Work is one of the leading causes of stress. U.S. workers report being overwhelmed by job dissatisfaction, overly heavy workloads, long hours, poor management, unclear expectations, a lack of decision-making power and other work stresses. And now we’re learning just how much that stress affects us. Workplace stress can be as damaging to the body as second-hand smoke and can lead to problems from hypertension to diabetes to mental health problems and cancer.
Here’s a snapshot of how workplace stress affects U.S. workers like you:
The good news is that stress is an internal reaction. Even those in high-stress environments can take control and find ways to stay Zen at work. Here are some ways you can, too:
- Military personnel and pilots are among the most stressed workers in the U.S. How do they overcome it? Carey Lohrenz, one of the first women to fly the F-14 fighter jet, shares her advice here.
- It’s easy to blame managers for workplace stress, but sometimes managers who have open door policies, a solution for every problem, or are huge fans of employee wellness programs are only hurting your ability to “heal thyself.” Organizational psychologist Dr. Karlyn Borysenko explains here.
- Mindfulness is a cornerstone of Zen practice and is becoming a common way to reduce both work and life stress. Shamash Alidina, author of Mindfulness for Dummiesand The Mindful Way Through Stress, explains here about how and why to practice mindfulness at work. Plus, mindfulness coach Alfred James provides six mindfulness exercises you can try today.