Medbroadcast  Powered by MediResource
 Search

Go
 Browse alphabetically
ABCDEFGHIJKLMN
OPQRSTUVWXYZ
HEALTH TOPICS
Family & Child Health
Men's Health
Women's Health
Seniors' Health
Addiction
Allergy
Ankylosing Spondylitis
Arthritis (Rheumatoid)
Asthma
Atrial Fibrillation
Baby Health
Back Health
Bedwetting
Bladder (Overactive)
Brain Health
Cancer
Childhood Vaccinations
Cholesterol
Crohn's & Colitis
Cold and Flu
COPD NEW!
Cosmetic Procedures
Depression NEW!
Diabetes
Digestive Health
Ear Health
Eating Disorders
Eye Health
Flu (Seasonal)
Fertility
Fitness
Healthy Skin
Heart
High Blood Pressure
HPV
Hyperhidrosis
Incontinence
Infection
Kidney Health
Lung Health
Medications and your Health
Menopause
Mental Health
Multiple Sclerosis NEW!
Natural and Complementary Therapy
Nutrition
Obesity
Oral Care
Osteoarthritis of the Knee NEW!
Pain
Pregnancy
Psoriasis
Psoriatic Arthritis (PsA)
Seasonal Health
Sexual Health
Sleep Health
Stroke Risk Reduction
Smoking
Weight Management
Workplace Health
Yeast Infection
All health channels

STAY CONNECTED
RESOURCES
Ask an Expert
Clinical Trials
Find a Specialist
Health features
News
Tools


Condition Info Drug Info Tests and Procedures Natural Products Ask an Expert Support Groups Clinical Trials
Home Bookmark Page Send to a Friend Sante Chez Nous Subscribe
Workplace Health > Heart and Stroke Foundation > Six ways to calm workplace stress
Workplace Health
Overview
Your back
Heart and Stroke Foundation
Research news
Heart-healthy grab-and-go lunches
How does your workplace lunch stack up?
Save a life
Six ways to calm workplace stress
Snacking for energy
Take your lunch, take the stairs
Workplace lunches
Five ways to de-stress at work
Work out at work
Managing stress at work
Workplace Health resources
Health features
Health tools
Support groups
Related conditions
Discussion forums



Six ways to calm workplace stress

From the Heart and Stroke Foundation

If a co-worker isn't doing his or her share on a project, or you're behind on a deadline, what are you going to reach for when you get home? The ice cream or the grapes? The remote control or the running shoes? If you're like most people, the remote control and the ice cream will probably win out. “When stressed, people tend to drink alcohol, smoke, have poorer diets and be much more sedentary,” says Dr. Kenneth Prkachin, clinical psychologist and Heart and Stroke Foundation researcher. “When carrying this tremendous emotional load, people tend to become obsessed, sort of brooding about everything that's wrong. It makes it hard to think of buying a gym membership, or calling a friend when you are that mentally and physically drained by stress.” Although the relationship between stress and heart disease is still being investigated, the longer the stress lasts, the more likely you are to see an increase in heart disease risk from unhealthy habits.

But it's not just long-term stress that wreaks havoc on your body. Even short bouts can be damaging. Dr. Prkachin says stress used to be helpful, but in today's society it does more harm than good. “When you're under stress your body mobilizes itself to prepare for something vigorous. This is called the fight or flight response.” Your blood pressure goes up, your body releases excess amounts of glucose for energy, “bad” cholesterol releases into the bloodstream, and inflammatory substances and hormones like cortisol are secreted into your body, he explains. Normally, running away or physically fighting would alleviate these responses. Instead, your body stays in a state of physical distress, recovering over a longer-than natural period of time. “You have to be aware that these things are happening to you and that they are not natural – life was not meant to be like this.” But by taking action on a few simple things, Dr. Prkachin says, you can start to turn it around.

When you're on the job and you feel tense or anxious, get a headache, stomach ache or start to feel ill, note that you may be feeling stressed. Then, take action by following this list of tips from Dr. Prkachin to see what you can do to get over it and on to a healthier, happier day.

