Work Related Stress

Work related stress is simply stress caused by the working environment or things which happen in the workplace. Work is a major part of most of our lives and many of us define ourselves by the jobs we do or the work we undertake. Work often involves challenges, targets or other pressures and these are a normal part of having a job. It can be satisfying to rise to a challenge or complete a difficult or unfamiliar task. However, where this challenge exceeds a persons ability to cope, they can feel overwhelmed and suffer mentally and physically. Work can be enjoyable and fulfilling, but it can also be the cause of stress which can damage individual health, relationships and quality of life.

We are leading increasingly busy and complicated lives, and for many of us our working lives or job roles are becoming increasingly complicated too. Many people feel over worked, unfulfilled and under valued in their jobs, and the incidence of workplace stress is growing as a result.

Workplace stress affects different people in different ways. What one person may find stressful, another may not. When workplace stress does affect you it can impact on your whole life and everything you do. Common symptoms of stress include loss of appetite, difficulty concentrating, and difficulty sleeping. You may feel irritable and lose your temper, or find yourself worrying constantly and mulling things over in your head.

Workplace stress can trigger physical symptoms. When we are under stress the body releases ‘fight or flight’ stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol, which have a real physical effect on us. Prolonged stress can be a contributing cause of a number of medical conditions including headaches and dizziness, digestive problems, nervous complaints and raised blood pressure. It can also be a risk factor contributing to cardiovascular disease, heart attack and stroke.

Modern working life is full of stress and competing demands. We have high expectations of our life and we are leading increasingly busy, complicated and demanding lives, trying to balance our working lives, relationships, and often dealing with money worries. It is no wonder that many people suffer from stress in their lives and look for ways of coping with it or reducing the harmful effects of stress.