Everyone deals with stress on a daily basis, but that doesn’t make your ability to cope with everyday and work stress any easier. Sometimes, you get thrown a curveball that you haven’t dealt with before; other times, your stress can be rooted in repetitive problems that you become adept at managing.
No matter what kind of stress you’re dealing with, remember that coping with stress isn’t a skill you’re born with. If you don’t know healthy ways to process your stress, it can affect both your physical and mental health, leaving you reeling from the pressure.
While some research has shown that short bursts of stress can be good for you, recent research indicates that dealing with persistent, long-term stress can actually impact your overall well-being, making you more susceptible to addictive impulses as a means of self-medicating and managing your anxiety. (1)
Work-Related Stress: What Is It & What Are the Possible Health Implications?
Technically speaking, work-related stress refers to a person’s stress response to work-related factors and experiences they deal with in their work environment.
The way you respond, or experience, that stress can be physical, mental, emotional or behavioral. It boils down to the differences in every person’s resilience level, personality and prior work experiences.
While short-term stress may not be overly harmful, if a stressful situation goes on too long, it can dramatically affect your health and well-being. Being overly stressed too often can push you toward substance use as a means of managing the negative emotional experiences you’re contending with. (2)
The Link Between Work-Related Stress & Addiction
Work-related stress can be a result of various accumulating experiences or just one aspect of your typical work responsibilities. However, regardless of where it comes from, its effects are far-reaching and can negatively impact your life in numerous ways.
Some of the more concerning statistics associated with work-related stress include:
- Workplace stress is linked to 70% of visits to the doctor and 85% of serious illnesses.
- To cope with stress, many employees pick up unhealthy habits, such as alcohol, prescription pain medication and other addictive substances.
- The most common physical symptoms of stress are irritability (45%), fatigue (41%), and lack of energy or motivation (38%).
- 35% of workers feel their workplace is negatively affecting their physical and emotional well-being.
- 80% of workers feel stress on the job; nearly half said they need help in learning how to manage stress in healthy ways. (3)
Ways to Cope with Work Stress Outside of Substance Abuse
- What is an easy way to reduce stress?
Managing stress of any kind starts with healthy habits and a consistent daily routine. Easy techniques to begin establishing your own healthy daily behaviors can include:
- Regular exercise – Moving your body on a regular basis helps balance the nervous system and increase blood circulation. This effectively works to flush out your stress hormones, even if it’s only a daily 20-minute walk or simple workout routine you do in your basement.
- Eat well and avoid substance use – Alcohol and drugs may temporarily relieve your stress, but the negative health consequences can make your physical and emotional health worse in the long run. Well-nourished bodies cope better, so start by eating a healthy breakfast, adding more organic fruits and vegetables, avoiding processed foods and sugar, and drinking more water. When you feel better, you’re less likely to abuse drugs and alcohol.
- Make sure to get enough sleep – If you get less than seven to eight hours of sleep, your body won’t tolerate stress as well as it should. If stress keeps you up at night, address the cause and add an extra meditation into your day to rejuvenate your spirit and provide your mind additional time to rest. (4)
- How do I overcome work stress?
Trying the techniques listed above is a great place to to start, but the key to actually overcoming your work stress and establishing a healthier, happier lifestyle is to make these habits a consistent routine. A consistent routine will help you better compartmentalize and manage most kinds of stress.
As humans, we long for a consistent pattern of daily behaviors to keep us relaxed and comfortable. Creating a healthy life with consistent healthy habits is the best way to overcome stress for the long term.
- What is stress management?
Stress management consists of making changes to your life to lessen negative emotions and anxiety that sometimes seem to control you. . Techniques like mindfulness and relaxation are ideal places to start with stress management. These practices will help you to begin taking control of your emotional state while establishing new habits to ward off excessive stress in the future.
Discover Ranch Creek Recovery’s Dual Diagnosis Treatment
Turning to substance use as a means of coping with your work-related stress is common, but it’s never a good idea. Achieving long-term recovery is an ongoing process of facing your stress and coping with life without lapsing into addictive behaviors.
That’s why it’s so important to simultaneously address both stress management and addictive impulses with a dual diagnosis treatment program to process all the issues and achieve long-term success.
Holistic Dual Diagnosis Addiction Treatment
At Ranch Creek Recovery, we offer an alternative to the traditional 12-step program, instead customizing treatment plans to fit your unique recovery needs. Our holistic dual diagnosis treatment services will help you better understand and learn how to manage your stress, stop abusing drugs or alcohol, and forge a fulfilling, clean future.
Our treatment programs work with only six clients at a time; this allows us to provide you with complete, individualized care and 24/7 support.
Through every dual diagnosis treatment program, holistic mindfulness and addiction recovery walk hand in hand, helping you center your mind, body and spirit as you begin to forge your new, sober life.
Learn more about our dual diagnosis addiction treatment programs and what we treat.
Have questions? We’re here to help in any way we can. Contact us today.
1) Mayo Clinic. Exercise and stress: Get moving to manage stress. Accessed June 29, 2021. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/exercise-and-stress/art-20044469.
2) Center for Disease Control and Prevention. STRESS…At Work. Accessed June 29, 2021. https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/99-101/.
3) National Center for Biotechnology Information. A Substance Use Cost Calculator for US Employers With an Emphasis on Prescription Pain Medication Misuse. Accessed June 29, 2021. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5671784/.
4) Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Coping With Stress. Accessed June 29, 2021. https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/about/copingwith-stresstips.html.