Since people spend an important part of their lives at work and work related stress is very common, it is very important to identify the consequences of work stress. This is not only because stress is unpleasant, but also because long-term work stress can affect your health severely. You should not only think of effects on mental health (e.g. over-strain and burnout) but also effects on your physical health.
Many people are familiar with the phenomenon of stress. It is a widely accepted concept in society and everyone has problems with it. Yet it is a condition that many people think very lightly of. Many people think that stress generally does not hurt very much. However, this is a gross misconception. Stress can cause many problems.
In this hectic society in which we live, it is therefore something more common than ever before. For that reason it is important to pay attention to it. What are the consequences of stress at work?
First a little bit on healthy stress. It may sound strange, but it still exists. Many people have no idea what to think about with healthy stress, but no doubt you’ve experienced it. Healthy stress is a natural process of the body, which ensures that you as an individual perform better. In what situations does that occur? This can occur in different situations, but generally it happens when people are put on the spot.
Contrary to this is the real unhealthy stress which is caused by many reasons, lasts a long time and which I have fully described in my previous article which can be accessed here. So, now we can go on to the physical and psychological consequences of stress.
Physical consequences from stress
The physical consequences that can occur with stress are somewhat similar to the regular symptoms you can get from burnout. Think of heart palpitations to name a serious one. But headaches and stomachaches are also consequences of stress. The tricky part is that these are fairly common complaints. Everyone sometimes has problems with their stomach.
It is difficult to recognize these complaints when occurring. It is therefore often a culmination of physical and psychological complaints, making it easier to diagnose burnout.
Shortness of breath and insomnia
Other physical consequences that can play out are, for example, shortness of breath and insomnia. For example, do you often have trouble breathing? And do you generally sleep very badly? In both cases, these can even be symptoms of burnout. Taking action is therefore sensible in such situations.
General fatigue is also a strong indication of burnout. Especially when you are tired for no apparent reason. Everyone is tired sometimes. This generally should not be a problem. This can happen, for example, through poor sleep. Or when, for example, you have exercised very intensively. Or because you are in a busy period in your life.
But should the fatigue persist for a long time and is there no clear indication for it? In that case it can be related to a stress issue, which should be eliminated.
Weakened immune system
A weakened immune system can be one of the consequences of this chronic stress. This is because less chronic blood cells can be present in your body during chronic stress. White blood cells play an important role in your immune system. When there are fewer white blood cells in your body, your body is less able to defend itself against “invaders” (bacteria, parasites and viruses). Consequently this gives you an increased chance of flu and colds, for example.
Take notice when you have these symptoms
In summary, here are some of the physical complaints due to stress, which you should be aware of:
Pressure on the chest
High blood pressure
Do not take these just for granted and when persisting, take some action. Be sure to know if those illnesses could be work related. Take a few days off and when the symptoms disappear, note that it probably is work related. In this case you need to look in the mirror and ask yourself what you do not like in your work.
Psychological consequences of stress
Not only the physical, but surely the mental problems can be a result of long-term stress. Often these are accompanied by the physical symptoms and thus form an overall picture. For example, one of the things that results from stress is uncertainty. This is common in people under long pressure. They often fear that they are not doing well.
Chronic stress negatively affects your psychological well-being. Chronic stress can disrupt your brain. Different areas of the brain do not work as normal or are even damaged due to long-term stress. Among other things, stress has a negative influence on our rational and emotional system.
Stress can therefore play a role in the development of mood disorders (such as depression) and anxiety disorders. Stress can also be a trigger that leads to psychotic complaints. When stress continues to accumulate for a long time, you eventually become exhausted and over-strain can result in a burnout.
You feel dejected
For example, someone with stress is afraid of making mistakes at work. This fear can also occur in daily life. For example in home situations. Have I turned the gas off? In addition, a general depressed feeling is also a typical result of stress. This has almost the same symptoms as mild depression. It may be that you don’t feel like doing anything anymore, or that you no longer get pleasure from things that you used to enjoy.
How can this depression be expressed in concrete terms? That is of course important to know, because depression is a fairly general concept. The following example may make it clear. Suppose, for example, that you enjoy watching movies all your life. At some point, however, you don’t like watching movies anymore. This may then have to do with a stress. You can no longer enjoy things that you used to like.
You will be irritable
Irritability is also common. For example, it is possible that people with long-term stress get angry very quickly. This is because they are no longer in control of emotions. This allows them to behave very inappropriate in situations where this is not necessary. Panic attacks and crying bumps are also typical consequences of long-term stress. So stress can be very serious and for that reason you should always watch out. Always try to be there on time, so you reduce the chance of real big problems.
Do you recognize these symptoms?
There are many more symptoms that tell you, that you could be in a stressful situation. Check the following as well:
You are unable to relax
You have periods of doom and gloom, crying spells, worrying, fear
You are no longer able to enjoy, you are listless and lifeless
You are indecisive, have a loss of concentration and are forgetful
You feel insecure and have less confidence
In addition to all of the above, there can even be changes to your personality. See under.
Typical behavioral changes
If you discover any of the below symptoms or anyone is warning you, then please take heed:
You perform less and make more mistakes
There is more and more smoking, alcohol or drugs
There will be increasing use of sleeping pills and tranquilizers
You will be increasingly avoiding social contacts
People tend to ignore these phenomena or think they will pass on their own. However, the reverse is true. Because the stress ensures that you no longer find the peace and relaxation you need to cope with the stressful situation or your stress goes from bad to worse.
A long-term overdose of stress can make people overworked. You become more and more exhausted, often get very emotional and even the ordinary everyday things become more and more difficult.
Sometimes the overload is so great that rest alone no longer helps. We speak of burnout, you literally have no energy anymore.
Do not let it come this far, but leave the boss or company, or my recommendation: start for yourself, become your own boss. You can do this in your free time, next to your regular job. Here is the link to my review on the world’s best opportunity on making money on the side.