Do you feel stressed at your job? Well, you aren’t alone in feeling this way. According to the American Attitudes in the Workplace survey, 80% of Americans feel stress in their job and more than half feel that they need help in learning to manage their stress.

What is stress? Stress is defined as an experience a person is exposed to through a stimulus or stressor; disruptive forces, a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or very demanding circumstances. Stress can create major trauma to the body if not managed appropriately—elevated blood pressure, stomach ulcers, higher levels of hormones that can affect the body’s normal functioning, sleep disturbances and slower healing.

The body goes through the stress response in three different phases: alarm phase, resistance phase and exhaustion phase. If stress progresses to the exhaustion phase, healthcare providers are at risk for burnout and even potentially an inability to maintain a job.

Stress is a major concern for healthcare providers and working individuals. In several major cities across the country, jobs stress and cardiac issues have been noted to have such a high correlation that if a police officer has a cardiac event at home, it is considered a workplace injury. Additionally, the CDC reports that healthcare workers have higher rates of substance abuse and suicide than other professions that is linked to stress in the workplace. Simple techniques, like guided imagery, exercise, journaling and time management, may ease the stress in life and be life-saving interventions.

Be the best healthcare professional you can be by taking care of yourself and practicing these stress management techniques.