Medical News Today

Do you hate your job? Unfortunately, this is a very plausible possibility. Many people hate or at least dislike their jobs. This may not be much of a surprise to most people, but what may be a surprise is the fact that being in a job that you hate can have many negative effects on your well-being, even beyond minor annoyance.

The Cost of Stress

Dying for a Paycheck is a book written by Jeffrey Pfeffer, an organizational behavior professor at Stanford. According to this book, poor management in United States companies result in upwards of 8 percent of yearly health costs. Even more shockingly, it has even caused 120,000 deaths per year.

Our bodies are smart. They know when our careers are the cause of our stress symptoms. Therefore, it is important for us to examine our well-being and keep on the look-out for red flags.

Biological Burdens

Major symptoms may arise in your biological functions when you’re stressed. Sleep is a particularly common function that is negatively impacted by career dissatisfaction. Sleepless nights are common, according to Maryland-based clinical psychologist Monique Reynolds of the Center for Anxiety and Behavior Change. The insomnia may be caused by inability to fall asleep due to a racing mind. Sleep can also be hindered by frequent awakenings in the middle of the night. This can lead to fatigue.

Additionally, there may be a negative influence on the immune system. This will increase a person’s chances of becoming sick. Moreover, hating one’s job can also lead to problems in the digestive system, such as constipation, bloating, and indigestion. It can also interfere with a person’s appetite.  In times of long-term stress, the adrenal glands increase the release of cortisol, which can increase hunger. Thus, when a job is resulting in long-term psychological distress, a person may turn to food for comfort. It is especially likely that a person may turn to sugary foods, because sugary foods can blunt stress-related emotions and responses. However, this is an unhealthy habit that should be avoided.

Psychological and Physical Pain

Having an unpleasant job can lead to many negative psychological effects. Most importantly, it can lead to mental health issues. According to a 2012 analysis of 279 studies, perceptions of organizational unfairness are associated with employee health complaints such as depression and overeating. It can even exasperate existing mental health problems. If someone naturally worries a lot, being in a toxic work environment can push their worries over the edge to a pathological level. A toxic work environment can also reduce sexual desire. According to the American Psychological Association, juggling professional stress in addition to financial and personal obligations can lead to decreased sexual desire in women. Men may also experience a drop in libido, because chronic stress may lead to a decrease in production of testosterone. In order for sexual arousal to arise, it is necessary for a person to have some level of relaxation, which is definitely hindered by a toxic and overly stressful work environment.

The emotional pain of an unpleasant job can also lead to physical pain. It may result in chronic tension of the head, shoulders, and neck, thereby potentially causing tension headaches and migraines. But the pain is not limited to the head – the pain may extent to muscles in general.

What To Do

It is not always possible to just leave a toxic job, no matter how tempting that may be. If it is not possible to leave, then a good idea to reduce the effects of stress would be to take breaks. In addition, companionship, exercise, and meditation can help to alleviate symptoms of stress.

It is also a good idea to reframe your negative thinking. This is an effective principle of cognitive behavioral therapy. It involves using mindfulness to manage our unhelpful worries about other people’s opinions of us. However, if all else fails, leaving the job may be necessary.