According to the most up-to-date world statistics, one of the social and health problems with the highest incidence rate is work stress. Considered the disease that most affects young adults between the ages of 23 to 35 on average, it is nevertheless a problem to which anyone can succumb. It is also known by other names such as General Adjustment Syndrome (SAG) and also prolonged stress .
Understanding what this disease is about involves taking into account multiple external factors. The causes for which this condition develops to a large extent are found in the stressful rhythm of current life, and in the increased demands in the labor field . This means that people must now conform to certain norms and / or requirements, by not complying with them they put at risk the possibility of being able to integrate; which poses a risk to personal and family economic stability.
Also an unfavorable work environment for the individual where their physical and psychological integrity is put at risk contributes to their development. As is known , stress is a psychophysiological condition , which when prolonged for a long period of time begins to have negative effects on health at a general level. Below we will delve into what are the characteristics and causes of work stress, and we will also provide some tips that will allow us to provide solutions.
What is work stress?
Work stress is defined as one of the most common types of stress today. It is a disease that affects psychophysiological level, which means that it manifests through both mental and physical symptoms. It has its origin from the influence that the field of work exerts on the person , that is to say that the experiences that they live there affect them remarkably.
This disease can be punctual for which it could have a short duration, however when it is classified as chronic; it is from several months or even years. Likewise, some experts consider that it should be analyzed using two different criteria, that is, stress within the workplace could be a positive or negative aspect .
For the positive outlook, stress can make people more active in finding solutions. This means that some individuals react to stress in such a way that they will try to maintain a firm position. On the other hand, when the situation becomes unsustainable, exceeding one’s own abilities , that is when work stress finally causes the individual to succumb to anxiety.
To begin to face this disease as a problem that has already negatively affected the patient’s health, several factors must be taken into account. At first, they are the stimuli that have caused the first reactions , later the psychological and physiological consequences are analyzed. Together these responses are what triggered the stressful event.
What are your symptoms?
The main characteristic of work stress is that it arises from the excessive pressure that the workplace has on personal health. Therefore, people who suffer from this condition suffer from an imbalance that affects not only their health ; but also its social and economic stability for example. Each labor sector has its own requirements, which means that those who wish to join them must be efficient and comply with the rules.
In each patient, symptoms may vary, which means that it may be difficult at first to make an accurate diagnosis. For example, it could start from a slight bad mood; which however remains constant for a long period of time. Other people may develop sudden depression, which will be accompanied by physical fatigue and mental exhaustion.
To be more precise, work stress eventually develops from phases or stages , these reflect the increase in the intensity of the symptoms and the worsening of the condition. Each phase does not have a specific duration, this is because each person independently develops a certain resistance to stress. In addition, decision-making such as resigning from your job or other changes that occur within this environment could lead to brief moments of relief. Each of them is described below:
- The first phase is alarm. In it we find symptoms of the organism before events of this type such as the release of cortisol and adrenaline. This means that the body is preparing to face hostile or dangerous situations. Other symptoms typical of this stage is an increase in the ideal heart rate and respiration , as well as anxiety increases considerably.
- The second phase is one of resistance. Here the body begins to generate changes that reflect the need to resist , as a direct reaction to a long time of stress. For this reason, there is a greater consumption of the body’s resources that cause symptoms such as increased mental activity, lack of appetite, insomnia and irritability.
- The third phase is that of exhaustion. It is also known by the name of Burnout and is recognized by physiological fatigue . The organism will instinctively try to continue responding to external threats from the environment, however it is no longer efficient to carry out certain activities. A significant health repercussions such as emotional weakness.
The most important thing in these cases is to pay attention to the clinical manifestations of a psychosomatic type. This is the case with ongoing headaches, muscle pain, gastritis, and sleep disturbances. Likewise, behavioral manifestations such as those of a violent nature, absenteeism from work and the abuse of substances such as alcohol and drugs can be observed.
Regarding emotional alterations, we find boredom and detachment at the affective level . Also people are more irritable and impatient, this reflects the feeling of helplessness and the difficulty to carry out certain actions. Lack of concentration is common and conflicts with other people are generated, finally in the most serious cases the patient will suffer from depression and anxiety.
What are your causes?
There are different hypotheses that try to explain what are the most common causes of work stress. Most of the studies focused on this topic have been able to determine what is usually direct stimuli, that is, conflicts such as workplace bullying and social rejection . The person will then occupy the role of victim in these circumstances, likewise those individuals who have an overload in their functions are also more prone.
Likewise, other aspects such as the ambiguity of functions and responsibilities must be taken into account . In more specific cases, we find an environment where there is an absence of incentives, this is an essential aspect to guarantee efficiency and motivation. For this reason, it is very important that the affected person learn to refuse to carry out work where the demands exceed their own abilities and interests.
Excessive workload combined with problems relating effectively to other people is another common cause as well. Unsatisfactory working conditions generate in patients a state of uncertainty and negativity. While it is true that these factors may not affect all people in the same way, it is important to ensure that workers are integrated into a work group where there is good communication and mutual respect.
Tips and / or habits to reduce work stress
To cope with this type of stress, it is important to focus on the specific stimuli or triggers that have caused it. The treatment selected generally presents similarities to that applied in other types of stress, and the treatment is also usually adapted to the needs of the patient and to these specific circumstances.
The most advisable thing is to use cognitive behavioral therapy , because it has an approach that will try to make changes in both mental and behavioral patterns. This restructuring process will eventually help the patient to have greater control over their emotions. This also affects the way they behave, which will lead to a better relationship with co-workers, friends and family.
Psychotherapy usually lasts for several months, with the purpose that the patient manages to develop healthier practices applied in daily life. Eventually you learn to set limits and learn to make more effective decisions , thus achieving a distance between personal life and work life. Being is a totally effective recovery that will allow the patient to take their activities without succumbing to pressure.
As for the most useful tips to deal with these situations, the main thing is to maintain a good relationship with family and friends. Patients are encouraged to engage in social activities, which will help develop greater confidence and improved self-esteem. The development of communication skills is essential to be able to guarantee emotional well-being.
Alexa Clark specializes in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. She has experience in listening and welcoming in Individual Therapy and Couples Therapy. It meets demands such as generalized anxiety, professional, love and family conflicts, stress, depression, sexual dysfunction, grief, and adolescents from 15 years of age. Over the years, She felt the need to conduct the psychotherapy sessions with subtlety since She understands that the psychologist acts as a facilitator of self-understanding and self-acceptance, valuing each person's respect, uniqueness, and acceptance.