Stress in the workplace

Stress can actually be positive if the work is challenging as it brings an edge from the adrenalin of achievement. Unfortunately, most people will suffer negative stress at work.

Negative stress is now a constant in the working life and is not considered unusual. But how do people get the right balance? They are either too stressed and spend life rushing from one thing to the next, or they are not challenged enough and are stressed with boredom, repetition and frustration!

Negative stress happens when the job you do is mismatched with what you really want, when you work long hours at something you don’t enjoy, and when you don’t have time to relax and recover. Too much of this can damage your health and your relationships. Different people have different responses to levels of stress, but it becomes overwhelming when the ability to cope is outweighed by the number of stressors in your life.

Look at these statistics on negative stress. It is not to be taken lightly!

  •          “People’s jobs are the single biggest cause of stress with over a third (36%) of Britons citing it as one of their biggest stressors. 45% of those who have felt stressed have been depressed as a consequence”. (Source: Hazards Magazine)
     
  •          “26% of adult Americans reported being on the verge of a serious nervous breakdown”. (Source: American Psychologist)
     
  •          “Workplace stresses can double the rate of death from heart disease. High demands, low control, low job security and few career opportunities contributed to the overall stress measured in the study”. (Source: Centre for the Advancement of Health)
     
  •          “Work-related stress (including job insecurity) and fatigue may increase the risk of cold, flu and stomach inflammation. In one study, employees in demanding jobs developed colds 20 % more often than those in less demanding positions”. (Source: Centre for the Advancement of Health)
     
  •          “Seven of the top-selling drugs worldwide are either antidepressants or anti-ulcer medications, and stress is cited as a prime factor in the need for both”. (Source: Behavioral Healthcare)
     
  •          “Studies show that the greatest number of heart attacks in North America and Western Europe occur between 8am and 9am on a Monday morning”. (Source: Women’s Heart Foundation)

  •          “Japan has its own word for death from overwork – karoshi. The major medical causes are heart attack and stroke due to stress. Factors that indicate karoshi are: excessive working hours in a short period, long term excessive work burdens, irregular work hours, infrequent breaks, frequent business trips, shift work, late night work and work-related stress. It is now indicated that Western nations are suffering the same “disease””. (Source: Stress.org)

 

Stress is now so commonplace in the workplace that a growing industry exists just to manage it. Psychologists investigate it and employers’ bring in massage therapists and send people on “mental health” days because of the rising cost of workplace stress. Office workers in particular don’t do back-breaking physical work anymore, but many are exhausted by the sheer pace of modern work, the pressure to succeed or progress – or the frustration that comes with the inability to do exactly that.

Working with other people can also generate negative stress. Many people say that the friends they make at work are the reason to go in, but there are also people who can make it more stressful. It could be a manager with poor people skills who treats you badly or bullies people, or a co-worker who makes life difficult for everyone. Negative stress from people dynamics can impair thinking, so rapid and poor decisions can be made in error. Negative stress can be passed on in the haste to get out of the situation. Social stress can cause people to protect themselves by being hostile and over sensitive.

What triggers your stress? If you know you get stressed but are not aware of what triggers it, try keeping a weekly log. Notice what triggers you and then use strategies to avoid or mitigate the situation.

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One Response to “Stress in the workplace”

  1. bocahbancar Says:

    YEs I enjoy my Jobs but sometimes I have Bored..

    I’ll trying to love my job always..

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