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Unsatisfactory and/or high workloads, unrealistic deadlines and over-management in the workplace. Sound familiar? According to a new survey, conducted by mental wellness advocate Pharma Dynamics, 31% of participants referred to their jobs as extremely stressful. 40% described the job stress as being mild and a mere 29% cited their job stress as being manageable.

According to Pharma Dynamics, these are the most stressful jobs in South Africa:

Several studies are now suggesting that job-related stress is as threatening to health as smoking or not exercising. Stress weakens concentration, causes sleeplessness and increases the risk of falling ill. Work stress can also lead to harassment or even violence on the job. At its most extreme, chronic (long-term) stress places a load on the heart and circulatory system that in some cases may be very serious.

Studies suggest the following job-related stressors may increase health risks:

  • Not having control over decisions that affect one’s responsibilities.
  • Relentless and excessive performance demands.
  • Lack of effective communication.
  • Lack of job security.
  • Working night shift, long hours or both.
  • Not spending enough time at home with family.
  • Salaries not matching levels of responsibility.

Many companies put extreme pressure on their employees to behave in ways that can increase tension. However, there are numerous effective tools that could be used to assist with reducing stress.

  • Communicate your concerns about job stress to someone in the HR department or a sympathetic manager. Work with them in a non-confrontational way to improve your working conditions.
  • Establish a network of friends at work and at home who will listen and understand.
  • Reorganise priorities and eliminate unnecessary tasks.
  • Learn to focus on positive outcomes.
  • If your job is unbearable, plan and implement a career change. Send out your CV or try to get a department transfer within the company.
  • Be sure to schedule pleasant activities and physical exercise every day during free time.

We can’t remove or escape job stress as it is a fact of modern life, yet we can try to counteract stress in all areas of our lives by filling our everyday life with meaningful actions, thoughts and beliefs. Everyone deserves a happy and relaxed life.

Until next week,
Stay stress-free,

Author’s note:

All information in this blog was researched for this blog, and is not intended for self-diagnosis or to be used as medical advice. All medical questions should be directed to a healthcare professional such as a doctor or pharmacist.

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