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Quiz: Is Work Stress Affecting Your Health?

Did you know that 84% of working Americans say they experience work stress? Are you one of them? Take this quiz to find out and then use the tips in this article to help you cope.

Work stress min 1 scaled

According to the American Institute of Stress, work stress affects approximately 83% of workers. Of this number, approximately 25% say that work stress is the biggest stressor in their life.

While quitting your job or finding another one might not be possible for you, it’s important to realize how work stress impacts your health.

This quiz can help tell you if you’re experiencing work-related stress, and the tips in this article can help you find healthy ways to manage it.

Take this quiz to determine your work stress risk

1. Do you feel like you can’t cope with the work tasks you’ve been assigned?

A. Yes

B. No

2. Do you have a hard time staying focused on tasks at your workplace?

A. Yes

B. No

3. Do you feel that you currently don’t have good work-life balance?

A. Yes

B. No

4. Are you struggling financially?

A. Yes

B. No

5. Do you feel that your colleagues are dissatisfied with your work performance?

A. Yes

B. No

6. Do you indulge in junk food, sugary snacks, or alcoholic beverages when stressed?

A. Yes

B. No

7. On average, do you sleep less than seven to eight hours at night?

A. Yes

B. No

How Does Work Stress Affect Your Health?

An exhausted nurse with a mask on sitting on the floor closing her eyes
Work stress can present in the form of fatigue, trouble focusing, and loss of interest in work duties.

Being overwhelmed by work can hamper your self-confidence and cause you to feel withdrawn, or become angry or irritable. It may also see you experiencing other symptoms, such as: 

Over time, unmanaged stress increases your risk of: 

Work stress, according to TCM

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) states that stress compromises the immune system and exposes it to external pathogenic factors.

“Cold, Fire, Wind, and Dampness can break through the skin and provoke an onset of rashes. These pathogens are also responsible for internal imbalances in the Heart, Liver, Lungs, and Spleen. As a result, it can lead to phlegm, blood clots, Damp-Heat, and Qi (vital life force) Stagnation.”  

Senior TCM Physician Brandon Yew

Liver Qi Stagnation impairs circulation in the Spleen and stomach. Subsequently, your digestive system will malfunction, resulting in various eating disorders.

How To Deal With Work Stress

A combination of relaxation techniques and alternative remedies can prove useful during stressful situations at work.

Progressive muscle relaxation 

Sit comfortably with your eyes closed. Next, tense and relax each muscle group, starting from the legs. 

While inhaling, hold the tension for 10 seconds before slowly releasing it within 20 seconds. 

Mindfulness 

A young businesswoman doing breathing exercises at her desk and meditation at her desk
Being mindful, doing breathing exercises, and taking breaks can help with work stress.

Keeping your attention fixed on the present with curiosity, openness, and acceptance helps decrease activity in the amygdala. 

Associated with emotional processes, the amygdala may shrink with continuous meditation, and become less reactive to stressful stimuli. 

Stress breath method 

First, inhale deeply to allow sound to vibrate at the back of your throat. Hold your breath and lower your chin to your chest.

Count in descending order from five. Exhale loudly through your nose as you slowly lift your head. That’s one cycle. Do 12 consecutive cycles, once in the morning, and again at night.

Herbal medication 

Generally, a licensed TCM practitioner will prescribe rose flower buds for stress. The flower induces a calming effect and promotes a smooth flow of qi. Steep a handful of buds in a teapot of boiling water for five minutes and drink the tea when it’s warm. 

Essence of chicken, too, can be used to recharge your mind and body, especially when you feel drained from work.

Several herbal ingredients may also be used to treat a stress rash. These include: 

You can also use herbal medicine to address stress-induced pathologies. Cassia seeds (jue ming zi) and lotus leaves (he ye) can dispel toxins to relieve abdominal bloating. Radix Bupleuri (chai hu) and Nutgrass Galingale Rhizome (xiang fu) help relax your mind by soothing Liver qi

Acupressure

Acupressure point stimulation for three to five minutes, two to three times daily, can help eliminate stress. It may also suppress your appetite and ease a stress rash.

The points that can be worked on are

  • Ji’e dian (Hunger Point) 
  • Shen men (HT7) 
  • Qu chi (LI11) 
  • Tai chong (LR3) 
  • Yu ji (LU10) 
  • Xue hai (SP10) 
  • Zu san li (ST36) 

Stress and meditation balls 

Squeezing a stress ball may help stimulate and contract your muscles and nerves, making them stronger. Apart from building strength, it’ll also enable you to manage stress better by improving the nervous system and regulating different hormones. 

Meditation balls (also known as Baoding balls) are believed to alleviate stress and improve brain function while exercising your hands.

Hold them in one hand and roll them in your palm. With regular practice, your hands will eventually learn to manipulate their movement without touching each other.

Conquer Work Stress Before It Becomes A Problem

It’s undeniable that work stress can be the silent killer of an employee’s health and productivity. It’s important to assess the root of the problem and take appropriate management steps.

Be mindful that traditional remedies should only be considered after speaking with a licensed TCM practitioner. Share this quiz and article to inspire family members and friends to be proactive in managing their stress levels.

References

  1. American Institute of Stress. Work Place Stress: Are You Experiencing Work Place Stress?
  2. Canadian Centre for Occupational Health & Safety. Workplace Stress – General.
  3. New Straits Times. 2019. Survey: Malaysian employees are overworked, sleep deprived, unhealthy
  4. HelpGuide. Stress at Work
  5. Concordia University St. Paul. Work Stress: Causes, Symptoms, and Solutions
  6. Harvard Health Publishing. 2019. How to handle stress at work
  7. Mindful. How to Manage Stress with Mindfulness and Meditation
  8. Brownhill Surgery. The Health Benefits of Stress Balls

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