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37 Alarming Workplace Stress Signs and Symptoms | Do You Need to Quit?

Are you feeling exhausted, stressed, anxious and like you’re overextending yourself at work? There are some workplace stress signs that shouldn’t be ignored. Find out now the workplace stress signs so you know what to be on the lookout for.

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Being in a stressful job or workplace can affect your health, family life, social life and cause mental health issues. In this blog post I am going to be discussing the signs and symptoms of workplace stress, the causes, and the options available to overcome the stress and anxiety that you’re experiencing.

After learning these alarming signs to look out for you will be able to navigate the best way for you to move forward to a happier and healthier life.

Alarming Workplace Stress Signs That You Need to Look out for.

Signs of workplace stress

  1. Short tempered
  2. Can’t switch off from work
  3. Having trouble remembering
  4. Racing thoughts
  5. Worrying excessively
  6. Procrastinating
  7. Engaging in unhealthy coping strategies
  8. Feeling hopeless
  9. Changes in eating patterns
  10. Sore body
  11. Not sleeping
  12. Having trouble concentrating
  13. Not being productive
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Symptoms of Workplace Stress


  1. Detached
  2. Impatient
  3. Having many sick days
  4. Frustration
  5. Withdrawing from co-workers
  6. Mood swings
  7. Aggressive
  8. Work performance dropping
  9. Reduced initiative


  1. Body tension
  2. Fatigue
  3. Gut/digestive issues
  4. Racing heart
  5. Headaches
  6. Immune issues
  7. Sweating


  1. Anxiety
  2. Depression
  3. Disheartened
  4. Agitated
  5. Overwhelmed
  6. Unhappy
  7. Despair
  8. Overextended
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Causes of workplace stress

  • Meeting strict deadlines
  • Toxic environment
  • Overloaded with work
  • Lack of support
  • Too much overtime
  • Worried about job security
  • Bullying
  • Poor Communication
  • A change at your workplace
  • Bored with your workplace needing more opportunities for advancement
  • Lack of work / life balance
  • Poor organisational skills
  • Not receiving the breaks you’re entitled too
  • Low morale
  • A traumatic event
  • Jobs assigned outside your scope of training

How to manage stress in the workplace

At all costs you want to try and avoid workplace burnout. Workplace burnout can take a massive toll on your health and wellbeing and can take a long time to recover from.

To navigate the right track to avoid workplace burnout start by writing down your workplace stress signs. Now think about when these signs are triggered. You may need to keep a journal and track this for a few days to find out your triggers.

Once you have a log of your triggers start thinking about ways that these triggers could be avoided. For example, if you’re often late in meeting deadlines is it a lack of time management skills or is the deadline unrealistic? Be honest with yourself.

Next look at what you can do that is actionable on your part. Could you take a course in time management? Does your workplace offer any free training? Can you go to your manager and discuss the deadlines?

Remember that what you are looking for is how to deal with stress and anxiety. We are looking for solutions. Often when we’re caught up in the midst of anxiousness, we feel like we’re treading water. So, it can be difficult to find the mindset for managing workplace stress and overcoming any challenges.

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Communication is a huge tool that can be used in managing workplace stress signs. This may be communicating with peers, your boss, or clients. If you keep everything bottled up and don’t communicate how you’re feeling it will be near impossible to make changes.

Effective communication requires many skills. The first is active listening. Active listening is paying close attention to what the other person is saying. You may need to ask questions or repeat back to them what they said to make sure that you fully understand.

Body language is important in communication too. Displaying good eye contact, paying attention to your own and the other person’s non verbal communication is part of understanding the conversation. You may pick up cues different to what is being said. For example, the other person may not be telling you the truth or feel uncomfortable so not giving much eye contact.

You can demonstrate empathy by saying ?I’m so sorry to hear that you are going through such a tough time right now?. Displaying empathy shows the other person that you care about how they’re feeling and what they’re saying.

Showing respect is vitally important in communication. Even if you don’t agree with what is being said. You can always put your facts forward without being rude. Conveying your ideas rationally and in a calm manner will often get you better results than yelling at the other person.

With all the technology we have at our fingertips now it can be easy to fall into the trap of sending a short message or email. But sometimes better communication outcomes can be achieved when talking to someone in person. Nothing can replace the connection with someone when speaking face to face.

If you’re having a meeting with your boss and unsure if you’ll remember everything that you need to say, then write down a few notes to take in with you.

