Work-related stress affects one’s life, dealing with it essential
Don’t just ignore work-related stress. It affects one’s life—not to mention one’s heart and blood pressure.
The inability to balance work and life may increase stress, reducing the quality of Filipino workers’ output and making them more prone to hypertension and heart disease.
Thus, dealing with and overcoming work-related stress, is of utmost importance, according to the head of a top generic brand. Tomas Marcelo G. Agana III, president and chief executive officer of Pharex HealthCorp., said achieving work-life balance does save lives.
The country’s workforce registered some of the highest stress levels in Asia. Over 42 percent of Filipino workers reported that their stress levels have risen over the past few years, said a Regus International survey. Meanwhile, the Grant Thornton International survey said 76 percent of Filipino business owners are highly stressed, pointing to heavy workload as the most significant driver.
Work-related stress adversely affects employers and employees alike. “Stress physically wears out the body,” said Department of Health-National Capital Region director Eduardo Janairo. It puts people at risk to a lot of illnesses, from the common cold to hypertension and severe heart disease.
“Steps can be taken to mitigate the effects of stress at work,” Agana said. People can implement these simple changes into their lifestyle.
Make healthy choices. According to the American Psychological Association (APA), people should make healthy choices when they feel the tension rise. It pointed to exercise and healthy eating as good alternatives to stress eating, and to cut down on the bad habits, like drinking and smoking. It also urged them to get enough sleep.
Establish boundaries. APA said people should establish “work-life boundaries.” “In today’s digital world, it’s easy to feel pressure to be available 24 hours a day.” This may include not checking on e-mail at home in the evening, or not answering the phone during dinner.
Take time to relax and recharge. APA recommends “switching off” from work, by neither engaging in work-related activities nor thinking about work. It said people should learn to take their vacation from time to time and periodically “disconnect from the world”—a sort of “me time.”
Follow the doctor’s advice. For people already diagnosed with hypertension and other chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, maintaining a healthy work habit is enough to prevent illnesses. Agana said people with these diseases should follow their doctors’ advice, especially when it comes to medicines and medication schedule.
“If people want to improve their lifestyle, they need to balance all aspects in their life. They’ll be surprised how stress-free work translates to more business opportunities in the future and more importantly, the quality of life they deserve,” Agana said.
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