Having a job in many ways improves an individual’s health and overall attitude toward life. However, many people face significant stress in the workplace that outweighs any possible benefits and even poses a threat to their health.
The United States’ National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health defines job stress as the harmful physical and emotional responses that occur when the requirements of the job do not match the capabilities, resources, or needs of the worker. Job stress can, in turn, lead to poor health and even injury.
Take the sales profession, for instance, sales reps are so driven towards meeting their targets every month or quarter that it can weigh very heavily on their health. They might feel stress, anxiety, and depression when their deals don’t close even after following up for months together.
What is job stress?
Job stress is the harmful physical and emotional responses that occur when the requirements of the job do not match the capabilities, resources, or needs of the worker.
It can lead to a variety of health problems including obesity, chronic heart disease, cancer, musculoskeletal disorders, mental illness, respiratory disorders, and sleep problems.
As a result, if a sales professional is experiencing job stress, the negative consequences can be enormous:
- Increased work turnover
- Unhealthy eating habits, smoking, alcohol abuse
- Social isolation
- Less social activities
- Loss of productivity
- Acute health conditions, such as pneumonia, etc.
Why do people face job stress?
The more you know, the better prepared you’ll be to handle a stressful situation. So, it’s essential that you know what causes job stress, how to reduce it, and more importantly, how to stay in a job you love.
In this article, you will find answers to these questions and more.
What causes job stress?
According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, there are different sources of stress in a person’s life. Some of these include relationships, financial pressures, education, career, health, and learning.
Any of these activities in a person’s life can contribute to stress if they’re not dealt with correctly. A sales rep who is unable to convert buyers to subscribers in the shortest time is typically one to suffer from job stress.
The Health Risks of Job Stress
Job stress can trigger many physical illnesses that may lead to complications. About 43% of the top-selling executives worldwide who have workplace stress experienced:
1. Heart disease.
This common ailment can easily lead to heart attacks. But, even if you’re at a healthy weight, and otherwise healthy, the stress-related risks of heart disease are still high. You may even put yourself at risk for arrhythmia (irregular heartbeats) if you don’t exercise regularly or if you suffer from a stressful lifestyle.
2. Dental issues.
Nearly half of the managers and executives are suffering from dental problems. This is linked to stress as a constant struggle against deadlines and stressful situations can lead to suffering from bad breath.
Other health risks of job stress
According to a study published in the Journal of Health Psychology, job stress can raise blood pressure, which may negatively affect cardiovascular and metabolic health.
Work stress can also impair the concentration of the workforce, leading to errors in cognition, memory, processing speed, problem-solving, and more.
And this can be bad for a company’s productivity, especially as digital transformation is affecting the way businesses operate and bringing about the need to transform and renew their workforce.
What can you do about it?
Research suggests that some things can help reduce stress in the workplace – namely meditation and mindfulness practices, walking in nature, yoga and meditation, and other breathing techniques.
Mental health risks of job stress
The question of the right way to manage stress lies in how much we know about the health risks that arise when stress is managed in the wrong way.
In a nutshell, the potentially harmful effects of job stress are varied and include negative effects on the mental health
There are different types of stress reactions. Relaxation stress is a response that happens when you feel in danger. This kind of stress only happens when you don’t have a choice or when you are compelled to do something. You know that in the case of danger, you need to either escape the situation or do something about it.
The most common kinds of stress reactions are tension headaches, backaches, fatigue, stomach aches, irregular sleeping patterns, and mood swings.
Solutions to reduce side-effects of work-related stress
Taking frequent breaks from work can help you to get a break from the stressful environment. For instance, many CEOs encourage their teams to take vacations and bring their kids to visit. Also, you can play with your dog or cat to help clear your mind.
If you’re experiencing psychological distress or are suicidal, or you just want to escape from the negative effects of work stress, you should seek professional help.
Learn to say no
The commonness of doing work that one isn’t entirely passionate about can cause stress. Here is how you can control your stress levels while still being a valuable employee to the company.
Make a list of your own limits. The first step is to identify your own limits. Most salespeople are willing to help as much as they can but not at any cost. Once you have a complete understanding of your own limits, you can begin asking for what you want.
Be careful about when to ask for help
Your best approach to ask for help is when you are sure you won’t get into trouble for doing so.
Keep a healthy body and mind outside work
The most simple solution to this problem is to keep a healthy body and mind when you are away from work. Start by spending time with friends and family, taking part in community or social activities, and finding ways to have fun and socialize.
You can also invest your time in learning new skills. It could be learning a new language, sewing, playing a musical instrument, sports, etc. This will help you to relieve some stress and focus your energy on something you enjoy doing.
Physical exercise will also help. Try to find a sport that you really like and that you can develop a passion for. It will help you exercise your body and to keep yourself physically fit.
Talking to a professional counselor at your job would also help.
Automate Stressful Tasks:
As salespeople, you are left with no choice but to do certain tasks that may be repetitive and stressful, like keeping track of your quota, making sure your commissions are calculated correctly. One simple yet effective way to get rid of these tasks is to automate them. A commission automation platform can do the job for you.
Stress at the workplace is very real and can cause more harm than good. It is your responsibility to take care of yourself, find a balance between your personal life and work, and make sure you are at your best mentally. Most importantly, do not hesitate to seek professional help when needed.