On the job - stress.

Work anxiety or stress can be defined as the damaging bodily and emotional reactions that transpire when the demands of the work do not equal the abilities, reserves, or desires of the employee. Work stress can result in deprived well being and physical harm.

Work stress is frequently associated with challenges, but they differ. Challenges rejuvenate our emotional and physical well-being, and it encourages us to acquire new abilities and become competent in our work. We feel calm and pleased when we beat a challenge. A challenge is an essential component for good and creative labor. The significance of challenge in our employment is perhaps what persons mean when they state that you need a small amount of stress to perform well.

If the challenge changes to overwhelming work requirements, then calmness turns to fatigue, and being pleased turns to emotions of stress or anxiety. The end result is poor health, hurt, and work breakdown.

Causes of work stress

Work stress is the outcome of the employee's dealings with the job circumstances. There are different perceptions about the significance of employee personalities as opposed to employment circumstances as the main source of work stress. These different perceptions are vital in understanding the different methods of preventing job related stress.

One of the main theories is that personality differences and the way people handle stress influence their reactions to work conditions. The cause of stress will thus differ from person to person. This school emphasizes prevention methods that centers around the employees and techniques that assist them in handling difficult work circumstances.

Even though individual characteristics play an important role, some employment conditions cause stress in most workers. Extreme work burdens and inconsistent expectations may lead to stress. This implies that there should be more focus on employment circumstances as the main reason for work stress, and for changing job descriptions and work conditions as the key prevention method.

Demanding job conditions can lead to illness and work related injuries. Circumstances and personality traits can either reduce or increase the above impact. Some factors that play a role in reducing the impact of stressful job circumstances include:

  • Equilibrium between employment and private time
  • Support system of relatives, friends, and colleagues
  • Optimistic and calm attitude

iConditions that cause work stress

Task planning and appointment such as too much work, not enough rest periods, poor scheduling of breaks, extended work time, shifts, mundane tasks, not using the worker's talents, not giving control, create stress. An example would be where a person does the same task without change and has no flexibility in the routine. The management approach of little or poor interaction may worsen the condition. If the employee is not allowed to participate in decision making or is harassed the whole time, he will start to feel fatigue and a lack of motivation. Other physical conditions such as excessive noise, poor air circulation, dark or damp working conditions, extreme heat, and labor intensive work, may aggravate the condition.

Personal circumstances

Conditions at home such as finances, conflict with relatives or friends, illness in the family, distance from work, addictive behavior, and abuse may also cause work stress.

The process of stress

Stress triggers a panic button in the mind or the human brain, which reacts by getting the body ready for self-protective acts. Hormones get in action to alert the senses, speed up the pulse, intensify breathing, and tighten the body's muscles. This reaction assists the person in the defense against frightening conditions. The reaction is chemical. Each person reacts in a different manner, whether the stress condition is at home or at the office.

Irregular occurrences of stress doesn't constitute risk, but if the stress related conditions are prolonged, the person will be in a continuous state of defense, which leads to unhealthy pressure on the body's functioning. The end result is bodily breakdown and an assault on the immune system. This in turn increases the risk of severe illnesses or injuries.

Stress alerts

Heart related diseases, back pains, and signs of depression go hand in hand with stress. Poor appetite, sight problems, feelings of fatigue, memory loss, and irritability are all signs of stress. Other symptoms include frustration, resentment, aggressiveness, insomnia and sometimes sleeping in the day, anxiety attacks, high blood pressure, and severe mood changes.

This can be seen when the employee takes many days off, shows no signs of motivation, lack of interest in colleagues and work at hand, makes mistakes, disorderly work, and no creativity.

Managers or colleagues may also recognize stress when the employee acts in an irrational manner, starts to misuse alcohol and other substances in order to cope, looses concentration, and becomes sensitive to remarks.

These signs of stress and its causes serve as guideline only. If you recognize several of these symptoms and know that there are circumstances that contribute to your present state, you should consider action as continues stress can cause bodily and emotional harm.