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How truck drivers can reduce on-the-job stress

9/26/2017

Truck drivers can feel stressed when stuck in traffic, among other situations

As a nation, we are pretty stressed out. According to the American Institute of Stress, forty percent of workers surveyed admitted their job was stressful, and 80 percent of respondents said they feel stress on the job and need help coping. What's more concerning is that 14 percent of workers expressed that they have felt like striking a coworker in the past year (they didn't take action) and a further 25 percent have experienced the urge to scream or shout because of workplace stress.

Essentially, everyone needs to chill out, but people find it difficult to do so. And truck drivers are not immune.

Truck drivers and health
Everyone has on-the-job stressors, but truck drivers in particular are susceptible to health issues which can be related to stressful situations. USA Drivers explained that truck drivers are at risk of suffering sleep deprivation and sleep disorders because of the long hours they often have to drive. This can lead to stress: Trying to stay awake on the road is extremely challenging, and chronic tiredness combined with having to meet deadlines can send blood pressures skyrocketing. Additionally, the source notes, truck drivers are at a greater risk for depression and heart disorders, both of which can be caused by the stress of sitting for long periods of time and being on the road, away from family, for weeks at a time. Depression can also be stressful, for an individual's moods may be affected and, consequently, he or she is not able to function at optimum levels, which may lead to not meeting delivery deadlines and more stress.

However, there are many ways that truck drivers can alleviate stress while on the road and also while at home.

Learning how to relax
According to the web site Life as a Trucker, drivers will have to make a bit of an effort, but there are many techniques they can employ to feel more stable. It is important that truck drivers learn to manage their time effectively. This means scheduling time for adequate rest, recreation and driving. It also means not procrastinating a big trip, thinking one has more time, and then realizing at the last minute the delivery will not be made in time. This means truckers can prioritize and ensure they spend time doing their job, but also what makes them feel most relaxed and happy. Many find that they need time to socialize and see friends and family. Spending regular time with loved ones can also help alleviate stress, as long as it is realistically incorporated into a driving schedule.

Sitting for long periods of time can also be stressful, and many truck drivers overeat, smoke or pick up other unhealthy habits to cope. The source suggested that exercise is a good way to combat stress and to take out aggression. Going for a run, lifting weights or even doing bodyweight exercises can get the heart rate up and introduce endorphins which can help to combat feelings of stress.

While everyone can and will experience stress, truck drivers should try to be aware of their feelings and of certain triggers that lead them to feeling stressed out. It can be helpful to speak with a health care professional for advice on stress-reduction techniques and to gradually adjust one's mindset to a more healthy response to difficult situations on and off the road.

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