Stress at the workplace has become a common phenomenon due to external factors such as technological advancement, changes in the economy of a country which might lead to better productivity and stressful working conditions. Stress can be considered as an inevitable condition at least at one point in time or another; however it can also be minimized to the extent that the productivity and health of the employee is maintained which could lead to a productive organization. Work stress is a common occurrence in multinational companies where operation is global and employees have different cultural background.
Stress isn’t always bad. A little bit of stress can help you stay focused, energetic, and able to meet new challenges in the workplace. It’s what keeps you on your toes during a presentation or alert to prevent accidents or costly mistakes. But in today’s hectic world, the workplace too often seems like an emotional roller coaster. Long hours, tight deadlines, and ever-increasing demands can leave you feeling worried, drained, and overwhelmed. And when stress exceeds your ability to cope, it stops being helpful and starts causing damage to your mind and body—as well as to your job satisfaction.
Stress is defined as an organism’s total response to an environmental condition or stimulus, also known as stressor. Stress typically described as a negative condition that can have an impact on an human being’s mental and physical wellbeing.
-Stressors can be Positive or Negative.
Work stress is also known as occupational stress.This is the adverse reaction people have to excessive pressures or other types of demands placed on them at work. Stress is not an illness but a state. However if stress becomes too excessive and prolonged, mental and physical illness may develop.
Symptoms of work stress –
- Feeling anxious, irritable, or depressed
- Apathy, loss of interest in work
- Problems sleeping
- Trouble concentrating
- Muscle tension or headaches
- Stomach problems
- Social withdrawal
- Loss of sex drive
- Using alcohol or drugs to cope
There are many factors which cause work stress. These factors are
- High professional demands
- Friction in working relationships
- Frequent changes in the working environment
- Unclear design of task
- Poor management style
- poor working conditions and erratic work hours
Stress is associated with various kinds of illness like,
- Heart disease
- Gastrointestinal problems
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Accelerated ageing, Hair fall, wrinkled skin
- Premature death
Stress reduction methods
- Time management
- Proper nutrition
- Group/social support
- Creative imagery
- Self hypnosis
- Regular exercise
- Relaxation response-quiet environment, passive attitude, comfortable position
Tips to reduce and manage job and workplace stress
- Recognize warning signs of excessive stress at work
- Figure out where the stress is coming from.
- Consider what you can control and work on that
- Reduce job stress by prioritizing and organizing
- Manage your time well. Time management-A key to reduce work stress.
- reduce job stress by taking care of yourself
- reduce job stress by improving emotional intelligence
- reduce job stress by breaking bad habits
- Do what you love
- Learn to say no
- Put a ‘Do not disturb’ sign
- Avoid distractions
Modern life is full of hassles, deadlines, frustrations and demands. Stress isn’t always bad. In small doses, it can help you perform under pressure and motivate you to do your best. But when you’re constantly running in emergency mode, your mind and body pay the price.
You can protect yourself by recognizing the signs and symptoms of stress and taking steps to reduce its harmful effects
– Dr. Prerna Gaur