Welcome to Healthy Exchange ...your quarterly electronic newsletter from ResponseWorks, your Employee Assistance Program (EAP). Each issue provides information to help you better deal with personal, family or work-related concerns.

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If you’re faced with a problem that seems too hard to solve on your own, your EAP can help you with free, confidential counseling, information or referrals. For more information or to schedule an appointment call: 1-800-301-2265.

 

Winter 2019 Edition


Tips on Managing Job Stress


Wellness

According to the American Institute of Stress, job stress is the single greatest health problem for working adults.  When the effects of stress begin to negatively impact your personal, family or work life, it may indicate that the normal tools you use to combat stress are insufficient.  Follow these guidelines to increase your ability to healthfully manage stress.

Identify the Cause of Stress

In order to manage your job-related stress more effectively, it’s important to identify those things that are causing the stress.  Common sources of job-related stress include:

  • Work overload
  • Lack of control – having high job demands but little control over how to meet those demands
  • Fear for job security due to downsizing, dismissal, or forced early retirement
  • Conflicts between home and work responsibilities
  • Lack of support from supervisors and managers
  • Reduced compensation, loss of benefits
  • Conflicts with co-workers, supervisors or managers
  • Difficulties adapting to changes in the work routine/environment
  • Feeling that work is meaningless and boring

Knowing the cause(s) of your stress gives you the opportunity to correct or modify your behavior or environment to reduce the stress.

Identify the Negative Effects of Stress

Just as important as identifying the source of your stress is being able to identify the negative effects that stress can have on you.  Common signs that your job is getting to you include:

  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Change in appetite
  • Heart palpitations
  • Headaches
  • Back pain
  • Nausea
  • Loss of concentration
  • Difficulty making decisions
  • Inability to control anger
  • Worry, anxiety or fear
  • Irritability
  • Depression
  • Increased use of alcohol, caffeine, nicotine, drugs
  • Increased eating

Avoid Stress-Promoting Thoughts and Beliefs

Quite often, we unknowingly increase our stress by carrying around “irrational beliefs” about what we should be able to accomplish or do in our jobs.  Do any of these sound familiar?

  • I should be able to do everything without feeling stressed or tired.
  • I have to please others by doing what they ask me to do.
  • I feel guilty if I take time for myself.
  • I can’t ask for help – it will show my incompetence.

While thoughts and beliefs such as those above are common, they are unrealistic and lead to undue frustration and stress.  Become aware of your stress-promoting ways of thinking and replace them with more realistic and less stressful thoughts.

Tips for the Working Person

There are many things you can do to lessen the effects of stress in your life.  The list below may be helpful in your fight against stress:

  • When your circumstances at work make you angry or tense, take some steps toward resolving the problem.  This gets you away form the “trapped feeling” that creates stress.
  • Talk out your problems with a sympathetic and trustworthy friend.  Often another person can help you see your problem in a new light, so you can work on a constructive solution.
  • Build an effective and supportive relationship with your supervisor.
  • Take your breaks and enjoy them.  Walk outside, read something non-work related, or rest and put your feet up.
  • Start your day with a nutritious breakfast.  Avoid coffee or tea with caffeine.  Caffeine increases the stress response of your body.
  • Try deep breathing.  You can reduce stress with proper breathing techniques.  When you’re “stressed out,” breathing will be rapid and shallow.  To help relieve stress, slow down your breathing to a 7-second inhale and 8-second exhale.  Do this for two minutes (about 8 repetitions of the cycle).  Your tension will ebb. 

Contact your EAP

If you’re having difficulty coping with stress, contact your Employee Assistance Program (EAP) for confidential counseling, referrals or information.  A professional EAP counselor can help you address the cause(s) of your distress and help you learn effective ways to deal with stress.  If you need help, why not call an EAP professional today?  We’re here to help.

 
   
 

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Disclaimer: This newsletter is not intended to provide medical advice on personal wellness matters. Please consult your physician for medical advice.