Yes! is usually the immediate response to this question.
And when people answer it, they’re rarely referring to ‘good’ stress…the kind of stress that keeps us buzzing, excited, energised, challenged. Cary Cooper, co-author of The Science of Occupational Health: Stress, Psychobiology, and the New World of Work, describes good stress as “stimulating and motivating”.
Neither are they thinking about the sort of stress that’s caused by having to escape from wild beasts – unless the boss is particularly Neanderthal!
The stress that people are concerned about is caused by psychological rather than physical threats. And there’s a lot of it to be found in the workplace.
Stress is considered
the #1 health risk for businesses in the UK
& the #1 health problem in America.
Not enough produces a dull, raspy noise and too much results in an annoying shrill or snaps the string. However, just the right amount creates pleasing sounds
Dr. Paul J. Rosch, president of the American Institute of Stress
So how do we get that balance that produces “pleasing sounds”?
Of course there’s a lot of practical advice around about decreasing stress levels through sleep, diet, exercise, relaxation techniques and the like.
Then there’s the evidence that those in leadership roles suffer less stress. If getting into that kind of position isn’t on the cards, try to increase the level of control that you have over your circumstances at work.
Also, research shows that getting meaning and a sense of purpose through your work is another way of reducing stress. Even if you’re not doing the work of your dreams, it is possible to find purpose in it beyond the wage. If not, moving towards work that would give you this is a worthwhile goal.
Did you answer “yes!” to the opening question?
Is there one thing you could do today to reduce your stress at work?
Your well-being’s worth it.
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