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Pulling those extra-long hours at the office, pushing that extra mile to get the promotion you’ve been working towards, shoulders aching from being hunched over your desk all day- it’s enough to make anyone frazzled. Feeling the tension at work is normal, small amounts of stress can even be beneficial for your work performance. However, if the stress at work becomes chronic, it can have significant implications for your physiological and psychological wellbeing.

Chronic stress can cause issues like anxiety, high blood pressure, and can weaken your overall immune system. For high achievers, they may experience a form of anxiety known as ‘high-functioning anxiety.’ Externally, these people do what they need to do to achieve their goals and they seem to be doing well. Internally, they are dealing with frustration, insomnia and headaches. These people sometimes lose sight of the stopping point and are unable to maintain a balance between their work and personal life. This may lead to a strain on personal relationships due to a lack of time given to nurturing relationships outside of work, which may, in turn, cause the individual to face even more stress as they feel a lack of social support. Some people tend to use unhealthy coping mechanisms like abusing drugs or alcohol, and this only adds to the problem.

High-functioning individuals face internal stress, where they feel the need to constantly meet and rise above everyone’s expectations. There are certain steps that they can take to change their thought patterns and constructively deal with their stress. One of the most important things for these individuals to do is to acknowledge their emotions. While it may seem daunting to admit to oneself that you are stressed and it is getting the better of you, being aware of it can take a load of pressure off. Writing down one’s stressors can also help individuals clarify the reasons for their stress, so they may take precise steps to combat it. A very important aspect of managing work-related stress is to strike a balance between your work and personal life and to utilize your time management skills.

Managing your time well will allow you to get more done during the workday and will help you establish clear boundaries between your work and home life. This gives you time to recharge and destress by taking time away from your work stressors. This balance also allows for time to socialize and spend time with your loved ones, which can do wonders to relieve your stress.

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Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by the author do not necessarily reflect the views of the Government of India and Defence Research and Studies

By Dr Rachna Khanna Singh

Dr Rachna Khanna Singh, the Senior Fellow with DRaS is a Mental Wellness Expert, a TEDx Talk speaker, focused on Relationship, Lifestyle & Stress Management. She heads the Department of Holistic Medicine & Wellness at Artemis Hospital, Gurgaon and the Founder and Director of The Mind & Wellness Studio, Delhi & NGO ‘Serve Samman’. Dr Rachna is a visiting lecturer and faculty member of various esteemed educational institutes worldwide such as IIM, IIT, BITS PILANI, Delhi University, NMIMS, Amity University, Himachal Medical Colleges, University of Exeter, University of Minnesota, Royal College of Physicians, etc.