A hot-off-the-press list of the nation’s most stressful jobs was posted by careercast.com. The level of stress was measured using 11 different factors including: travel, deadlines, working in the public eye, competitiveness, physical demands, environmental conditions, hazards encountered, the life of oneself or others at risk, meeting and interacting with customers and/or the public, and the potential for job growth.
What they found will come as no surprise to the millions of people who occupy the positions; listed in the top four were: enlisted military (#1), fire (#2), and police (#4). Airline pilot landed in the 3rd spot.
The study found that higher levels of personal danger increased the level of stress endured. There can be no argument that all three occupations hold an above-average level of personal danger.
Being exposed to high levels of stress on a regular basis can wreak havoc on an otherwise healthy individual. Because stress triggers the body’s automatic fight or flight reaction, it causes the body to prepare to defend itself by elevating heart rate, blood pressure, and it floods your system with hormones. While these reactions are heaven-sent in times of immediate danger, over time they break down the body and the mind.
Mental stress can lead to frequent bouts of depression, anxiety, hostility, or drug and alcohol abuse. All of which are also detrimental to physical health and well-being.
Those who occupy demanding positions coupled with low decision making input will also experience higher levels of stress which should be a good motivator to move up the chain within your chosen profession. According to stress.org, scientific studies, “confirm that workers who perceive they are subjected to high demands but have little control are at increased risk for cardiovascular disease.”
Other causes of stress include the perceived imbalance between high effort and low reward and unfair treatment of employees by management. Nearly all occupations, then, would be subject to some level of stress.
Stress is highly individualized. While some may experience stress from perceived danger, others may experience stress from boredom or a lack of career progression opportunities. When it comes to stress, your best bet is to follow the ancient Greek saying, “know thyself.” Know what triggers your stress and what works best for you to alleviate it.
Exercise always tops the list of measures to reduce stress. Military members may argue that they exercise all the time without any notable relief. However, mandatory calisthenics is unlikely to have much benefit towards stress relief.
To get the benefit, choose activities that you like to do. Ride a bike, go hiking or mountain climbing, try kayaking, or lifting a few sets at the gym. The choice is yours. Taking control over your time is important, especially when your occupation doesn’t allow much individual control.
You may encounter a time when no effort on your part helps relieve mounting stress. If your stress becomes beyond your ability to cope, get help from a mental health professional who can help you get back on track.
Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.
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