Dr Judy Jaye, manager of The Stress Clinic
Job stress comes in many different forms and can affect you in many different ways. Minor sources of stress can come from a computer that doesn’t work, internet issues or telephone that rings all the time. Major sources of stress can come from office politics, having too much work, doing work that is unfulfilling, fear of losing your job or not getting along with your boss.
Usually it is the major sources of stress that lead to burnout, causing people to become unhappy and less productive in their work. Job stress can affect your health and home life as well. “Low levels of stress may not be noticeable, slightly higher levels can be positive and challenge you to act in creative and resourceful ways; and high levels can be harmful, contributing to chronic disease,” says Dr Judy Jaye, manager of The Stress Clinic an affiliation of The Voice Clinic. “Major sources of job stress usually fall into five categories,” says Dr Jaye.
Studies show that workers who believe that they have a great deal of responsibility but little control or decision-making power in their jobs are at increased risk of cardiovascular illnesses.” This factor is the most closely related to job stress,” she says.
Workplace tension often results from poor communication, which in turn increases job stress ,” says Dr Jaye.
Confidence in your competence:
Are you concerned about your ability to perform well? Are you challenged enough, but not too much? Do you feel secure in your job? Job insecurity is a major source of stress for many people. Proper training, mentoring, education and ensuring a proper job fit in the hiring process can go a long way to alleviating the factor. If you don’t find your job meaningful or take pride in it, you may find it stressful.
Roles and responsibilities:
Feeling uncertain about what your duties are, how they may be changing, or what your department’s or organisation’s goals are can lead to stress. Assuming additional responsibilities in your job can be stressful.
Feeling unsupported by your co-workers may make it harder to resolve other problems at work that are causing you stress. This can be as minor as having them not agree with you, to becoming the brunt of full blown office politics and ultimately a scapegoat.
Because stress is unavoidable in life, Dr Jaye says it is important to find ways to decrease and prevent stressful incidents and also to decrease your negative reactions to stress. It’s important that you identify your coping strategies. One way to do this is to record the stressful event, your reaction, and how you coped. With this information, you can work to change of healthy coping strategies into healthy one’s i.e. those that help you focus on the positive and what you can change or control in your life.
According to Dr Jay when an event triggers negative thoughts, you may experience fear insecurity, anxiety, depression, rage, guilt, and a sense of worthlessness or powerlessness. These emotions trigger the body’s stress response, just as an actual threat does. “Dealing with your negative thoughts and how you see things, can help you reduce stress. Change your approach to change your results,” Dr Jaye concluded.