Science says that this is how work stress worsens your health

If you’re stressed at work, the problem is enough, but now you can add another layer of dissatisfaction: your job can have a negative impact on your physical health.

Your work has a significant impact on your overall quality of life, and there is ample data on its impact on your mental and emotional well-being. But research also shows it matters for everything from your energy levels and waistline to your sleep and even longevity.

Fortunately, it is entirely possible to take steps to reduce these negative effects.

The science behind work stress

There are many factors that are important to your health and of course they interact with each other. But work is usually especially important because it takes up so much of your time and because it has a spillover effect on the rest of your life and health.

your energy. You can be tired at the end of the day, but chances are your tiredness is worse when you’ve had a lot to worry about at work. A study by Texas A&M University found that when you’re worried, you also feel physically exhausted. There’s a connection between feeling upset, worried, or emotionally anxious — and feeling exhausted and lacking in energy. This presents challenges when you come home after a long day or week. Exercising or walking the dog can be rejuvenating—but ironically, you may have less energy for activities that would energize you.

your sleep. Getting enough sleep is fundamental to health and physical well-being, and a University of Oregon study has linked sleep to better innovation and improved problem-solving. In addition, research from Bar-Ilan University has shown that lack of sleep can contribute to obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, depression, diabetes and certain types of cancer. Unfortunately, being subjected to rudeness at work can affect your sleep and disrupt a good night’s sleep. This emerges from a study published in Occupational Medicine Science.

your lifespan. If energy, weight and sleep are not enough, you can also worry about how long you will live. Sobering research published in Health Psychology found that people who didn’t have strong relationships with co-workers negatively impacted their lifespans. In the study over a 20-year period, the most important things were to be surrounded by colleagues who help solve problems and who are friendly.

Given the tremendous impact work has on physical health, there are some steps you can take to manage your work and also reduce your stress levels – and these types of responses can make a positive contribution to your physical health.

How to manage your stress

One of the most important ways you can manage the physical consequences of work is to reduce your stress. Your job will always present challenges and a certain amount of effort and confrontation with problems can be motivating. In fact, trying something new and building skills in unfamiliar areas correlates with luck. But if the problems become too much, you can take steps to regroup and revitalize yourself.

A new study by Jobskills found that the most effective ways to reduce stress were meditation (which worked for 81% of people), stretching or yoga (68%), taking a walk or distance from your desk (67%), or listening to music (65 %). People also found taking breaks, reading, chatting with coworkers, and muting phone notifications to be effective. The bottom line: do what works best for you, but be conscious of the stress that will come your way.

Where your expertise can help

Another way to deal with this is to find a job that aligns with what you are good at and where you want to grow. Your job will never be a perfect match for everything you love to do – no job is ideal – but look for a job where you spend time doing work that involves your skills.

Also, talk to your boss about doing more of the things you love and possibly getting help from team members on the tasks you don’t like and might enjoy more. Also, volunteer to contribute to projects outside of your current role, allowing you to use and develop more of your skills.

Expand your relationships

Feeling connected to colleagues can also have a powerful positive impact on your well-being – both emotionally and physically. When you have support, when you have a level of trust and respect, and when you feel like your work is important to colleagues, you will be happier.

Reach out to colleagues, ask questions to learn more about them, and offer to help others. Also, invite co-workers for coffee, find a mentor, and connect with people inside and outside your team. All of these actions tend to strengthen positive workplace relationships and build strong support systems.

express yourself

When you feel like you can’t fully express yourself at work, it can be a tremendous source of stress and pressure. Remind yourself how empowered you are to speak up, take action, and shape your work. If you’re worried about how things are going at your company, share your ideas about how things could be better. When you’re stagnant in your current position, you spend time researching new opportunities and networking to learn from others. If you don’t feel a strong sense of purpose, reach out to your boss regularly and ask for feedback. The actions you take can have positive results, and it’s also healthy to increase your sense of empowerment.

Work doesn’t have to be a negative part of life. It can be a great opportunity to express your talents, serve others and build meaningful relationships. But you should know how your work affects you so that you can consciously shape the future of your work.

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