In countless studies, work stress has been shown to be highly correlated with a higher prevalence of disease. These include asthma, stomach ulcers, chronic neck and back pain, accidents, high blood pressure, strokes and heart attacks. In fact more people have heart attacks on Monday mornings than any other day of the week and there is nothing special about Monday except that it happens to be the first day of the work week for the majority of people.

In his book, When the Body Says No, Dr. Gabor Maté writes, ‘…although the media and the medical profession – inspired by pharmaceutical research – tirelessly promote the idea that next to hypertension and smoking, high cholesterol poses the greatest risk for heart disease, the evidence is that job strain is more important than all the other risk factors combined.’ A landmark British study provided evidence for this.

Long-term job strain is worse for your heart than gaining 40lbs in weight or aging 30 years!

Job Satisfaction has dropped from over 60% in the 1980s to under 50% in the new millennium and it continues to decline. Job satisfaction is highly correlated with absenteeism and health so the high rate of job dissatisfaction is costing businesses millions of dollars each year.**

**According to the American Institute of Stress:
• 40% of worker turnover is due to job stress. It costs approximately $1-$1.5 million to replace a top executive, and average employee turnover costs between $2,000 to $13,000 per individual.
• It is estimated that job stress cost U.S. Industry about $300 billion annually, as assessed by absenteeism, diminished productivity, employee turnover, direct medical, legal and insurance fees, etc.

One of the key factors in the studies of job satisfaction is the amount of control people have at work - the less control they have the more stress they will endure.
We need more control in our lives. For instance, interventions that focus on job satisfaction, rather than pain relief, may reduce the likelihood that acute low back pain will progress to chronic low back pain.

A fourteen-year study of more than 12,500 men in Sweden concluded that men with little control over their work were 1.83 times more likely to develop heart disease. A large study involving over 15,000 workers in Taiwan in 2001 revealed that job content was the number one stressor identified among highly stressed workers.
One of the best ways to gain control is to uncover your true satisfying life direction and start taking action along your path. People who are satisfied with their job live longer and are less prone to illness.

So many people are afraid of the dark – literally and figuratively. They are so afraid of the unknown that they will often remain stuck in a poor situation just because it is familiar. They say the devil you do know is better than the devil you don’t. I think the devil himself made that up.

Others may try to convince you to follow their game plan because it meets their needs at work. But this is your life. It’s time to get back in control of your life and start playing your own game.

Get to know your game by getting to know yourself. And then go for it. You have everything to gain – including your health.

Live your Dreams!

Samuel Gerstein, M.D.,
Psychotherapist, Emergency Physician, Author
and CDO (Chief Dreaming Officer), Dreams For Real Inc.
“Helping people who are serious about following their dreams
Phone: 416-221-5089 or toll free 1-877-221-5089

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Samuel Gerstein is a psychotherapist, speaker, workshop facilitator, emergency physician and an author. Over the past 20 years, Dr. Gerstein has treated thousands of people suffering from the physical effects of work stress. Wanting to do more than just minimize the effects of work stress, Dr. Gerstein undertook his own independent 4-year research study of more than 200 people who are living their Dreams at work. He published his insights in his just released book: Live Your Dreams: Doctor’s Orders.

This motivated him to transition into his own Dream Career, where he assists people in overcoming limiting beliefs and in discovering and doing what they really want to do with their lives. His psychotherapy practice is thriving with a growing waiting list and he has delivered speeches and facilitated workshops in Canada and the U.S.