Workplace Stress - AlabamaConnection

Workplace Challenges: Stress
"Any idiot can face a crisis. It's this day-to-day living that wears you out."
One factor inherent in modern working life is stress, induced by work and the work
What is the definition of stress? Stress is tension, pressure, strained exertion, intensity
of force. Stress is mental or nervous strain, often accompanied by muscular tautness or
tightness. It is a state of uneasiness or anxiety.
What is stress? Stress is pressure on the job and in your personal life that makes you
feel tense, nervous, anxious or upset. The pressure may be the result of work that is
dangerous, tedious or fast-paced. It may happen as the result of too many deadlines
and demands that are placed upon us.
Stress is tension you experience when you're exposed to people or situations that
threaten, irritate, anger, frighten and even excite you. Stress can make your palms
sweaty. It can put a lump in your throat or knots in your stomach.
Stress is all around us . . . in the workplace, at home, in public, in our relationships . . .
everywhere. Stressmakers attack us from every side and from a variety of sources:
criticism, boredom, disorganization, deadlines, demands, worry, striving for
success, paranoia, jealousy, change, loss, grief, conflict, insecurities, competition,
anger, expectations, threats, frustration, loneliness, commitments, guilt, impatience,
obligations . . . Every job has stress. It's a fact of life. In fact, we need a certain amount
of stress in order to get through our day. Stress can be positive . . . or it can be
POSITIVE STRESS. Some stress is good for you. It can spur you on to find the answer
to a difficult problem, or challenge you to go the extra distance to achieve a goal.
Positive stress, or the nervous energy from an adrenaline rush, can be a source of
NEGATIVE STRESS. Too much stress can leave you tired, angry, frustrated and
depressed. Continuous, unrelenting and unrelieved stress can lead to emotional
problems and physical illness. Negative stress is the source of tension and pressure,
and is a major threat to your health.
Poor lighting, excessive noise, uncomfortable
temperatures, and working with hazardous materials or dangerous equipment are some
of the causes of stress in the workplace.
YOUR JOB'S DEMANDS. Pressure to meet deadlines or production quotas, workloads
that are too heavy (or too light), tasks that are too complex (or too simple), supervisory
concerns and safety issues can all cause job stress.
YOUR EXPECTATIONS. Your job or career expectations -- in terms of pay, benefits,
status or promotion -- can cause stress, especially is these expectations are too high or
THE PEOPLE AROUND YOU. Your daily relationships with your supervisors, coworkers, subordinates and customers can usually be a source of strength. There
are times when they can also be a solid source of stress.
YOUR PERSONALITY. People who by nature are extremely competitive,
ambitious, aggressive or impatient may be especially prone to the effects of stress.
TYPE OF WORK. The kind of work you do may be stressful. Some types of jobs and
work situations are more stressful than others.
LIFE CHANGES. Changes in your life can be a source of stress. Divorce, a death in
the family, or legal problems can cause you to feel more stress on and off the job.
Even happy events such as a marriage or a promotion can be stressful.
OTHER FACTORS. Your age, overall health, relationships, financial situation,
personal problems and satisfaction with life in general all affect your reaction to
HEALTH PROBLEMS. Chronic stress that builds up in a person over a long time can
contribute to increased risk of such major diseases as high blood pressure, heart attack
and stroke. Stress may also contribute to other health problems, including ulcers,
gallbladder disorders, allergies, colitis, and migraine headaches.
ACCIDENTS. Studies show that people under stress are more likely to have accidents
caused by mistakes in judgment, poor perception and lack of attention.
LOSS OF PRODUCTIVITY. Stress affects how well you do on your job. When your
performance is adversely affected by stress, the quality of your work tends to decrease.
Too much stress can rob you of energy and make you feel tired and apathetic. All in all,
too much stress makes you less effective on the job. People with stress are more likely
to get sick and miss valuable worktime.
EMOTIONAL PROBLEMS. Stress affects how and what you feel. It can cause a
normally good-natured person to become irritable and depressed. You may become
more impatient, unreasonable and ill-tempered. It can hurt the way you relate to
your family and friends. Unchecked, stress can lead to severe depression and
other emotional problems.
Job burn-out
happen when
demands of
is the sad and all-too-frequent result of severe chronic stress. It can
a person pours all of his or her time, energy and enthusiasm into the
work. It occurs when a person becomes overwhelmed by an
of major stress producers.
It is generally described as "burning the candle at both ends." Persons who suffer job
burn-out usually become overstressed by an accumulation of such factors as
accelerated performance, excessive commitments and obligations, unrealistic
expectations, traumatic changes and chaotic and hectic environments. When a
person's activities are full-speed-ahead and non-stop, burn-out is just ahead.
Distress signals are blazing.
Before long, the constant and sustained activity eventually runs its course, and
fatigue and exhaustion set in. Job burn-out will cause you to lose your motivation
and overall
and productivity.
It'll cause
you feelings of
dissatisfaction, frustration and disillusionment. Moreover, job burn-out can make
you sick. It can wreck your emotional well-being and hurt family relationships. It
can cause the organization you work for to lose a valuable team member.
If you believe you are headed for burn-out, you might want to test yourself for symptoms
of stress. Which of these statements can you relate to?
More and more, I find I can hardly wait for quitting time so that I can leave work.
I feel like I'm not doing any good at work these days.
I am more irritable than I used to be.
I'm thinking more about changing jobs.
Lately I've become more cynical and negative.
I have more headaches (or backaches, or other physical symptoms) than usual.
Often I feel hopeless, like "who cares?"
I drink more alcohol now (or take drugs) just to cope with everyday stress.
My energy level is not what it used to be. I'm tired all the time.
I feel a lot of pressure and responsibility at work these days.
My memory is not as good as it used to be.
I don't seem to be able to concentrate or pay attention like I did in the past.
I don't sleep as well.
My appetite is decreased these days (or, I can't seem to stop eating).
I feel generally dissatisfied and disillusioned.
I'm not as enthusiastic about work as I was about a year or two ago.
I feel like a failure at work.
All the work I've done hasn't been worth anything.
I find that I am doing fewer things at work that I like.
I find that I am doing fewer things at work that I do well.
I often tell myself, "Why bother? It doesn't really matter anyhow."
I don't feel adequately rewarded or noticed for all the work I've done.
I think my career has just about come to a dead end.