Occupational Stress = Lack of Control
People who experience stress at the workplace say they feel overwhelmed by their demanding jobs and feel they have little or no control over them. In fact, that is the main issue when it comes to stress: control. If you have control over something there is little chance for it to affect you negatively. If you do not have control over your job, you are not only not doing it properly, but you’re also letting it get to you and you can end up being stressed and feeling under pressure. European studies on a quarter of a million people yielded some startling results: occupational stress increases the risk of heart attacks and deaths occurred due to heart disease by 25%.
The interesting find is that apparently people working a lower skilled job are more prone to developing job strain than those who have a higher skilled one. For examples lawyers experience less stress than a factory worker in charge of a machine. This is connected to the concept of freedom. How? Well, researchers have observed that occupational stress develops in people who don’t have the freedom to make any decisions in their line of work. Once you have that, you get feedback and are motivated by the things that happen after you’ve made the decision. Someone who is just executing some tasks is more likely to get frustrated and stressed by the lack of freedom and control.
Occupational Stress Management
Doctors say that if you have a stressful job, you could reduce the risk of developing a stress-related illness by choosing a healthier lifestyle. It goes without saying that you should not be smoking – if you are, there are ways you could give up without adding more stress, such as Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) – nicotine patches, nicotine gum and even electronic cigarettes. Exercise regularly, eat little or no red meat and have fun, go out with your friends, take long vacation is your job lets you and have a hobby. The key is to have a life outside work and not let work be your life.
Bottom line, if you have a stressful job that you simply can’t handle, look for another job giving you more control or try to work with your current boss to see if you can control some aspects of your current position. If you’re feeling up to it, go for a career change and become a licensed practicing nurse (do a quick search of lpn online and see what comes up), or an electrical technician or some other position that matches your skills and desires– the world is your oyster.
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