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  • Does Job Stress Contribute to Mental Illness?

    Mental health is closely linked to our occupations, with work at the core of most adults’ lives. Jobs and careers are an important part of our lives. Along with providing a source of income, they help us fulfill our personal aims, build social networks and serve our professions or communities. They are also a major source of emotional stress. The American Institute of Stress (AIS) reported that approximately 66% of people’s stressors are related to their jobs. With the lack of work-life balance being a major factor, which can trigger certain mental illnesses like depression and anxiety.

    Here is a list (in no particular order) of some America’s most stressful jobs, according to MoneyWatch.

    1. Emergency and Rescue Services

    Firefighters, soldiers, police officers, and disaster response personnel are at high risk for mental health issues as a result of being involved in emergency situations and being exposed to varying degrees of violence. This population has an increased risk of being exposed to traumatic events through their daily work, often leading to work-related post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

    2. Airline Pilot

    Stress comes from the responsibility of ensuring the safety of passengers, as well as dealing with changing schedules, crews and the pressure to ensure on-time arrivals and departures.

    3. Event Coordinators

    From weddings to funerals, they are often hired to cater to some of our most hectic days. While it might sound like a fun job, it involves organizational and communication skills to juggle schedules and personalities, which can add to the stress

    4. Senior Corporate Executives

    CEOs might earn a hefty paycheck, but that comes with a high dose of stress. A successful CEO if often required to work extremely long hours, and meet tight deadlines.

    Yes! Scientific studies have repeatedly shown that stress does in fact contribute to mental illnesses. Job related stress can affect you emotionally and mentally. Fortunately, there are many ways to help manage job-related stress.

    1) Get enough sleep. Not only can stress and worry cause a lack of sleep but, it can also leave you vulnerable to even more stress. When you are well-rested, it is much easier to keep an emotional balance, which is key to dealing with job and workplace related stress.
    2) Prioritize and organize. Leave early in the morning. 5-10 minutes can make the difference between frantically hurrying to your desk and having time to slowly ease into your day. Running late will only increase your stress levels. Break projects and tasks into small steps. If a project
    seems to be overwhelming, make a step-by-step plan. Focus on one small task at a time, rather than taking on everything at once.

    3)Make the most of workday breaks. Even 10 minutes of “personal time” will refresh your mental outlook. Take a brief walk, chat with a co-worker about a non-job topic or simply sit quietly with your eyes closed and breathe.

    4)If you feel angry, walk away. Mentally regroup by counting to 10, then look at the situation again. Walking and other physical activities will also help you work off steam.

    5) Set reasonable standards for yourself and others. Don’t expect perfection. Talk to your employer about your job description. Your responsibilities and performance criteria may not accurately reflect what you are doing. Working together to make needed changes will not only benefit your emotional and physical health, but also improve the organization’s overall productivity.

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