We are all aware that the work we do can have a significant impact on our quality of life. A certain level of stress or challenge at work can be motivating and even enhance our performance. However, when we perceive that the demands of work exceed our resources in terms of time, energy and ability, we can start to experience negative impacts on our physical, mental and emotional health.
Strategies to try now
Learning and practicing relaxation techniques
Being physically active
Doing things that give us a sense of pleasure and achievement
Making sleep a priority
Reducing alcohol and non-prescription drug intake
Keeping socially active
Warning signs and symptoms of workplace stress
Headache and muscle tension
Indecisiveness and reduced confidence
Worry that feels uncontrollable
Changes in appetite
Loss of interest in sex
Australian surveys indicated that approximately one in four of us have taken time off work due to stress.
Getting Professional Help
Evidence based treatments make the biggest difference.
While we may be able to tolerate and recover from short bursts of stress, protracted and excessive stress can lead to a deterioration in the quality of our relationships and life outside of work, and ultimately can increase our vulnerability to experiencing mental health difficulties. It is best to speak with your GP regarding your concerns and to have them consider directing you to a psychologist near you who specialises in assisting people through the many challenges associated with workplace stress.
Frequently Asked Questions
Some simple facts to help you understand workplace stress and how you can best manage it.
Conflicting demands and a lack of clarity around expectations of your role
Conflict between coworkers
A workplace prone to distressing incidents, or those that can lead to physical injury, such as law enforcement or emergency services
Poor working conditions
Excessive scrutiny and perceived criticism of your work
Limited support from either managers or coworkers
How common is workplace stress?
Based on a report by Safe Work Australia in 2013, it was estimated that stress is costing Australian businesses $10 billion each year. Previous surveys indicated that approximately one in four of us have taken time off work due to stress.
Life after workplace stress
It may not be necessary to leave your place of employment in order to overcome workplace stress. A psychologist can work with you to establish healthy boundaries at work, navigate difficult relationships and put other stress management techniques into place in order to overcome stresses and regain a sense of satisfaction in your work.
Myths About Workplace Stress
``Stress is part of everyday life and there is nothing that can be done about it``
Workplace Stress Myth 1
``Workplace stress is a personal issue and not critical to the running of a business``
Workplace Stress Myth 2
``Excessive stress is normal and is a sign that you are important``
Workplace Stress Myth 3
``Stress is a great motivator to reach your best performance``