Stress. It’s a huge problem for most of us worldwide. And we’re stressing a lot over our jobs. “Numerous studies show that job stress is far and away the major source of stress for American adults and that it has escalated progressively over the past few decades,” reports The American Institute of Stress (AIS).

Stress Doesn’t Take a Vacation

In the cities of NY, LA, and other US municipalities, the correlation between job stress and heart attacks is well-known. When a police officer suffers a “coronary event” – on or off the job – it’s considered to be a work-related injury. The AIS explains that this even applies in events where a heart attack was sustained while “fishing on vacation” or “gambling in Las Vegas”.

The moral of the story: you might take a week off to get away from all that stress – but unfortunately, stress doesn’t like taking vacations all that much. Once stress takes hold, it’s quite at home wreaking havoc on your mind and body.

It’s Personal…Very Personal

The AIS asserts that rankings of “most” or “least” stressful jobs aren’t of particular importance, but rather, it’s the unique fit between the person and her working environment that is most meaningful. It makes sense: just think about a person who absolutely loves working in a high-pressure, fast-paced environment with tight deadlines, constant interaction and little downtime. Then consider the person who thrives in a more toned-down setting where the work might be considered dull, repetitive, or even boring by others.

Stress, it turns out, is personal…very personal. This is why it’s not effective to make sweeping generalizations about entire professions or job titles. For instance, this AIS reports that the mundane task of completing paperwork was actually found to be more stressful for many police officers than pursuing criminals and the inherent risks associated with that.

Getting a Handle on All that Stress

So, what do you do to reduce the stress? Here are some helpful tips:

  1. Make a change. There are times in life when all the ordinary stress-busting tactics just aren’t going to cut it. Yes, those are the times when youID-100267737 have to commit to making a change – for your health, for your overall well-being, for your relationships…whatever the reason, if you know your job isn’t a good fit, it could be time to move on. Whether that’s to a different job in the same field or to an entirely new career path, don’t be afraid to answer your calling.
  2. Take the small steps you need to get there. Don’t overwhelm yourself by constantly focusing on the bigger picture – instead, take the baby steps you need to accomplish whatever your goals might be. Map out a plan and break down your big, bold goals into smaller, more manageable segments. And don’t forget to celebrate your accomplishments, large and small!
  3. Explore the tools that work best for you. We know that our responses to stress are as unique as we are. So, explore the stress strategies that work best for you. If you’re not sure what would be effective, choose one or two strategies and implement them for 2 weeks to see what happens. Here are 21 more creative ways to bust through stress – if you don’t observe any positive changes after trying one or two, move to a different strategy.

When it comes to workplace stress (or really, any type of stress), there is no “one size fits all” cure. Be patient with yourself as you work on making the changes necessary to reduce stress.

If you want expert insight on workplace wellness, you won’t want to miss out on my friend Maya’s upcoming telesummit, where 21 experts will weigh in on topics related to a Happy, Healthy Workplace. Sign up here!


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