According to a recent survey, job pressure is the number one cause of stress in the US. Factors include co-worker tension, bosses, and work overload. Money issues also contribute to high levels of stress that take a toll on an individual’s health and well-being. Nearly half of people surveyed felt that their stress has increased over the past five years.
Percent of people who:
- Regularly experience physical symptoms caused by stress – 77%
- Regularly experience psychological symptoms caused by stress – 73%
- Cited money and work as the leading cause of their stress – 76%
The American Institute of Stress has created a short screening survey on Workplace Stress to help individuals identify potential areas of concern. Prolonged and chronic stress can lead to burnout which is characterized by physical and emotional exhaustion, cynicism, detachment, or feelings of inadequacy.
Sherrie Bourg lists additional signs of burnout in her Psychology Today blog post, as well as this advice:
“Burnout isn’t like the flu; it doesn’t go away after a few weeks unless
you make some changes in your life. And as hard as that may seem,
it’s the smartest thing to do because making a few little changes now
will keep you in the race with a lot of gas to get you across the finish line.”
Corporate wellness programs are big business and often incorporate stress management as one of their elements. Many stress management programs suggest creating healthier habits to combat stress – more sleep, exercise, better nutrition, yoga, massage, meditation or similar ways to relax. Others suggest getting back to nature, volunteering or unplugging from social media.
Research suggests that emotional intelligence provides coping abilities that help people deal with chronic stress and prevent burnout. “Everyone faces stress at work, but some people are able to handle the onslaught of long hours, high pressure, and work crises in a way that wards off burnout.
You can get better at handling stress by making several mental shifts:
- Don’t be the source of your stress. Resist your perfectionist tendencies and your drive for constant high achievement. Recognize when you’re being too hard on yourself, and let go.
- Recognize your limitations. Don’t try to be a hero. If you don’t have the ability or bandwidth to do something, be honest with yourself and ask for help.
- Reevaluate your perspective. Do you view a particular situation as a threat to something you value? Or do you view it as a problem to be solved? Change how you see the situation to bring your stress levels down.” – Harvard Business Review