work stress

Work stress: how to recognize and fight it

Work stress affects all parts of your life. You can’t sleep well, work, or rest. You keep tired faster, and everything you want is to lie on bed forever. However, if you identify it before it becomes unsustainable (heart disease, diabetes and obesity are enhanced by work stress); action can be taken before the pressure becomes a problem. Follow these tips to recognize, reduce, and eliminate the causes.

How to recognize work stress:

Pay attention to the symptoms below, described by Health and Safety Executive from Great Britain, responsible for the encouragement, regulation and enforcement of workplace health, safety and welfare, and for research into occupational risks. If you are suffering from more than one, it’s time to speak to your line manager, your HR department, or psychologist.

Short term:

  • Anxious, changed moods, negative thoughts, loss of motivation commitment and confidence, can’t concentrate, disturbed sleep patterns, changes in heart rate, increased blood pressure (palpitations), sweating, reddening, mobilisation of energy sources, increase cholesterol in blood and glucose availability, muscle tension, dry mounth, nausea, increased smoking, drinking or drug taking.

Long term

  • Anxiety, depression, hypertension, heart disease, eczema, psoriasis, inefficient energy use, increased fat deposition, insulin resistence, metabolic syndrome, loss of muscle function, stiffness, soreness, osteoporosis, muscle and joints pain, appetite supreession / eating disorder, dysfunction of the gut, reproductive abnormalities, erectile dysfunction, losso of libido, immune suppression, increased susceptibility to infectious diseases.

Signs of Stress in a Group:

  • Disputes and disaffection within the group;
  • Increase in staff turnover, complaints and grievances, sickness absence, and reports of stress;
  • Difficulty in attracting new staff;
  • Poor performance,
  • Customer dissatisfaction or complaints.


To Do List to Fight Work Stress:

  • Learn how to delegate;
  • Stop charging yourself;
  • Calculate the time you spend on each task of your day and prioritize the most importants;
  • Take breaks;
  • Speak to colleagues, telling what you’re going through;
  • Use your free time in a hobbie;
  • Hang out with family or friends;
  • Eat foods rich in vitamin C and zinc, such as almonds, to strengthen immunity;
  • Learn relaxation techniques to use before sleep;
  • Eat healthy foods;
  • Face the challenges with humor,
  • Stop consuming alcohol and avoid nicotine.

If you want other options to choose from, here are other effective ways you can reduce stress. Try any of them out and see which ones give you the best results.

Cortisol: The Hormone of Stress

Cortisol is a steroid hormone produced by the adrenal glands. It is released to respond to stress or danger, for example. But symptoms of too much cortisol include high levels of stress. So, if you are stressed, you have high levels of cortisol in you body. According to Healthy Lifestyle Blog, caffeine, alcohol and lack of sleep stimulate the release of cortisol.

The website suggests lifestyle changes to reduce elevated cortisol level, such as:

  • Better quality sleep
  • Exercise every-single-day
  • Mindfulness and breathing exercises
  • Take time out to relax and have down time
  • Eat a Healthy Diet


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