Working too much? Some ways to cope

  • Posted: Monday, September 23, 2013 6:58 a.m.
    UPDATED: Monday, September 23, 2013 6:59 a.m.
Staff Photo by Stephanie Turner 
Aiken Center for the Arts teacher Brigitte Younce led her class at least through 20 minutes of warm-ups and lower key stretches to get to this point in the yoga workout.
Staff Photo by Stephanie Turner Aiken Center for the Arts teacher Brigitte Younce led her class at least through 20 minutes of warm-ups and lower key stretches to get to this point in the yoga workout.

Working overtime earns you more money but at another price – your health.

Two doctoral students and one associate professor associated with Kansas State University further examined this link.

“(In our study) we found workaholics – defined by those working more than 50 hours per week – were more likely to have reduced physical well-being, measured by skipped meals. Also, we found that workaholism was associated with reduced mental well-being as measured by a self-reported depression score,” said Sarah Asebedo, the student who led the study.

Research has shown that those who follow under the category of workaholism do report “job stress, burnout and negative affect,” according to the International Association of Applied Psychology.

The signs of stress can vary.

It can affect your body, your emotions, even your appearance, according to the American Institute of Stress.

Stress can cause headaches or tension in joints and other areas, according to Cindy Gelinas, USC Aiken director of counseling, student health and disability services.

It can make your hands tremble, your face flush, your mouth dry out, your chest hurt. It can make you angry or depressed. It can also make you sick, according to the American Institute of Stress.

There are ways to reduce stress, though, Gelinas said.

“First, try to figure out what’s stressing you,” she said. “If you can focus on that, then you can work toward whatever it is.”

There are four types of stress: acute stress, chronic stress, eustress and distress.

Acute stress is when your “fight or flight” instinct kicks in, and the body prepares to defend itself. Your body’s metabolism is expected to return to normal about 90 minutes after the incident.

Chronic stress comes from your daily life, like work and family matters.

“This is the stress we tend to ignore or push down,” as stated on the American Institute of Stress’ website.

When left untreated, this type can lead to health complications.

Eustress is caused from positive daily events like marriage and newborns while distress occurs from negative ones like divorce and injury.

There is help for stress, Gelinas said.

Exercise and eating right are two relievers USCA’s Counseling Center recommends.

One form of exercise people have turned to is yoga, according to local teacher Brigitte Younce.

“You can start anytime you want,” she said, adding that she teaches people who are currently retired.

It also does not matter your current physical ability as your body’s muscles will adjust, she said.

“Everyone should at least try it,” she advised.

Keep organized. Buy a planner or download an app that allows your to keep memos and upcoming events on your mobile device.

When you feel a stressful situation come on, take a deep breath and try to relax.

“Teach yourself to think positively, (and) try not to dwell on negative thoughts and ‘what if’ questions,” a brochure from the counseling center states.

Also, getting plenty of rest could do your body good.

“There’s a huge connection between reduced sleep and stress,” Gelinas said.

According to the International Association of Applied Psychology, there are those who feel rewarded and invigorated from working more than an average work week.

For those who are feeling the strain, visit your local doctor for advice or www.stress.org for more information.

Stephanie Turner has a hand on all areas of production for the Aiken Standard, where she reports, edits and designs pages. She graduated in July 2012 with a journalism degree from Valdosta State University and lives with her family in Evans, Ga.

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