No matter how much you love your job, it’s easy for the daily grind to increase your stress level. While some level of stress provides motivation, too much can have serious health implications.
According to the MayoClinic, chronic stress can lead to a litany of health issues, including anxiety, depression, heart disease and weight gain. If work-related pressure is putting you on edge and damaging your health, it’s time to investigate solutions that will limit your stress and improve your overall well-being.
What are major causes of workplace stress?
Every job has stressful elements, and it’s easy for these forces to build up over time. People may not realize the source of their stress, which makes it possible for workplace issues to get out of hand. According to the American Institute of Stress, most people cite their workload as the biggest cause of work-related stress. This could be related to unrealistic expectations, issues with the organization’s overall workflow or simply a lack of support to accomplish stated goals.
The idea of being overworked is tightly linked to issues of control. A feeling that you do not have control over your workload or workplace is commonly associated with the stress response, according to the University of Cambridge. Someone who feels they have little say in their assignments or the overarching company structure is more likely to feel stress than someone who maintains strict control over their workload. Everyone relinquishes some control when they enter the workplace, but if you give up too much, you will feel uncertain and overwhelmed.
Interpersonal issues are the other leading cause of workplace stress. The work environment is inherently political, and interpersonal conflicts are bound to crop up occasionally. When this happens, it’s easy for one party to feel slighted or like their voice is not being heard. This can contribute to a feeling of helplessness and boost stress levels to an unhealthy place.
How can you deal with these issues?
If you suffer from workplace stress, or you are a manager who wants to improve your employees’ stress levels, you must create circumstances that give you and other workers a feeling of control. The first step is identifying the specific problems that are contributing to elevated stress levels. Once you have a comprehensive understanding of what is causing stress, you can work toward eliminating each issue.
Employees who have open lines of communication with their superiors are more likely to feel in control of their job and may have reduced stress levels, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Open lines of communication allow employees to speak with bosses about overly demanding workloads or expectations, which may lead to assignment changes that remove workplace pressure. If people are able to speak openly about their frustrations and problems, those issues are less likely to balloon into i