To achieve joy and satisfaction at work is as good as finding the golden chalice. But sadly only a few are destined to find bliss and contentment in our work. For the rest, it is a life of drudgery which eventually takes its toll on our health. But you can change that.
Persisting in jobs that bring little by way of satisfaction takes an immense toll on our health. Workplace satisfaction has a major role to play in our well-being. Surveys reveal that more than half of us are miserable with our jobs to the extent that it has a major role to play in our physical and mental deterioration.
This is not about a bad day or a bad phase at work. Persistent stress kills, albeit slowly. This is a crisis ignored in the workplace by both employers and employees. Research by Jeffrey Pfeffer, an organizational behavior professor at Stanford University, revealed the high cost of poor management in US companies.
We do not notice or tend to ignore the flashing red lights that indicate impending doom. But our body picks up the signs of danger and warns us that things are not fine.
The Ominous Signs
Lack Of Sleep
Lack of sleep is one obvious sight that things are not hunky-dory at your workplace. The moment you begin to perceive your workplace as a source of danger, you tend to be overwrought. People frequently complain about being unable to sleep or inadequate sleep. Work worries start interfering with their periods of rest. And when this becomes the norm rather than the exception, then it is time to sit up and realize that something is amiss and you need to change it before it gets to you.
We are wound up at the first signs of physical danger. It protects our body from injuries and the same goes for your workplace. When you perceive it as a threat or a menace, your neck, head, and shoulder muscles instinctively wind up as your body tries to protect you from the danger you are facing. Migraines and tension related headaches are signs of stress.
A General Pain In Body Muscles
The toll taken by persistent stress is felt throughout your body as physical pain. Your body acts adversely to signs of a physical threat. It releases adrenaline and other stress hormones to manage the pain. The nervous system is ever-alert as you are constantly on your toes, ready to react.
It Affects Your Mental Vigor
Stress at work affects even the normal person mentally and for those with existing mental issues, it can aggravate those problems. A study in 2012 found that perception of discrimination at the workplace is the leading cause of stress and may cause depression and overeating.
You Fall Sick
Constant pressure at work compounded by an intense dislike towards your job can imperil your immunity.
You Turn Away From Sex
The moment you bring home your work-related problems, your personal life is affected, including your sexual desire. It affects women more badly as they have to balance between home, financial obligations, and work-related stress. Men also produce lesser testosterone when stressed, hence lower libido. Not having enough time to relax often leads to this disdain towards sex.
Fatigue Is A Constant Companion
You feel like you have run a marathon at the end of each day. The weariness gets to you and it doesn’t get any better after the weekend. it is a vicious cycle and you end up working longer.
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Unease In The Stomach
Digestion related problems are constant, as stress leads to changes in the bacteria in the gut and may cause constipation and indigestion.
It Affects Your Appetite
Stress affects both ways. It may lead you to turn to food to relieve stress or it may make you turn away from foods. Sugary foods give temporary respite from stress but lead to obesity.
Ways You Can Tackle Stress
The way out of this mess is not always in your control. But you can take a few positive steps. Take time off work when things threaten to spin out of control. Do not make stress your body beyond normal limits. When you deny your body the relaxation it deserves, it takes its toll in the long term. Try to see things in a positive light.
And if all else fails, maybe it is time to look for healthier options. One job is not worth wasting yourself over. Leave that toxic environment and take care of yourself.
IMAGE CREDIT: THEERAVAT BOONNUANG