Job Stress and Your Mental Health: How to Cope

Provided by Penn State World Campus

There has been much scientific evidence linking stress to a host of medical problems, from heart issues to depression. Even with moderate levels of job anxiety, you may notice more headaches or difficulty sleeping. Job-related tension can bleed into other parts of our lives, increasing overall anxiety and unhappiness, negatively impacting our personal lives and relationships with family and friends.

There are many factors that can lead to work-related anxiety, including:

heavy workload – If you feel the amount of work you are expected to complete is unrealistic, this will lead to frustration and the constant worry of never being able to finish your to-do list.
long hours – Putting in too many hours at work leaves you with little time to recharge and decompress after a demanding day.
negative work environment – Spending every day in a toxic work environment or among co-workers with low morale will eventually take its toll.
lack of job security – An ongoing worry about the future of your job, and whether it may end unexpectedly, can create a constant sense of anxiety.

How an EAP Program Can Help

Many employers offer an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) as an employee benefit, providing services to help workers with a variety of challenges that may affect job performance. If your workplace has an EAP, you can access free services that could include counseling, referrals, assistance with navigating insurance red tape, or help locating counselors or mental health professionals in your area. EAP programs operate under strict confidentiality rules, so their counselors cannot discuss any EAP interactions with your manager or anyone else without your permission.

If your employer doesn’t offer an EAP, you can look for a counselor on your own. Your insurance plan may cover some or all of the costs involved (check your coverage details or ask an HR rep).

Penn State World Campus students also have the option of contacting Penn State Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS) for assistance in handling job stress or any other mental health matters. CAPS: 814-863-0395.