As workloads have increased over the past couple of decades, there has been a rapid increase in work-related stress and the psychological problems that arise from the condition.
Occupational stress causes tension, anger, and anxiety. People can become depressed and “burnt-out”. Left untreated, the condition can lead to absenteeism and feelings of job insecurity that can result in a vicious circle of symptoms.
Fortunately, research indicates that psychological interventions designed to reduce occupational stress are highly successful, leading to a distinct improvement in the quality of work life.
What are some of the signs?
- Muscular tension
- Heart palpitations
- Stomach upsets
- Disturbed sleep
- Poorer work performance
- Reduced ability to concentrate or make decisions
- Diminished creativity and initiative
- Disinterest and Isolation at work
- Feeling discouraged and low in confidence
- Irritability and lowered frustration tolerance
- Feelings of being overwhelmed and unable to cope
When to seek professional assistance
If you’re experiencing stress from any of the following, it’s worth seeing one of our expert psychologists at Psychology Melbourne for early assessment and treatment:
- Stress from performing the job at hand. (i.e. boring or repetitive work; too much to do in a short amount of time; not enough training or support; unrealistic expectations and tight deadlines and lack of adequate resources or equipment).
- Stress from working relationships and the work culture. (i.e. unhealthy relationships with colleagues; bullying or harassment; oppressive micro-managing; discrimination or lack of feedback and consultation from manager or supervisors and feeling it emotionally unsafe to voice opinions).
- Stress from poor working conditions (i.e. crammed and poor work environment; dealing with people in distress;, inflexible work schedules and long hours; organisational restructuring and poor OH&S).
Psychologists often use a combination of evidence-based approaches that can be tailored to target the type of stress you may be experiencing.
These well-researched interventions aim to change patterns of negative unhelpful thinking and unhelpful behaviour and the person’s response to life events that may trigger work stress. Common treatments include Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Mindfulness-based therapy and Relaxation Therapy.