 2019
Let’s face it, we have all been stressed about our jobs at some point in our careers. There is probably no job in the world that won’t make you experience at least the lowest levels of stress and anxiety at some point. However, when the stress from work is everything that you can talk about, you are always mentally tired, and you seem to be unable to focus on the bright sides of your life, your job may be doing you more harm than you would ever imagine.
Job stress is neither new nor uncommon. Yet, more and more employees are now experiencing depression and stress from work at a whole new level. The latest estimates from the Labor Force Survey, a number of 602.000 people experienced work-related stress, depression, and anxiety in 2018-2019 in the UK. Moreover, stress, depression, and anxiety were all reasons that accounted for 44% of all work-related ill health cases and 54% of all working days lost by employees due to health problems.
According to the WORLD Health Organization, the global economy loses $1 trillion a year in lost productivity due to depression and anxiety.
Are some jobs more stressful than others?
A new study from the Health and Safety Executive reveals that teaching and nursing are among the most stressful jobs in the UK. About half of sick days taken by employees in Britain are a result of work-related stress and poor mental health. Employees working in industries like welfare, healthcare, and education are worst affected by a stress-related illness.
The study also discovered that women employees are more likely to develop work-related anxiety, stress and depression conditions. However, experts explain that it isn’t women that get depressed but rather that they are twice as likely to experience depression compared to men. The reason behind this is far from being hormonal changes, life circumstances, or stress but rather the fact that while men act out behaviorally, women tend to experience mental and emotional pain internally.
Apart from professionals from industries like health and social care, public administration, and defence being the most affected by work-related stress, legal professions and those in business research and administration are also prone to high levels of job stress.How can poor mental health affect the career?
According to data, lack of managerial support, management of workloads, and organizational change are the primary causes of work-related stress.
However, what is even more concerning is the fact that mental health issues continue to lead to stigmatization in the workplace. Those working professionals who experience depression, high levels of stress or anxiety tend to feel uncomfortable to talk openly about their problems. Their main concerns are fearing that their colleagues or supervisors may judge them negatively, they might also fear that they might not get promoted or that they might become victims of bullying in the workplace.
A study from the American Psychiatry Association shows that while 60% of employees believe that their employers offer enough mental health resources and coverage, 27% of workers believe they don’t while 13% of them are unsure about this aspect.How can you tackle stress at your job?
If you are part of the group of employees who deal with great stress at work, you need to be aware that, in the long-term, stress can lead to more serious mental health issues. Medical experts link depression to stress as the two mental health conditions have a causal relationship.
The most obvious cure for job stress is to quit your job. However, we all know that this is rarely an option. Yet, there is also good news: experts believe that certain stress and anxiety relief techniques and methods can help you lower the work-related stress levels. Here’s how to tackle work-related stress:
Establish a work-life balance
Does "Just one more hour of extra work" sounds familiar to you? We have all been there at some point in our careers because an extra hour of work seems nothing when it will help you finish your tasks on time. However, this may be affecting you more than you would even imagine because it is never just one more hour in a certain day, it is something that will tend to become a habit and will eventually take you to job burnout.
It is important to maintain a healthy work-life balance. So, you should avoid checking your work tasks, answering your phone after the working hours, or spending all night long in front of the laptop to finish your work. Keep in mind that your free time must be used for relaxation and spending time with your loved ones and under no circumstance for more extra work.
Learn how to relax
We all have stressful moments at work whether we have a tight deadline or huge workload. However, since stress can’t be completely eliminated from our everyday lives, we must understand how to manage it efficiently. Certain relaxation strategies such as meditation combined with deep breathing exercises can make the stress melt away.
When you are at the office and you feel so much stress that you can’t even focus on your tasks, take a few minutes break and meditate. The more you practice meditation, the better you learn how to manage negative thoughts and emotions and stress.
Talk to a professional
Last but certainly not least, talking to a professional about your mental health state is a must when you feel overwhelmed by work-related stress. Only a professional counsellor can help you find effective stress management strategies and guide you through changing unhealthy behaviours that affect your mental wellbeing.
Open up to your employer
Most likely, similarly to other workers dealing with work-related stress, you may feel uncomfortable to display your condition at work. However, when your health is at stake, you shouldn’t hesitate, not even for a second, to talk to your supervisor about your situation. Having an open conversation with your employer and teaming up to find a good way to manage the stressors can help you get rid of work-related stress.
Work-related stress is very common among all workers. However, it can be a devastating condition as it can lead to other more serious mental health conditions. Try the strategies above to keep up at work while you are struggling with high levels of stress.
Cynthia Madison is a young blogger and economics and marketing graduate. She writes about home, lifestyle and family topics and is a senior contributor to popular niche publications.