Chronic stress in the workplace is an often-overlooked issue that can result in major anxiety. A serious complication of work stress is that it’s often regarded as a “necessary evil”. This perspective is fueled by the emphasis on financial gain that has come to be the driving force behind career choices in many modern societies. People therefore tend to equate more work stress to more income. It’s a particularly tragic situation since we know that this version of the stress-money relationship is largely untrue. The lowest paying jobs can easily generate a staggering amount of stress.
Anxiety caused by chronic work stress often takes on an insidious nature due to the widespread acceptance of it as a normal part of life. This can lead to a number of troubling circumstances. The failure to recognize work stress as a source of anxiety may actually create a vicious cycle where we feel anxious but don’t know why, thus creating more anxiety out of uncertainty. Physical symptoms can also manifest as a result of stress in workplace, like headaches, upset stomach, sleep disturbances and high blood pressure. These occurrences can also contribute to the formation of anxiety when the source is unrecognized.
The American Psychological Association (APA) suggests an array of methods for combating the effects of workplace stress. Perhaps the most important directive is to keep track of the specific situations that have the most stressful impact, like meetings or deadlines. By identifying these triggers, we can then evaluate how we respond to them and learn how these responses can be altered to lessen the long-term impact of stressful events at work. It is also key to establish boundaries to minimize the effects of work-related stress on home life, perhaps by refusing to take business related calls during specific hours. Taking steps like these can reduce the likelihood of developing anxiety from work stress.
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