These days stress is blamed for all kinds of maladies, which makes the least stressful jobs more attractive than ever.
Other Causes of Stress
Let's face it; while jobs can cause stress, they are by no means the only contributor to stress in our lives. However, working a less stressful job will help you better manage stress in other areas of your life like:
- Difficulties at home
- Difficulties at school
- Dregnancy and new baby
- Getting married
- Moving to a new house
- Ceath of a spouse
- The Holidays
In the real world, change brings about stress and life is full of changes-some expected and other unexpected, some good and others bad. Either way, stress is stress and it takes its toll.
Effects of Stress
Stress affects us because it is a psychological and physiological response to events that upset our personal sense of stability. When this happens our body responds with a "fight-or-flight" response. The response initiates a surge of biological changes. A small part of the brain known as the hypothalamus produces a chemical alarm. As a result, the nervous system releases stress hormones including:
As a result of this response our bodies are ready to fight or flee which means:
- Heart rate increases
- Blood flow to the large muscles increases
- Blood vessels under the skin constrict to prevent blood loss in case of injury
- Pupils dilate so we can see better
- Blood sugar ramps up
- Digestive system slows
- Reproductive system slows
- Growth hormones are switched off
- Inhibited immune response
Running on Stress
If you have a stressful job with big responsibilities and a lot of worry, you may be running on stress, and it doesn't get any better when you're stuck in traffic on your way home.
Can your stressful job actually be the cause of the extra weight you've gained? Yes. Remember that the stress response slows the digestive system. The more your stress response is activated, the more difficult it becomes to turn it off. Gaining weight from a stressful job is a visible result of stress. What many people don't realize is that the same stress hormones that lead to weight gain can keep your heart rate and blood pressure elevated. Over time this takes a toll on us physically and can lead to:
- Heart disease
- Memory problems
Top Five Least Stressful Jobs
If you're wondering what jobs out there are less stressful, according to the Jobs Rated Almanac, the top five least stressful jobs are:
- Medical records technician
- Forklift operator
- Musical instrument repairer
What do these jobs have in common? They are positions filled by people who work with others but often have a good deal of time to work in a quiet atmosphere. They have a job to do and can see physical progress. Jobs in horticulture bring mental and physical satisfaction. When a floral arrangement is done, the florist knows the job is finished and experiences a sense of satisfaction. It is no different for a janitor cleaning a floor or a forklift operator moving crates. They all experience a sense of accomplishment and know they have completed their job.
Flexible Work Options
There are a number of causes of job stress. Having a job schedule that makes it difficult to juggle the demands of work and life can be a primary culprit. Workplace flexibility can go a long way toward helping to reduce this type of stress. If your job has a rigid, demanding schedule, you might want to consider searching for a new job that allows for a more flexible schedule as a way of reducing the stress in your life.
If you have the skills to pursue a career that offers flexibility, consider registering with FlexJobs.com as a job seeker. The site is a great resource to find legitimage, pre-screened job listings for open positions and freelance opportunities that have flexible hours, offer home-based telecommuting, or have part-time schedules.
When You Have a Stressful Job
If you have no choice and don't have the luxury of working one of the least stressful jobs, it's important that you learn to manage your stress. NIOSH offers a training and educational video program called ' Working with Stress'. It not only helps to identify factors in the workplace that can cause stress, but it also provides practical ways to learn how to lessen job-related stress.
In an ideal world, we could avoid stressful situations or control them to the point that we could bring about change. But, that's not realistic. If you're job brings about too much stress in your life, think about finding another. In reality, 40 percent of job turnover is due to stress. However that is not always as easy as it sounds. Instead, it's important to recognize stress and its effect, and to learn how control our responses. With training, techniques can be developed to help reduce the effects of stress on our mental and physical health.