Do you know anyone who ISN’T stressed? My goal in this 2-part series is to open your eyes to the cause and effects of all those stressors that sometimes make our work environment feel like a roller coaster. Some of those stressors are: fear of being laid off, pressure to perform, long hours, lack of control over workload and/or salary, or harassment.
Any job can have stressful elements, even if you love what you do. And not all stress is bad: it can motivate you to work harder and better. But even "good stress" can become overwhelming and lead to burnout. If you’ve noticed any of the following, it’s probably time to take a step back:
· Trouble concentrating, sleeping, communicating
· Using alcohol or drugs to cope
· Feeling apathetic, irritable, depressed, anxious, overwhelmed
· Home life and relationships suffering
According to the 2017 American Psychological Association Stress in America Report, stress levels have increased for the first time in ten years. When stress exceeds our ability to cope, it becomes harmful to our mind and body, as well as our job performance.
Chronic stress produces high levels of the primary stress hormone cortisol, which can disrupt nearly all of your body’s processes. It can alter immune system responses and suppress the digestive system, reproductive system and growth process. Studies have also linked stress to obesity, Alzheimer’s, depression, memory impairment and more.
Don’t get stuck there! Stay tuned for my follow-up article on suggestions for coping in a stressful work environment.
(pronounced Deck uh toe)