Wake up, work, go to bed. Repeat.

Every single day…

Admit it, your daily routine can become redundant, fast. But it’s not the constant repetition that’s concerning. It’s the work-related stress has become an accepted cause of illness, but not much is being done about it. Can stress at work kill you? The answer has been proven to be yes, so it’s time to take your health seriously. Eating a balanced diet and exercising regularly are healthy habits to have. But they won’t fully help if you’re so stressed at work that you frequently suffer from high blood pressure or aren’t able to sleep well at night. Some symptoms of work-related stress are headaches, nausea, loss of appetite, binge eating, sleep deprivation, hair loss, premature wrinkles, and much more. The list goes on and on, and these are only some of the most frequent health issues that are linked to stress. If you’ve battled with any of these, it’s time to do something different.

#1 – It affects everything!

Of the many things we know about stress is that it takes you to an unhappy place. You may think that stress only affects you on a mental and emotional level… but the physical side effects can be just as bad, if not worse. When you’re stressed out, you may constantly feel overwhelmed by everything that happens around you. You can become so overloaded that you start to define your life by your responsibilities and obligations. When things get to this point, honestly, it’s time to take a mental detox! Stress happens primarily in your brain. If you can change the way you perceive your surroundings, you can stop the chemical reactions that create stress from happening. It’s not as difficult as it seems and becoming your own source of positivity can completely change the way you handle stress.

6 step mental detox

 #2 – Determine the source

Would you be surprised to know that most people who are suffering from stress-related health issues may not be aware that stress is the cause of their problems? In fact, for a lot of people, the symptoms of physical illness and psychological pain can remain undiagnosed for a very long time. Among the most common physical symptoms are fatigue, muscular tension, headaches, heart palpitations, trouble sleeping or insomnia, gastrointestinal issues, and skin disorders. Psychologically, you may be feeling depressed, anxious, discouraged, pessimist, unable to cope, unable to focus or make decisions, and irritable. You may even be suffering from mood swings that you can’t explain. These are often the result of a stressful work environment.

#3 – Support

You don’t have to handle stress on your own. It’s always tricky to find the right solution when you’re in the eye of the storm; you may be so overwhelmed that you’re not able to see the entire (big) picture clearly. But you can seek support within your work authorized EAP counseling service — or from your employer’s preferred provider. You can receive confidential and compassionate support 24/7  face-to-face or by phone, email or online chat session. It’s also in your employer’s benefit to help you get the help you need, so feel free consulting the HR department to review the best options for your specific situation.

#4 – Your Boss

You’re not motivated. Every day your boss fails to notice your performance. Worse, you find their behavior is intrusive, controlling and bullying at the best of times. Bad bosses can be difficult to deal with, and they are the most common cause of stress in work relationships. But, you need to be smart about your approach, as not all managers are aware of their flaws. For example, a manager who follows a hands-off approach might not perceive their lack of direction as a bad thing: They might think that they empower their staff instead. Telling your boss what you need from them to perform might help to change the situation. And for those bosses that are blatantly aware of their bullying behavior, a visit to HR may be to your benefit.

#5 – Toxic co-workers

What if the problems come from difficult co-workers? It doesn’t matter how much you want a peaceful and productive environment at work. Some colleagues are simply toxic and difficult to deal with. Tacklers, for example, are people who attack you personally instead of arguing an issue or making a point. They attack your performance or point out your shortcomings to impress the boss or gain leverage over you. It’s best to handle them in a non-confrontational manner and with a level head. Consider asking them how they think you might be able to sort out your differences to build a better working relationship.

 #6 – Environment

Have you considered that when the boss and the colleagues are okay; it might just be the office that is the source of your problems? Poor indoor air quality is one of the silent stress catalysts at work. As you can’t see the quality of the air, most workplaces don’t know that their staff works in a polluted environment. What are the common signs? Headaches, nausea, inability to focus, foggy thoughts, etc. As a result, your work performance may be affected.

#7 – J.O.B.

Maintain perspective. Always remember that in the end, it’s just a job. It’s the work you do, but it doesn’t have to define you. Even if you’re passionate about it, a job is nothing but a professional activity. It isn’t who you are. If you suffer for the sake of a job title or career, you may need to take some time to explore your purpose in life. Prioritize your well-being above your paycheck.

Don’t let work-related stress get the best of you. Start making changes to reduce the stress in your life

*this is a contributor written post*