Original content from Zywave
The importance of being challenged in our work lives is probably what people are referring to when they say, “a little bit of stress is good for you.” However, when we feel overwhelming demands that can’t be met, that “good-for-you” challenge transforms into stress and frustration—and eventually illness or injury.
Many workers feel that their jobs are the number one stressor in their lives. And work-related stress is often more highly correlated with health issues than family and financial problems are.
What Causes Stress?
Though every individual reacts to situations differently, there are several instances that can trigger undue stress at work, including heavy workload, uncontrollable issues, job insecurity, long hours and workplace conflict or politics.
How Does Stress Impact Health?
Workplace stress can be a contributing factor in a variety of chronic health problems.
- Demanding jobs can increase risk of cardiovascular disease.
- Musculoskeletal disorders can be aggravated due to stress-related muscle tension in the back and upper-extremities.
- Psychological disorders, like depression and burnout, can result from chronic work stress.
- Stressful working conditions can interfere with concentration and safe work practices, setting the stage for workplace injury.
Tips to Reduce Workplace Stress
There are several ways to reduce workplace stress and maintain a better balance between work and personal life. Seeking a supportive network of friends and co-workers can be an important first step. It’s also crucial to sit down and identify the stressors in your workday. Then, look for changes you can make to reduce or eliminate these stressors. Finally, be sure to resolve conflicts instead of letting them fester and build. Misunderstandings and communication problems are one of the most common sources of workplace stress.