This Is How Your Stressful Job Is Secretly Affecting Your Mental Health
A stressful job can have serious consequences on your body. While having a few bad days is normal, an overcrowded schedule, a poor work environment or a toxic culture can have a real impact on employees.
Constant stress can often to depressive symptoms and plenty of other mental health issues. Here are some signs that show your job already has already worsened your mental health.
You Have a Poor Sleep Schedule
Is worrying about your job keeping you up at night? A few restless nights aren’t usually an issue, but when it turns into a consistent pattern, it’s a sign of a much deeper problem. One study on sleep, health and wellness at work confirmed that work-related sleep disorders have short- and long-term effects on your mental health.
Frequent Headaches and Migraines
How many times have you had a stressful workday only to have it become more stressful after a headache or a migraine? If you let it turn into a pattern, this problem can make you struggle not just at work, but through life in general.
Clenching Your Teeth Without Noticing
A National Center for Biological Technology (NCBI) study closely examined bruxism, also known as teeth grinding, and its correlation with emotional stability and overall stress. It demonstrated that work-related stress often contributes to overall anxiety, which in turn results in the development of neuroticism-related traits, including bruxism.
While a regular workday may leave you tired, you shouldn’t feel completely burned out for the rest of the day. If that happens, it could be a sign of poor work-life balance and significant problems with stress.
You Can’t Stop Working or Thinking About Work
When work life is stressful, it’s hard to switch off your brain and focus on other tasks. A UK population-based study suggests there’s a direct correlation between long working hours and symptoms of depression, especially if your work environment isn’t a positive one.
Your Appetite Changes
Harvard researchers confirmed that work-related stress affects your overall appetite. Whether it’s eating too much or not eating enough, it’s clear that a toxic work environment negatively affects nutrition and a person’s relationship with food.
Gut Health Problems
Stress can easily affect gut health. According to Harvard, frequent exposure to stressful situations at work triggers psychosocial factors related to the gut that can make infections, inflammation, irritable bowel syndrome and more.
The Office Is No Longer a Positive Space
Have you ever gotten your dream job at a dream company only to be left feeling completely drained from it just a couple of months later? When your office is no longer an environment that can help you grow creatively, coming to work stops being a healthy experience.
You Call in Sick Often — Even When You're Not
When you don’t want to show up to work, it’s hard to even get out of bed in the morning. Calling in sick when you’re unwell is standard practice, but if you call in sick because you don’t want to deal with work, that’s another thing.
You Physically Struggle to Get to Work
Getting out of bed is something most people dread, but when work starts to compromise your mental health, it can be almost impossible to get up and go. Your mind is too focused on everything that you’ll have to deal with throughout the day, making it very hard to stay motivated.
Frequent Panic Attacks
If a toxic workplace is out of control, you might experience panic and anxiety attacks — especially if you aren’t able to escape it. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) states that many psychological disorders can trigger a panic attack, and they can occur under a variety of conditions.
Zero Work Boundaries
Do you frequently stay late at work, arrive early, work on weekends and constantly overthink work-related issues? Your work-life balance is extremely important to your overall health, and you may need to set more work boundaries to balance your work and outside life successfully.
Struggling to Focus
When your mind is too occupied or worried, you struggle to focus. Concentration at work is extremely important in order to do your job, but if you’re in a hectic environment, you might find yourself jumping from one task to another.
Anger and Irritation
When you’re put under a lot of stress, it’s easy to get angry and irritated over the smallest things. This may happen at work or even in your everyday life. You might find yourself irrationally angry at that long queue at your regular coffee shop in the mornings.
Work During the Weekend
Today’s unavoidable hustle culture promotes work at all times in order to get ahead in life. Many employees frequently work on weekends in order to prove themselves to their bosses, but over time, they might start experiencing some of the stress symptoms highlighted in this article.
Thinking About Work Makes You Nervous
Does your heart race when you think about work? This is just one of the symptoms of a high-pressure work environment. Whether it’s needlessly difficult upper management or just a hectic schedule, when the very thought of work causes anxiety, there’s a problem.
Alienation From Friends and Family
When you’re busy, you don’t have a lot of time to see the people that are important in your life. On top of that, if you’re experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned here, you might find yourself struggling to connect with others. Social isolation has serious effects on mental health.
You Respond Poorly to Feedback
When your work life becomes toxic, you may find yourself unable to receive feedback without taking it personally. Because a person’s emotions are at an all-time high when stressed, any feedback may result in irritation or even verbal confrontation with a superior.
Self-care Is No Longer a Priority
Have you stopped taking care of yourself because work is always on your mind? Taking care of your emotional, mental and physical health is a necessity. When people devote too much time to work, self-care often takes a backseat, either knowingly or unknowingly.
Increased Anxiety Levels
An NCBI study highlighted that work stress has a direct impact on increased anxiety levels and in some cases even depression. That means individuals without previous anxiety symptoms may experience anxiety more frequently than those with a pre-job history of diagnosis or treatment.
While stress occurs in the mind, it manifests in plenty of other forms, including achy muscles. The American Institute of Stress notes that neck aches, back pain and muscle spasms may be symptoms of stress.
Every Day Is Exactly the Same
When you repeat the same routine, even small challenges seem daunting. Whether it’s simply checking email or speaking with clients or supervisors, doing the same thing every single day can become unappealing when a workplace has a toxic environment.
You Constantly Think You’re Going to Get Fired
When upper management is the reason for a toxic workplace, being let go might be constantly on your mind. This puts a lot of pressure on employees, but it also makes them more irritated and apologetic when something goes wrong or a mistake is made.
If you’re exposed to stress and anger every single day, you could find yourself becoming more and more negative and start to rant about work situations at home. And although it’s important to have someone to commiserate with, having the right outlet also matters.
Coming Home From Work Leaves You Completely Drained
Do you come back from work just to crash in your bed and repeat it all the next day, without doing anything fun outside of work? This can be a sign that your entire body is under severe pressure. .
Work Affect Your Relationships
Whether it’s because you no longer have time to pursue your social life or you simply can’t stop talking about work, a toxic workplace can have negative effects on your relationships. When a job costs you friends and family, something needs to change.
Loss of Libido
Have you thrown in the towel when it comes to the bedroom because of a toxic work environment and the stress that comes along with it? Stress may lead to a loss of sex drive, which could also negatively affect romantic relationships.
Relationships With Co-Workers Suffers
Not only does work stress affect personal relationships, but it can also lead to even more negativity in the workplace. Irritability or negativity can harm workplace relations, thereby making the workplace even less productive and more stressful.
Your Stress Is Making You Nauseous
While this article has covered many stress symptoms, two that haven’t been discussed yet are nausea and dizziness. They might be a result of a panic attack or an inability to keep food down due to changes in appetite.
You’re Experiencing Burnout
If these other problems are far enough along, you’re probably experiencing burnout. Overthinking, a loss of focus, poor sleeping habits or any other combination of traits from this list that are severe enough could be a sign that you’ve hit rock bottom.