Monthly Archives: May 2014

Stress on Working Professionals

professional stressStress in the workplace would seem to be fairly universal. The topic can be found in articles, forums, chat rooms, blogs, advice columns and every other medium of communication imaginable. Stress free or low stress jobs would seem to be non-existent as the working world insists on an ever-increasing pace of productivity in order to stay competitive. Three main stress factors have been found to be largely responsible for the stress epidemic that is sweeping the modern workplace.

The first and foremost cause of workplace stress is an excessive workload. Not personal problems or misinterpretations, simply too much work. Particularly after the recession that began in 2007 when business resources were at an all time low, it became very common for one person to do the work of two or more. As superhuman as many of us try to be, there is a limit on how much we can do in a day. One of the functions of the modern working world is to test those limits and push the boundaries of what is considered a “normal” amount of work. Many businesses push too far and expect too much, resulting in the mental collapse of its employees.

Bad communication and relationships are another large source of stress within the workplace. This may be with co-workers or with supervisors. An inharmonious workplace is far more common than a harmonious one because poor communication skills and poor conflict resolution skills are allowed to flourish. Instead of addressing issues, those working together tend to repress them and grow resentful of their co-worker instead of speaking up. This is a psychologically unhealthy behavior that should be corrected for the sake of the entire work force.

And lastly, stress in the workplace can simply be due to a person’s unrealistic expectations, either of their own working abilities or of their employer. It is not always an outside factor that is responsible for the stress on a working professional. Often, the catalyst can come from within. It is more common for a person to enter the working world with unrealistic expectations of how it works than it is for a person to be naturally in sync with it.

In Canada, there are a great many stressful workplace environments you may find yourself in, such as a position with the RCMP or a number of jobs in Fort McMurray. Do not succumb to workplace stress. Instead, heed the advice of the mental health experts who can guide you in your pursuit of good stress management.


Stress Management in the Workplace

workplace stress managementWe know that stress is very commonly found in the workplace, due to heavy workloads, broken relationships with co-workers and unrealistic expectations. But what can be done about this unwanted stress? Ongoing stress has been found to cause serious mental and physical health problems; a good reason to learn how to stay one step ahead of it. If you are serious about managing your workplace stress, the best thing you can do for yourself is learn how to balance your wants and needs with your responsibilities, and cope with your decisions.
Coming to terms with your responsibilities in the workplace is the first step to managing your stress. If your workload is reasonable, but you approach it with an unwilling attitude, you are setting yourself up for unneeded stress. There will be basic performance standards expected in any workplace you are a part of, and if you try to avoid your responsibilities, you will become overwhelmed with negativity from co-workers, backlogged work and threatened job security. Instead, you should embrace your responsibilities by meeting them head on, and if they cause you stress, think of healthy ways to deal with it. For example, make time for yoga, exercise and nature walks, or stock up on soothing herbal teas. If there is a conflict in your workplace, address it immediately in a rational, respectful manner.
However, this is not to say that you should tolerate a toxic work environment. The key to managing stress is not trying to meditate away a workplace that is unhealthy beyond repair. It is true that you are responsible for managing some stress, but it is also true that you have a right to enforce your wants and needs. If you feel you are being mistreated at work, speak up about it to a supervisor or a human resources department. If you feel your worker’s rights have been violated, address it with someone who can influence the decision making in your workplace. And if you come to realize that the problem will not change, or that you are simply too dissatisfied with the workplace, move on and find a position elsewhere that fulfills you.

Mental Health and Career Success

mental health career successHaving good mental health is a benefit in every area of life, and the workplace is no exception. What we do for work is meant to be the ultimate expression of our life’s purpose. This is an arena where a person’s mental health is going to be put to the test unlike any other. Executing a challenging purpose tests our coping skills, our focusing abilities, our decision making capabilities and our leadership abilities. Those who approach these challenges with sound mental health are going to see more success in them than those who are mentally unhealthy.

Good mental health simply gives a person the clarity they need to navigate the working world. When a mentally healthy person experiences a let down, they learn from it what to do differently in the future. When they are forced to deal with a difficult co-worker, they embrace the challenge of connecting with someone who is hard to connect with. Their willingness to learn from the world around them is the key to their confidence in their own ability to overcome trials and achieve success. On the other hand, a mentally unhealthy person becomes overwhelmed by the challenges they encounter and initiates negative thought patterns. When a mentally unhealthy person experiences a let down, they tend to take it personally and either beat themselves up or become spiteful. When met with a difficult co-worker, they become avoidant or confrontational. Their negative thought patterns repeatedly take them down the wrong roads, away from opportunities to change.

Those who are stuck in mentally unhealthy ways of thinking have the ability to change. Thought patterns are elusive and adjusting them requires a lot of work and critical thinking, but it can be done. Some people are able to teach themselves new ways of thinking, while others require the help of a mental health professional. Either way, the cognitive process of changing the way you approach the world, in order to achieve success in the workplace, relationships and the rest of life, is possible.