Everyone experiences stress in their lives, and at times it becomes unmanageable. Work stress is far more dangerous than the other stresses in life. A considerable degree of work stress is essential to perform well and too much of it is so harmful that it could lead to depression and many other mental and physical diseases.
Stress is mental and physical unrest. Stress is how you respond to challenges in everyday life. It affects people in numerous ways. The Oxford dictionary defines stress as “A state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or demanding circumstances.”
Excessive stress in the workplace can interfere with performance and productivity while impacting on physical and emotional health. If job stress interferes with the ability to work, care for oneself and manage relationships, then it has reached the bad level.
Doing a healthy job?
“A healthy job is likely to be one where the pressures on employees are appropriate in relation to their abilities and resources, to the amount of control they have over their work, and to the support they receive from people who matter to them. As health isn’t merely the absence of disease or infirmity, but a positive state of complete physical, mental and social well-being (WHO, 1986), a healthy working environment isn’t one in which there is only an absence of harmful conditions, but also an abundance of health-promoting ones.
Work-related stress is the response people may suffer when presented with work demands and pressures that don’t match their knowledge and abilities,which also challenges their ability to cope.
Stress occurs in a wide range of work circumstances, but is often made worse when employees feel they have little support from supervisors and colleagues, as well as little control over work processes.
There is often confusion between pressure or challenge and stress and sometimes it’s used to excuse bad management practice.
”(World Health Organization)
Working long hours or overtime, taking work home, working too hard or too fast and having unrealistic goals can cause stress.
Dull and monotonous work and work that isn’t related to the training, previous experiences or the studied field, too many responsibilities or insufficient support from supervisors or co - workers, lack of role clarity and poor communication, insecurity of employment and bullying can also be causes for stress.
Most of the stress coming from the workplace is time-bound because people are doing a number of tasks within an insufficient period of time. In such work places people have multiple roles to play. A working man can be a driver, a father, a business partner, a teacher and an active member of certain associations. A mother is bound to her family while caring for the elderly, taking children to the school etc. Most of these time -bound tasks are causing mental and physical unrest.
Stress isn’t innately bad. At times it’s necessary to maintain focus. If stress focuses someone on deadlines for the fear of failing, that’s a form of good stress. Being under pressure or challenged often improves performance. A little bit of stress can help in staying focused, energetic and meeting new challenges in the workplace. When stress exceeds the ability to cope with, it starts damaging mind and body.
When the pressure and demands are excessive they lead to distress. Therefore, people have to find a comfortable mid-point when dealing with stress, a balance between good and bad. People seem lazy and lethargic when they don’t have enough stress motivating them to work. Ultimately, stress relief depends on understanding the philosophies of life.
To eliminate the stress, one has to find which part is the most stressful in their job and find a solution. Postponing things at the workplace is a big stress builder, faced by many. There are no formulas for relieving stress though. Yet one can practise meditation, exercise, hobbies, leisure activities etc. And sometimes people are stressed for not being organized in life. When life goes through its ups and downs, stress is a natural thing to occur. But it becomes a threat, only if it cannot be managed by the person suffering from it.