Women who report having high job strain have a 40 percent increased risk of cardiovascular disease, including heart attacks and the need for procedures to open blocked arteries, compared to those with low job strain, according to the American Heart Association. Job strain, a form of psychological stress, is defined has having a demanding job, but little to no decision-making authority or opportunities to use one’s creative or individual skills. In addition, job insecurity – fearing losing one’s job – was associated with risk factors for cardiovascular disease such as high blood pressure, increased cholesterol and excess body weight.
Tips for managing job stress
If you experience high levels of job stress, how can you keep stress at work from negatively impacting your health or quality of life. The following suggestions can help you increase your ability to healthfully manage stress.
— When circumstances at work make you angry or tense, take some steps toward resolving the problem. This gets you away from a sense of feeling “trapped,” which is very stress producing.
— Talk out your problems with a sympathetic and trustworthy friend. Often another person can help you see your problem in a new light, so you can work on a constructive solution.
— Build an effective and supportive relationship with your supervisor.
— Take your breaks and enjoy them. Walk outside, read something non-work related, or rest and put your feet up.
— Start your day with a nutritional breakfast. Avoid coffee or tea with caffeine. Caffeine increases the stress response of your body.
— Try deep breathing. Find a quiet place and seat yourself comfortably. Close your eyes and breathe in slowly. Let the breath out for a count of 5-10 seconds. Practice this routine any time you feel tense.