I was a Nexium addict. I was popping those little purple pills fast — because the heartburn was killing me. And I hate drugs. My job was so rotten that it was destroying my insides, and once I even had to pull over to the side of the road because I thought I was having a heart attack. Nope. Just misery at work and a bout of panic. Sound familiar?
All work can be difficult. And challenges in general can push us. This is natural and should be expected. Some stress is even good for us and pushes us to achieve more than we thought was possible. But the stress I’m talking about is different. It drags us low and ruins us.
Stress is the body’s reaction to harmful situations — whether they’re real or perceived.
Stress prepares your body for a fight-or-flight response — your blood pressure rises and muscles tighten. But studies show an abundance of chronic stress can lead to increased rates of heart attack, hypertension and other disorders, and to health-related absenteeism at work.
I have been thinking a lot about this lately. Our business at Aha! (visual product roadmap software for product managers) is growing really fast and the team is stretching to keep up with the demand. As the CEO, I want the highest performance from every person, but I also want everyone to be happy.
I have come to the conclusion that there is a difference between workplace stress and punch-in-the-gut misery. So, have you thought about whether your pain is coming from being strained or broken? Do you know what differentiates a temporary frustration from long-term disdain?
The one sign that you hate your job is that it causes you physical pain.
The following types of pain should be a warning sign to you that something is seriously wrong, and you may need to get out. Follow through with that fight-or-flight response, and make a plan.
That all-familiar burning sensation is caused by stomach acid that backs up into the esophagus. And stress is a major cause.
From migraines to tension headaches, these range from completely debilitating, to a dull, constant thorn in your side.
More than just bad ergonomics, workplace stress can manifest in deep, inexplicable aches in your back, shoulders or neck that no MRI can find the cause of.
Constant lack of energy, weariness and tiredness can be linked to stressors and occupational pressures, but can be a more serious mental or physical problem.
If workplace angst is manifesting itself in forms of physical suffering, you despise what you do and likely who you do it with.
We all experience sleepless nights and days when we are lethargic. But the conditions above are different. And remember, I am not a doctor, so if you are experiencing any of the above, you may need medical assistance. Consider this a friendly reminder to take care of yourself — from someone who has experienced all of the above.
Listen to your body because it is speaking for your heart and mind — even when you are not listening.
Work should not cause physical pain and when it does — beware. It is the one trustworthy sign that you hate your job and it’s impacting your future. Even if your work is physical in nature, the type of pain I am describing is different; it’s stress-driven and impacting your health and happiness.
Do you agree? Have you ever suffered physically at work?