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workplace stress

Workplace Stress: Are You Affected?

High stress affects the part of the brain responsible for judgement, memory, reasoning, and problem solving. - Nadine Burke Harris

It is no secret that a full-time job comes with stressful situations. Even if you love your job, it’s inevitable that you will be confronted with some stressors related to your job. No job is perfect; you will encounter some level of stress wherever you go. However, it’s important to identify what is causing your stress and to recognise the symptoms of excessive workplace stress.


Sometimes stress is useful

People are different and react differently to pressure and stressful situations. Sometimes stress is necessary to perform certain tasks; it makes us more productive to get things done faster.

Maybe you’ve experienced it in the past – when you don’t have enough to keep you busy, you become less productive. Or you’ve looked at someone with a very busy life who seems to get so much more done than you. They probably have a very good balance between keeping busy and enjoying what they do.


Types of stress

You also get healthy stress and unhealthy stress. Healthy stress is short-term stress like working towards a deadline at work. Unhealthy stress is prolonged stress and can be caused by many different situations.


What causes workplace stress?

Stressful work situations don’t always stem from having too much work and too little time. Apart from excessive workloads, here are some common examples from the American Psychological Association of workplace-related stress that becomes prolonged:

  • Low salaries
  • Few opportunities for growth or advancement
  • Work that isn’t engaging or challenging
  • Lack of social support
  • Not having enough control over job-related decisions
  • Conflicting demands or unclear performance expectations


Symptoms of stress

Some of the common symptoms of workplace stress you may encounter include:

  • Feeling anxious, irritable, or depressed
  • Apathy, loss of interest in work
  • Problems sleeping
  • Fatigue
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Muscle tension or headaches
  • Stomach problems
  • Social withdrawal
  • Loss of sex drive
  • Using alcohol or drugs to cope

You can find a full list of possible symptoms here.


What can you do about stress?

We will discuss ways to cope with workplace stress in our next article.