How to Deal with Stress at Work Before Addiction Develops

How to Deal with Stress at Work Before Addiction Develops

By Lakeview Health
Lakeview Health
Published: February 19, 2018

Stress is a part of our work lives that we all endure; it affects people in every sector of the workforce, from entry-level positions to CEOs. Stress is particularly prevalent among healthcare professionals, and drug abuse among healthcare professionals is also rising due to stress. By understanding the sources and symptoms of stress in the workplace, we can better address how to deal with this issue before developing an addiction or mental health disorder.

Causes of Stress At Work

The first step in combatting workplace stress is identifying its causes.  Some common workplace stressors include:

  • Working long hours
  • A heavy or unmanageable workload
  • Changes in duties or management
  • Unreasonably tight deadlines
  • Job insecurity
  • Work that is dull or boring
  • Being asked to do work for which you are unqualified or underprepared
  • Being over-supervised or under-supervised
  • Lacking proper resources or equipment to do your job
  • Perceived or actual lack of advancement opportunities
  • Workplace harassment or discrimination
  • Poor or unhealthy relationships with colleagues or bosses

After you identify the causes, you can begin the work of addressing them and, if possible, staying away from them. If certain people or locations at your work are causing you stress, speak to your boss or HR representative. Communicate that certain situations are causing you stress and that you don’t want to be put in those circumstances anymore.

Work Stress Symptoms

Some people aren’t sure what exactly they feel if they are stressed. If you find that the simple thought of going to work sounds horrible, work probably stresses you out. If you have no energy at work and don’t feel attached or motivated with your work, you may be stressed out from your job. Stress can affect people in many different ways. You may feel more irritable or simply overwhelmed. Some of the most common signs that you or someone close to you is experiencing work-related stress can be broken down into physical, psychological, and behavioral symptoms. These include:

Physical symptoms:

  • Fatigue
  • Muscle tension
  • Frequent headaches
  • Increases in heart rate or blood pressure
  • Changes to sleeping patterns, such as insomnia or hypersomnia
  • Gastrointestinal trouble
  • Skin issues including acne

Psychological symptoms:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Consistently feeling disheartened or disappointed
  • Pessimism
  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • Inability to concentrate or difficulty making decisions

Behavioral symptoms:

  • Absenteeism, avoiding going into work
  • Aggression
  • Increased apathy, decreased creativity or initiative
  • Poor performance at work
  • Problems with interpersonal relationships
  • Mood swings, irritability
  • Increased use of drugs or alcohol as a way of self-medicating

If you or someone you care about is experiencing any of these issues, it is worth seeking the help of a professional mental wellness center like the one at Lakeview Health.

Addressing Stress in the Workplace

There are several steps an individual struggling with work-related stress can help themselves. Among these are:

  • Think about what changes need to be made at work to reduce your stress levels and then put strategies into place that aimed at alleviating the causes of stress. Some of these you will be able to do yourself, but others will need the cooperation of your colleagues or management.
  • Approach your employers or HR representative with your concerns. They should be there to help.
  • Examine what changes you can make yourself. Will being more organized help? Are you eating right, exercising, and getting plenty of rest? Even the smallest change can often reduce stress.
  • Resolve to relax. Meditation, breathing exercises, and yoga are all popular ways to reduce stress.
  • Ensure that work is not the center of your life; be sure to spend time with your non-work friends, family, and to take plenty of time for yourself.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol or using other drugs to excess. These are short-term “fixes” and most often end up causing more stress than they resolve.
  • Are you in the right profession? If nothing seems to be helping your stress levels, seek out a career counselor, and consider finding a new job or a change of career.
  • Seek the professional help of a counselor in a program like the one at Lakeview Health.

Learn More at Lakeview Health Today

To learn more about workplace stress and how to combat it, reach out to the experienced counselors at Lakeview Health today. Contact us using our secure online form or call 866.704.7692 to get in touch with our team.