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Dealing With Work-Related Stress In Texas

Aug 18, 2007
Individuals who work in Dallas, Houston and other places in Texas, as well as throughout the rest of America, occasionally have a bad day or two at work; some more than others. It's estimated that work-related stress is responsible for millions of sick days annually, with stress linked to many minor and major illnesses.

Work stress is different for every individual. Some are affected more than others. It may depend on your personality type and on how you have learned to respond to pressure. These are just some of the issues associated with work-related stress:
- Lack of control over work
- Excessive time pressures
- Excessive or inflexible working hours
- Too much or too little work or responsibility
- Confusion about duties and responsibilities
- Lack of job variety and interest
- Inadequate training and possibilities for learning new skills
- Poor work/life balance
- Difficult relationships at work
- Lack of support and lack of contact with colleagues
- Organizational confusion, restructuring, job change
- Uncertainty over job prospects

Work-related stress symptoms
Work-related stress can manifest itself as both physical and emotional health problems, and it can alter behavior at work and home.

Physical symptoms
The physical manifestation of work-related stress can develop into some or many of these symptoms:
- Increased susceptibility to colds and other infections
- Headaches
- Muscular tension
- Backache and neck ache
- Excessive tiredness
- Difficulty sleeping
- Digestive problems
- Increased heart rate
- Increased sweating
- Reduced sex drive
- Skin rashes
- Blurred vision

Emotional and behavioral changes can include:
- Urge to cry
- Feeling like you can't cope
- Short temperedness at work and at home
- Feeling that you've achieved nothing at the end of the day
- Eating when you're not hungry
- Losing your appetite
- Smoking and drinking to get you through the day
- Inability to plan, concentrate and control work
- Getting less work done
- Poor relationships with colleagues or clients
- Loss of motivation and commitment

Changes at work
If work-related stress is affecting your health, you should try to deal with it as soon as possible. One of the more important factors in reducing stress levels is managing your time effectively. Prioritize tasks, delegate where necessary and don't take on more than you can handle. Completing one task before going on to the next one will help you feel more in control, while varying tasks can help to keep you interested.

Another suggestion: take time to relax at work by stretching and breathing deeply. This will help you keep focused and prevent tired muscles. By simply ensuring you get outside for a walk during your lunch break, you can really reduce stress dramatically.

It may seem hard to confront the causes of workplace stress and ask for help. But sometimes, support and advice from your company's management or human resources is necessary to help you deal with difficulties at work, whether it's to clarify your job role and responsibilities, or deal with workplace bullying.

Lifestyle changes
Folks in the larger Texas cities such as Dallas and Houston, and throughout the State, have found that regular activities outside of work also help them meet new people, take their minds away from work stress and remind them that there is more to life than the office. Creative hobbies, such as painting, or a new form of physical activity such as dancing or swimming, can really change your outlook on life.

There is also growing evidence that regular physical activity reduces stress levels. It provides valuable "time out" and can trigger brain chemicals that can improve your mood. A brisk daily walk is ideal, but the main thing is to choose an activity that you enjoy.

Learning to relax can improve sleep and relieve stress-related physical pains. In addition, confiding in trusted friends or relatives could help you articulate worries and negative feelings. It can give you a fresh perspective and help make stressful situations more manageable.

Stress is an inevitable but unavoidable companion in our working lives. The aim should be to manage stress by becoming aware of various ways to respond to it, and by making effective changes to your working lifestyle.
About the Author
Pat Carpenter writes for Precedent Insurance Company. Precedent puts a new spin on health insurance. Learn more at Precedent.com
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