Hate Your Job? Here Are the Scary Effects a Stressful Job Has on Your Body and Mind

July 9, 2019 Updated: July 10, 2019

We’ve all had jobs that were unpleasant, if not to say awful. Whether it’s a boss who’s shouting at you for every little thing or co-workers who make your life miserable or even just tasks that are impossible to complete in the amount of time you’re given, this kind of job can wreak havoc on your physical and mental health.

Today, we’ll be looking at the very real consequences of a job you really don’t like on your body and your mind and some ideas for how to cope.

Hate Your Job?

Illustration – Shutterstock | GaudiLab

Headaches

Perhaps the most immediate symptom of being stressed out at work is a tension headache. The muscles in neck and head will tense up as a response to the stress, and this clenching creates pain.

When you’re repeatedly confronted with stressful situations on the job, you can even carry these headaches with you back home. Even worse, if you have work on the mind when you get up in the morning, you can get headaches when you’ve barely even gotten out of bed.

Illustration – Shutterstock | fizkes

Trouble Sleeping

Too much stress at work can follow you home, especially if feelings from the day, such as anger, embarrassment, or frustration aren’t dealt with. Whatever was buried during the day in order to help you get through your job can come rushing back once you’re tired and in a vulnerable state.

Just as racing thoughts can keep you from sleeping, so can the anticipation of another stressful day at work. If your mind is busy with worries about what your boss might say or do tomorrow, then you’re unlikely to sleep well tonight.

Some people might not think much of a little lost sleep, but according to stats compiled by The Good Body, insomnia costs the economy an estimated $63 billion a year due to “excess sickness absence, reduced work productivity, and workplace accidents.”

Illustration – Shutterstock | Tero Vesalainen

Negative Thinking

One of the biggest problems of a negative working environment is that employees internalize the bad vibes around them. If a supervisor or team leader is hypercritical and only the sees the bad side of everything and everyone, then employees will unconsciously often do the same.

After a while, employees only ever expect negative feedback and start to feel as though they don’t deserve anything else and aren’t good enough for the job.

Naturally, this cycle of negative thinking won’t just stay at work but will infiltrate your personal life, making you a drag to yourself and others.

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Stress Eating

When you’re constantly on edge about work, strange things happen to your appetite. As the Harvard Mental Health Letter explains, “numerous studies […] have shown that physical or emotional distress increases the intake of food high in fat, sugar, or both.”

This coping mechanism might help you feel a little bit better in the moment, but in the long term, the extra weight will be yet another factor that will make you feel worse about yourself and your life.

Illustration – Shutterstock | Boiarkina Marina

Weakened Immune System

Last but not least, the negative thoughts and feelings about work will eventually weaken your body’s natural defenses to illness, your immune system. As the Cleveland Clinic explains, “stress decreases the body’s lymphocytes—the white blood cells that help fight off infection. The lower your lymphocyte level, the more at risk you are for viruses, including the common cold and cold sores.”

This means that anytime there’s something going around the office, you’re likely to be one of the first to catch it and have a hard time getting over it. None of this is likely to help you feel better about a job that already drives you crazy.

Illustration – Shutterstock | RomarioIen

What can you do to break the cycle? Here are some tips to help you survive a job from hell.

Take Care of Yourself

Instead of spending all your time worried about work, take time for yourself. This could be in the morning before work or in the evening after you get off. Doing some physical activity like exercise or some meditative practices such as yoga or tai chi can be immensely helpful in regulating your breathing, relieving stress, and calming your mind.

A man practices the meditation of the spiritual practice Falun Dafa (Falun Gong). (©The Epoch Times)

In addition to physical activity, taking time to remind yourself that there is life outside work is a great way to put the job in its place. Going out with non-work friends for a walk in the park or bike ride or even volunteering at a charitable organization can be great ways to affirm your sense of worth as a person, not just an office drone.

Leave

If things are consistently getting you down and affecting your health in the ways mentioned above, than it might just be time to look for something else. Just going out on the job market will help relieve stress as it will remind you that you’re not stuck where you are. There are other options out there!

While leaving a good-paying job can be scary, it doesn’t matter what your salary is if the job is running you into the ground! Think about your health and well-being, and that of your family. It’s more important!

Illustration – Shutterstock | LightField Studios
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