Lethal effect of job stress
Stress on a workplace is a side effect of supposed necessary evil. If the job is well-paid we often neglect the harsh conditions of it, because our financial security simply means more than couple of nerve breakdowns that we may have during the week. But this kind of stress is more than that, and in fact, can lead you towards the short lifespan.
Money is the leader of stress sources in U.S., so we may think that we`re doing right, by avoiding financial problems working extra hours and doing overwhelming amount of work. But ironically, work holds the second place after the money, according to the survey from the American Psychological Association. Workplace stress affects people differently in other forms, and 60% of adults in US ranked their jobs as a main source of stress.
Work stress is related to many mental and physical health problems, such as obesity, hypertension and depression. Also stressful amount of work often leads to dangerous habits such as breaking our food regime (either skipping breakfasts and lunches or eating late at night) or staying up late at night. All of this makes life even harder and often involves higher risk of premature death. Extra hours of work increase the chance of starting to smoke, drink alcohol and sedentary lifestyle.
But when you come down to it, what really is workplace stress and how it can be dealt with? Well, most of the times such stress is just a matter of perception. You and your colleagues can have different opinion on your work situation and nature of your responsibilities.
For the stress management think about the economic model of supply and demand, where “supply” is your inner assets, your skill and energy resources and “demand” are tasks and amount of work hours that you need to spend on your job and other aspects of life. Not enough supply, and we can feel overwhelmed, struggling to cope with our tasks. But when our supply exceeds our demands and that leads to another type of stress. Young and energetic police officer, striving to work in field but kept behind the desk in archives instead is a good example. You need to find a perfect balance. The other option is to increase your resources, whether through interpersonal support, developing better coping or ultimately deciding on a job change if necessary.
Also consider the option to increase your inner resources. You can find them in your family, your hobbies, constantly learning something new or in whatever things you personally like. As an ultimate solution, consider changing your job, but first, think carefully what causes your stress. Is that particular workplace with particular individuals or just the nature of the job in general?
Maybe you love your job but cannot find common ground with your colleagues? In that case you can ask about an option of transferring you to another division, if your job allows it. Or maybe you love your workplace but you just out of resources, demanded for that amount of work. It helps to talk to your manager and explaining him, what keeps you behind and how you can improve your mental and physical health, and with that, your work performance.