|Not whistling while you work these days? You’re not alone! Intermittent job-related stress from deadlines, projects, or presentations is normal — and your body is built to recover from it. But for too many people, work-related stress is unrelenting. And while we may sound like a broken record, this message is so important that it bears repeating: Chronic stress is very bad news for your health. It’s been linked to heart disease, high blood pressure, depression, diabetes, and weakened immune function. A recent population study of men suggests that chronic work stress can even increase the risk of certain types of cancer. Here’s what you can do to manage stress:
The big picture: Get a handle on work-related stress by creating a foundation of stress resilience. That means getting regular exercise, prioritizing sleep (no more late-night Netflix binges!), eating nourishing meals that keep your blood sugar steady, and committing to a practice like meditation or yoga. Focus on one change at a time, and think of each habit not as “another thing to do” but as a building block of your new foundation.
Little stuff (that makes a big difference): Taking brief, regular breaks at work instead of keeping your nose to the grindstone for hours on end can reduce stress and help you work more efficiently. Resist the temptation to surf the Internet on your breaks. Instead, go for a quick stroll (outside if possible) or do some stretches. Also, personalize your workspace if you can. Looking at joyful photos can create changes in your brain that help you think more positively, even in the face of stress.
Source: Prolonged exposure to work-related stress thought to be related to certain cancers