Work and Personal Stress
Stress is a mental or emotional tension resulting from adverse or demanding circumstances. Dr. Hans Selye, a leading expert on the concept of stress defines stress as ‘the rate of wear and tear caused by life’. Work stress has to do with the stress which spurs from the conflict and mismatches between the demands of one’s job. Work stress is normal thing but when it is excessive, it affects the output or productivity of an individual. On the subject matter of ‘work stress’, Kahn and Byosiere have identified three areas of consensus. The first is that work stress emanates from the influence of external stimuli known as ‘stressor’. The second area is the personal evaluation of stimuli known as ‘áppraisal’ and the third is that work stress negatively affects mental, emotional, physical, and/or behavioural functioning. This is known as ‘strain’.
Causes of work stress include:
- Work overload
- Working on various shifts
- Poor working conditions
- Lack of decisive thinking
- Interpersonal Conflicts etc.
Personal Stress on the other hand has to do with the stress that is not caused by work related issues but has a root cause from the personal life of the individual. Causes of personal stress include:
- Debt issues
- Marital conflicts
- Relationship issues
- Death of a loved one
- Parental responsibilities etc.
Stress can be beneficial at times, if not on the extreme side, it can aid focus and help solve challenges. However, if the stress is interfering with your performance, skill and productivity, intentional steps must be taken to reduce your level of stress and maintain a rational level of stress. When stress becomes too much the individual gets frustrated easily, irritable, experience fatigue amongst other issues.
Work Stress can be controlled by the following steps
- Learn to the delegate responsibilities: You must understand that you cannot do it all by yourself. When you learn the art of delegation of duties, your work load becomes greatly reduced.
Rely on Co-workers for support: A substantial relationship with your co-workers can help reduce stress. When you are in need of help, their support might just come in handy.
- Avoid Rotating shifts: It is pertinent, likewise germane that the body has a consistent timetable for sleeping. This would not be achieved by rotating shifts and if due attention is paid to this; it would eliminate stress in the eventual case.
- Prioritizing, Organizing and Strategizing: In a bid to prevent yourself from being overwhelmed by stress, a balanced work schedule must be created. Know when to work and know when to play. Also, you must learn to prioritize your tasks in order of weightiness.
- Other methods include: being willing to compromise, being less of a perfectionist, taking time off etc.
- Methods of controlling personal stress include:
- Improve your diet: A good diet helps to keep the body system in good shape. This prevents stress from weighing you down and making you less productive.
- Physical Workout sessions
- Meditation: This is a very effective way of relieving excessive stress. Stress is channelled from the body out.
- Taking Holidays and Vacations when needed
- Learning to keep your cool in tensed situations
- Tackling life situations with a positive mindset
- Focused thinking