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Stressed Out? It Might Be Your Job

By: Kent Johnson

“I’m stressed out.”

If you find yourself thinking--or saying--this to yourself
on a regular basis, you might have a real problem on your
hands. Job and career related stress has been on the rise
in recent years, as occupations become more complex, and
workers are taking on more and more responsibility. In
fact,workplace stress is now considered an occupational
illness. Many employees undergo stress as a normal part of
their jobs, but some experience it more severely than
others, to the point that they need time away from work.

According to a survey by the Bureau of Labor Statistics,
extreme occupational stress is classified as a “neurotic
reaction to stress.” There were more than 3,500 such illness
cases reported in 2003. The median absence from work for
these cases was 23 days, more than four times the level of
all nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses. And more
than two-fifths of the cases resulted in 31 or more lost
workdays, compared to one-fifth for all injury and illness

Not surprisingly, the level of workplace stress seems to be
tied directly to the worker's occupation. In fact, just
four industries accounted for the bulk of occupational
stress cases: Services (35 percent), manufacturing (21
percent), retail trade (14 percent), and finance,
insurance,and real estate (12 percent).

In general, white-collar occupations had a higher proportion
of stress cases than both blue-collar and service
occupations combined. Managerial and professional
occupations, with 16 percent of the cases, and technical,
sales, and administrative support occupations with 48
percent, had the highest proportions of occupational stress

And there appears to be a correlation between stress and a
worker's sex. For each stress-related illness involving a
female, two cases involved a male.

If you're stressed out, you need to look at ways to reduce
that stress before it has a negative effect on your health.
High levels of stress, over time, can lead to sleeping
disorders, high blood pressure, and other physical problems.

If you think your work environment is too stressful, bring
the subject up with your boss or employer. See if there
isn't some way of reducing your workload, or taking away a
few responsibilities so that you don't feel overwhelmed on
the job. If you feel yourself getting stressed out at work,
try relaxing and breathing slowly and deeply for a few
minutes and see if this doesn't calm you down.

Away from work, exercise is a great stress reducer. For many
people, a brisk walk in the evening is enough to unwind them
after a tough day on the job. I've found that yoga works
wonders for me after a tense work day. After a half an hour
doing yoga poses and breathing exercises, I feel refreshed,
and I sleep much better at night. Other people relax by
playing sports, or socializing with friends,or playing with
their kids.

No matter how you relieve stress, just do it. You'll feel a
lot better, both physically and mentally. And if you can't
find a way to manage your stress levels at work, you might
need to think about finding another job.

About the author:
Kent Johnson - author, publisher, career coach
"Helping people realize their dreams one career at a time."
Searching for your dream career? Visit the popular
http://www.your-dream-career.comfor more info

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