Life events such as marriage or a new job can create stress. Other events however, such as divorce, separation, dispute, redundancy, being bullied can affect us negatively. An accumulation of negative stressors, such as loss, grief, displacement, fear or dis-empowerment can lead to physical or mental health problems. Stress can be one of those.
The beliefs we have about ourselves may be family or culturally based. These can affect how we react under pressure.
Some of us have a strong “Please Others” or “Try Hard” script driver and consequently have a great need to attend to others’ needs, or a necessity to succeed at all costs.
We may notice that rather than handle things from an Adult perspective, we slip into a Child ego state where we conflict with Parent ego state. This can feel like a battle raging within us, with both sides challenging and berating the other. There is conflict not only between our ego states, but also between our script beliefs and reality. This is exhausting and can leave us in a state of confusion, not knowing where we stand. We may feel unable to see a way forward, and may doubt our capacity to take the right decision. This tension and powerlessness can cause stress
Some signs of stress:
- short fuse
- nail-biting, skin picking
- chest pains or palpitations
- increased alcohol consumption
- dizziness or sweating
Stress is often likened to a “modern day disease” which can harm lives, families, friendships and relationships. It can cause alienation, personal, social and professional problems. .
Our economic climate requires working people to maximise their productivity, to achieve targets and succeed as team players. But at what cost.
Increasingly we are finding signs that workplace stress and career burnout are affecting not only work performance, but also mental and physical health and well being. Understanding signs of workplace stress can help people to recognize that there is a problem and begin to take remedial steps. Signs and symptoms of workplace stress include:
- anger, directed at self or colleagues.
- lack of focus, lower productivity and reduced performance levels.
- absenteeism or lateness.
- physical symptoms eg back pain, headaches
- low motivation and failure to achieve goals or meet deadlines
- fatigue, loss of energy, overtired at work
Frequently we find that people are at risk of stress when they feel powerless, dis-empowered, less than, got at or picked upon.
In the work environment this can occur when:
- there is a risk of redundancy or job loss
- they are having additional problems at home or in a personal relationship
- they are suffering workplace harassment, bullying or other forms of intimidation
- they experience prolonged job dissatisfaction