Working. Hate your job or love it, it’s something we all have to do to survive, meet our needs, and to enjoy life.
But sometimes, a job can negatively impact your health.
How do you know, though? There are signs, but they can be easy to miss because they often come on gradually and can be dismissed as coming from something else.
According to Forbes, Harvard and Stanford did a study that showed poor management in U.S. companies made up as much as 8 percent of annual health costs and even led to some deaths.
Those statistics are nothing to scoff at. Luckily, there are ways of avoiding seeing your job hurt your health.
But to solve the problem, you need to be aware of its existence. Your body may know before you do that your job is impacting your health and stress symptoms, sending you alerts you are not okay.
Here are a few red flags to look for that your job may be impacting your health, along with some solutions.
Problems Such as Insomnia, Headaches, and Muscle Tension
One of the first things people report when work is causing them problems is sleep disturbance and insomnia, which may lead to depression.
Another thing that happens when you work too hard is your brain floods your system with adrenaline and other stress hormones, which may increase your health issues.
The physical condition resulting from the emotional stress you may feel at work every day creates physiological problems, which manifests as pain and aches. Not just headaches, but general body aches.
This can be debilitating, but there are solutions. See your physician. Depending on your individual needs and tolerances, they may prescribe medications for severe cases of sleeplessness.
If you do decide to go to a doctor for prescription sleep medications, WebMD recommends you gradually reduce the dosage when you no longer need them as much, and try to limit use to no more than a few weeks at a time and only when you get acute insomnia. Regardless of the method you choose to relieve pain, always listen to your doctor.
You Notice Your Mental Health Declining or New Mental Problems
When you have a toxic job or are simply working too hard, the increased stress can exacerbate existing mental health issues or cause new ones.
Someone who might be a worrier by nature can experience worsening symptoms in a toxic or understaffed work environment.
According to the Huffington Post, problems with your job can cause worry that will often increase to the point of clinical anxiety or depression, which can come with panic attacks and a loss of interest in doing anything outside of what you must do, like work.
Developing or seeing worsening of mental health is a red flag that your job is impacting you negatively. Once you cross the clinical threshold, your doctor may prescribe medications for depression or anxiety.
If you don’t want to go the medication route, try scaling back work hours and avoid working late or on weekends too much. Give yourself a break and get plenty of rest to mitigate the effects of overwork or working in a stressful environment.
Consult a professional therapist or counselor to help you deal with work-related stress that doesn’t pass.
You Experience Thoughts of Avoiding Work or Quitting
If you are working a job that creates a lot of stress, you might find yourself wishing you didn’t have to do it some days or have urges to quit your job altogether.
But don’t have a knee-jerk reaction and walk away before you seek help. Take advantage of employee-assistance programs your job may offer, or go directly to human resources to attempt to address the issues that are causing your disquieting thoughts and health afflictions possibly related to your job.
Talk to friends and family for support. Companionship outside of your job can help offset the stress symptoms you may be noticing, such as physical health issues or thoughts about leaving your job.
Watch for these red flags that your job is impacting your health, and be proactive and do something about it before the problem becomes too difficult to overcome.
Hang in there. Help is available if your job is affecting your health. Look for the red flags, and don’t give up.