- How do you feel?
Of course, the easiest way to tell if you’re suffering from work related stress is to listen to your own feelings. Although it sounds simple enough, often we get so caught up with what we’re doing that we forget to reflect on how we actually feel.
Feelings associated with work related stress include:
- dreading going to work
- sensitivity i.e. tearful, aggressive
- loss of motivation, passion or enthusiasm.
The thought of work should not fill you with dread or anxiety. If you get home at the end of the day feeling down, then you need to think about why this is and what you can do to change it.
- Do you have any physical symptoms?
Sometimes our bodies know us more than we do. You might dismiss stress as a passing phase, but even short periods of stress can have negative effects on the body.
Physical symptoms of stress include:
- aches and pains
- diarrhoea and constipation
- feeling of sickness or dizziness
- chest pains
- lack of sex drive
- frequent colds.
What causes work related stress?
Why are you unhappy at work? You might find it hard to pinpoint exactly why you feel stressed, because stress is by nature very overwhelming. When emotions are high, reason often goes out of the window. Below are some of the most common causes of work related stress:
- You don’t have the dream job you hoped for.
- Your workload is unmanageable.
- Your hours are too long.
- There’s too much pressure to meet unattainable targets.
- You feel undervalued – you feel you deserve a pay-rise or promotion but your boss won’t give you one.
- You feel like your skills are being supressed – there are no opportunities for further training or qualifications.
- You don’t get along with your colleagues.
- You are being bullied.
- You are being made redundant.
Bullying at work
Bullying at work can often be very subtle and underhand. For this reason, it can be quite hard to spot. If you think you are being bullied at work, you can find more information on our bullying page. Some of the main forms of bullying at work include gossiping, verbal abuse, public humiliation and emotional manipulation. Being bullied at work can lead to feelings of self-doubt, low self-esteem and depression. Don’t be afraid to take action – get help as soon as you can and don’t let other people make you feel unhappy.
How can counselling help with work related stress?
It is important to seek help if you think you are suffering from work related stress. It’s easy to think it’ll pass, or that it’s all part of the natural working world but the truth is – it’s not. Work, in general, should make you feel good. Having a job adds structure and purpose to life, while earning money is the key to independence and freedom.
Of course there will be days where you feel tired, emotional and stressed out but if you’re carrying those feelings around with you every day, you will wear yourself out. Work related stress can lead to the following mental health problems:
If work stress is starting to impact your personal life – causing sleep deprivation, dread, anxiety and bad habits like drinking, smoking, or overeating, then may be useful to seek help. Counselling aims to get to the root of work related stress. We are all different and as such we all react differently to certain situations. It can be useful to explore your own unique patterns of thinking and behaving in a place away from the work environment. This will help you to unravel your feelings and move forwards more freely.
Sometimes, problems can stem deeper than they first appear. Many people continue to encounter the same problems time and time again in life because they don’t tackle them from the roots.
Work related stress counselling can bring these issues to the surface and deal with them one by one in a confidential setting. By addressing your work related stress, you can lower your risk of it developing into a more serious problem.