Workplace Stress May Be Killing You

work stress

There are numerous stressors in the workplace, which can make you feel as if you are on an emotional roller coaster. The current economic upheaval, downsizing, layoffs, mergers and bankruptcies may be taking its toll on you. You may also be facing the pressures of new bosses, fewer benefits, and the realities of having to put in more work just to maintain your economic status. The long hours, tight deadlines, and increasing demands can leave you feeling worried, uncertain, and overwhelmed by stress. Retrenchment or changing jobs may also add to your list of stressors. These potentially stress-producing factors may put you at risk for physical illness, marital strain, anxiety, and depression. It is therefore clear that you can expect excessive workplace stress to impact on your physical and emotional health.

Although you cannot control everything in your work environment it does not mean that you are powerless. There is a lot you can do to reduce your stress levels, regain a sense of control at work, and improve your job satisfaction. Here are some changes you might want to consider if you are feeling constantly stressed at work.

A Sense of Powerlessness is a Universal Cause of Workplace Stress
Feelings of powerlessness may be accompanied by helplessness and hopelessness. You may even refrain from altering your situation because you feel nothing can be done. Employees with increased levels of job stress due to high demands and limited control are at a high risk for cardiovascular disease, which include heart attacks and hypertension.

A Clear Job Description Instils a Sense of Power

Having a specific job description is of utmost importance to instil a sense of power. A clear job description elucidate both the employee’s and the employer’s expectations, thereby minimising any uncertainty and potential stresses. Any disagreement over your job description should be put to rest as soon as possible.

Doing Something You Like Makes All the Difference
The associated stresses of doing something you dislike may be killing your productivity and taking a serious toll on your mind and body. You may be holding on to a horrible job because of the salary and benefits, while ignoring the stress consequences. If you are in a job you do not like, or are not good at, it might be a good idea to look for one you do like and that is more in line with your skills and interests.

Traumatic Events on the Job May Add To the List of Stressors
Some jobs are inherently dangerous, while others can suddenly become so. These bad experiences have the potential to stay with you long after, appearing in flashbacks and nightmares. Other symptoms may include sleep disturbances, feelings of guilt, fearfulness, and physical ailments.

Your Work Environment Can Make or Break You
Your work setting may create physical stress because of noise, lack of privacy, poor lighting and ventilation, uncomfortable temperatures, or inadequate sanitary facilities. In addition, work settings with organisational confusion or an overly authoritarian, laissez-faire, or crisis-centred managerial style are all psychologically stressful.

Your job should be a source of satisfaction and respect. It would be beneficial to initiate positive relationships at work in order to manage your stress levels and improve your work setting. Sharing your thoughts with someone may help reduce stress. Regain control by prioritising and organising your work load. You may also attempt to minimise workplace stress levels by acting through labour or employee organisations to improve stressful working conditions. Alternatively, exercise your avoidance option by getting a new job. Although job-hunting itself may prove to be very stressful, it would be far better in the long run than to be ground down day after day by a stressful work.

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