If you are working a job that causes stress and anxiety then you may not be able to sleep well at night because you are anxious about the next day. Not getting quality sleep can have an impact on your health if it becomes a pattern that continues for years. It can also affect your quality of work, which then gets you into another vicious cycle of stress about your work and another cycle of stress. Sleep is so important for resting your brain function and for lowering your stress.
I have written an entire blog about what stress does to your body if you are in a stressful state for too long. But, to make things shorter, stress can actually wreak havoc on your internal organs, mental capacity, emotional stability, and your immune system. If you are in a workplace where you have negative stress (i.e. an abusive boss, uncooperative coworkers, demanding clients..etc.), not just stress from a job (i.e. deadlines and projects) then you may not be able to get away from your stress until the weekend. However, you may stress about going back to work on Monday over the weekend and your stress continues.
It is so important to recognize if you are in a bad job and if it is stressing you out because the long term effects of stress can be dangerous to the body. The economy is in a place where jobs are abounding and now would be a good time to take a look at other opportunities.
3. Eating your feelings
Working in a negative environment can leave you wanting quick fixes to feel better. Where better to turn than some comfort food? When people eat their feelings to make themselves get through the day then the pounds start packing on. This can make you feel worse about yourself and can continue to be detrimental to your experience at work. The outlook we have on our appearance is so sensitive it affects our personal and professional lives.
4. You get sick more often
When you dislike your workplace your immune system can take a hit. The stress, lower sleep, poor eating all lead to sickness. When I was working in a negative workplace I was twelve times in a year. This was a huge juxtaposition from the prior years when my boss wasn't yet hired. I wasn't sick for years at a time. He gets hired and within eight months I'm sick as a dog and that just continued until I quit. If you don't have the option to quit you need to look at what's on your plate and how you are managing your stress so you aren't constantly fighting illness in addition to your negative workplace.
5. Mental Health
You may find yourself irrational, exploding on those you love, shrinking into yourself, and overall just not feeling like you have control over your feelings. “If you’re constantly miserable at work, of course that’s going to affect your mental health,” says Sarah Schewitz, a Los Angeles-based psychotherapist. “If you already have a more negative outlook on life because you’re feeling depressed, or more fearful outlook on life because you’re anxious, it’s completely amplified by being at a place that you despise on a daily basis.”
Additionally, these problems can creep into the rest of your life.
The impact of hating your job may also follow you later in life. Ohio State University conducted a study that tracked the job satisfaction of people between ages 25-39, and then measured their health once they turned 40 years old.
What the study found was those who had low job satisfaction in their 20s and 30s were more susceptible to mental health issues later on, including higher levels of depression, sleep problems, and excessive worry. Those who had bad job experiences in their early careers also showed higher instances of diagnosed emotional problems and they scored lower on a test of overall mental health.
As we know, our mental health also affects our whole mind-body system, which the study’s authors also noted in their findings.
“The higher levels of mental health problems for those with low job satisfaction may be a precursor to future physical problems,” the study author Hui Zheng said. “Increased anxiety and depression could lead to cardiovascular or other health problems that won’t show up until they are older.”
If you are experiencing a negative work environment it's time to take a look at other opportunities and start making plans to transition out of your situation. I felt trapped in my own job because I had worked so hard to build the company, but once I left I realized the hit that had been taken to, not just myself, but my marriage as well. I wasn't the person I used to be and I had to work to get that person back and to find happiness and let go of daily anxiety.