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Mental health in the workplace

When you’re struggling with your mental health in the workplace it can seep over into other parts of your life. For example, if you’re working long days and nights then this can have a huge effect on your family life and work/life balance.

With technology it is so much easier to continue completing work at home. This is where lines can become blurred between when you’re in the work role or parent or partner role. This can add a huge amount of stress to your life and to the important people in it.

This is where it’s imperative to set firm boundaries. Your boss needs to know the hours you’re prepared to work. If you’re not sure about your own boundaries think about the values that are important to you. This can help you work out where to draw the line.

Boundaries are something that are unique to you but may consider the special people in your life. You always have the right to say no but often it feels uncomfortable. A respectful way of saying no to your boss may be ?I’m sorry but I don’t feel comfortable taking on extra work whilst my family needs me?.

If you find that you’re burning the candle at both ends this can lead to chronic stress and symptoms of burnout. Working out ways to relieve stress will help your health and wellbeing and will help to stop the exhaustion.

The Top 10 causes of stress at work

  • Workload to great
  • Toxic workplace
  • Job insecurity
  • Feeling like just a number
  • Unrealistic deadlines
  • Lack of communication and organisation
  • Conflict with the boss or peers
  • Change in the workplace such a new boss or owner
  • Lack of support
  • Lack of opportunities

Do any of these top 10 stresses sound familiar to you? Are any of these your workplace stress triggers?

It can be incredibly debilitating knowing that you must face the same stresses each workday. Soon you start to dread going to work and this is what can be the beginning of future health issues. So now let’s look at ways you can reduce your stress.

How to relieve stress

Stress busters:

  • Get some fresh air in your lunch break
  • Go for a brisk walk
  • Connect with friends and loved ones
  • Have a power nap in your break
  • Journal your worries. Do a brain dump.
  • Watch funny videos on YouTube
  • Eat a healthy lunch
  • Listen to music
  • Read a book or magazine
  • Do progressive muscle relaxation
  • Try breathing in through your nose for 4 seconds, hold for seconds, exhale slowly out your mouth for 6 seconds. Repeat for at least 2 minutes.
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Try drawing or doodling
  • Find a guided meditation on YouTube to listen to
  • Have a 15-minute massage

Workplace stress signs can sneak up on you so engaging in relaxing activities regularly are important for your health. Having a self-care plan can help you immensely.

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Work stress leave

Often, I get asked what to say to the doctor to get stress leave? My answer is always to be honest and up front with your doctor about what is happening with your health and wellbeing.

The next question I get asked is How long can you take stress leave for? This will depend on your employment type, your employer and if you have holidays or sick days owing.

Ultimately the better you feel the more productive and happier you will be in your workplace. So, protecting your health and wellbeing is important for both you and your employer.

If you find that after some time off work that you still feel stressed and anxious, then it may be time to evaluate if it is the right job for you. Maybe you would prefer to upskill to gain a new qualification or find another company that will offer more opportunities to you.

Considering the length of your working life, it will be more beneficial to your health if you can find the right job for your personality, circumstances and that leans into your natural skill set.

Is this the right job for me?

Ask yourself these questions.

What are my goals?
What values are important to me?
What am I looking for in a career?
Where do I see myself in 2 years and 5 years?
Does this job fit my natural skill set?
Is this job affecting my health and wellbeing negatively?

If you think you may need to investigate another career, then you can download my list of Low Stress / Low Anxiety Jobs.


If you’re experiencing signs of workplace stress or workplace burnout, then learning how to healthily deal with stress and anxiety can be advantageous. Understanding your stress triggers and the activities that relax you can help to keep you feeling balanced.

If you’re finding that your stress levels are affecting your health, then talking to a counsellor or doctor can help.

Workplace stress signs are a warning that something needs to change in your life. Finding the time to sit down and really think about your schedule, opportunities and finances can pay dividends to your health. You don’t need the latest car, the largest house or designer clothing to live an abundant life.

When you’re feeling fit and healthy you can operate at your best. But to operate at your best takes organisation, discipline, and firm boundaries to protect your me time.

In this blog post you have learnt about workplace stress signs, ways to reduce stress, and if you’re in the right job.

If you haven’t done so yet, then download your free Low Stress / Low Anxiety Job Ideas.

If you would like to join the thousands of people already receiving free mental health resources directly to their inbox, then please subscribe now.

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