  1. One of the leading causes of job stress is feeling powerless over projects, work or your environment. Do what you can to take control. Ask for extensions or initiate a project that you can manage. Decorate your space with items that soothe you – a photo of your favourite vacation spot? Exchanging the neon lighting for a lamp?


  2. Take your breaks and holidays. “Don't feel guilty about taking break time that is due to you. Come to the understanding that your performance on the job is probably better if you take enough time to clear your head.” Also, avoid constantly working overtime and missing out on your family and social life. A recent study from California found that consistently working long hours – between 41 and 51 hours a week – at your job can increase your risk of being diagnosed with high blood pressure, 14% to 29% respectively. If you fit into this category, have your doctor take your blood pressure readings. About 42% of Canadians don't even know they have high blood pressure.


  3. Talk to your co-workers. “A lot of our protection against stress comes from the comfort and support of those around us. If you've had a bad day at work and you have the option of going to talk to a colleague for a few minutes – that can reduce your stress level.”

  4. Be physically active during the workday. It forces you to get out of your workspace and to clear your head. Also, when you are physically active, your body releases endorphins, naturally occurring chemicals that will make you feel better. “Physical activity is an indirect but active way of controlling stress.”


  5. Don't sweat the small stuff. Remember that you don't have to respond the second you get an e-mail or a request from a co-worker. Prioritize your tasks so you don't spend extra energy (and stress) where it isn't necessary.


  6. Look at your benefits plan. If your company offers health benefits such as massage or counseling, take advantage of them. If not, talk to co-workers about taking a relaxing yoga or meditation class together, as some businesses will offer discounts to large groups.

Few jobs in this world are completely stress-free. Dealing with the occasional fluster at work won't necessarily up your heart attack risk, but every day shouldn't feel like a struggle for your sanity. Many people derive great self-esteem and sense of accomplishment from their jobs, says Dr. Prkachin, but recognize that you may be paying a high price for it.

The Heart and Stroke Foundation Connection
Heart and Stroke Foundation researcher Dr. Kenneth Prkachin investigates the link between the brain and cardiovascular health. As a member of the Foundation's Scientific Review Committee, he reviews research applications to ensure the Foundation funds research which meets the highest standards of scientific excellence. He is past chair of the HSFC review committee on behavioural research, population health, rehabilitation, and nursing research.

Heart and Stroke Foundation

Disclaimer

Your use of the information in this article is subject to the Heart and Stroke Foundation Terms and Conditions of Use and therefore you agree to be bound by the implied terms and conditions in each of the following statements.

This article has been independently researched, written and reviewed by the Heart and Stroke Foundation and is based on scientific evidence. The information is for reference and education only. This web article is not intended to be a substitute for a physician'‘s advice, diagnosis or treatment. You should consult your physician for specific information on personal health matters. The Heart and Stroke Foundation assumes no responsibility or liability arising from any error in, or omission of, information or from the use of any information or advice contained within this article.

™ - All trademarks, service marks, logos and articles are owned by and are the exclusive property of the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada ("HSFC") and authorized use is only granted under license. Such trademarks, service marks, logos and articles may not be reproduced, copied, imitated or used, in whole or in part, without the prior written consent of HSFC.

© - 2008. Reproduced with permission of the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada



Advertisement

Did you find what you were looking for on our website? Please let us know.

Hot Topics - Bedwetting, Depression, Flu (Seasonal), Healthy Skin, Incontinence, Multiple Sclerosis, Psoriasis, Stroke Risk Reduction

Condition and disease information is written and reviewed by the MedBroadcast Clinical Team.


The contents of this site are for informational purposes only and are meant to be discussed with your physician or other qualified health care professional before being acted on. Never disregard any advice given to you by your doctor or other qualified health care professional. Always seek the advice of a physician or other licensed health care professional regarding any questions you have about your medical condition(s) and treatment(s). This site is not a substitute for medical advice.
© 1996 - 2014 MediResource Inc. - MediResource reaches millions of Canadians each year.