Stress is the tensional feeling of the body. Events that make one frustrated, angry, or nervous often cause anxiety. In the modern-day workplace, the pressure is a common challenge to organizations. It affects the productivity of an employee, mostly in a negative way. Employees working in different sectors of an organization have to deal with stress daily. Companies with a vast number of customers often have their employees manage a great deal of stress due to antecedents of stress. It leads to a low quality of work from the employees, which decreases organizational performance. Depression and other forms of ailments, such as headaches and cardiac arrests, are also a result of stress. This paper examines the effects of stress on health and work performance.
Stress often is a natural reaction of the body to daily life experiences. Daily, people experience stress in life. Simple activities such as daily house chores, workplaces encounter such as annoying core workers or a demanding boss, and severe life events such as wars and famine often cause stress. The American Psychological Association (APA) categorizes pressure into three main groups; the acute Stress, the episodic acute Stress, and the chronic Stress. Acute stress is the most common type of stress experienced by most people in daily activities. It is short term stress (Krause, 2006). It is commonly known as the flight response and described as an immediate threat. This stress type can be helpful to one’s health. Acute stress is caused by short-term occurrences that cause your body to release hormones that raise heartbeats and breathing rates. Episodic Acute Stress is always expected in people who live chaotic and demanding lives. These individuals often hurry to take too much work that they cannot complete and have stress. Persons who get worried too much also are prone to this type of stress. When one develops acute anxiety, the body’s reaction is expected back to normal after a short period (Quick et al., 1997). However, when one’s focus doesn’t stop firing, and these body reactions take longer than necessary, the pressure can be dangerous. Such tension is called chronic stress and has a variety of symptoms affecting the overall well-being. The symptoms of chronic stress include severe headache, depression, irritability, insomnia, and anxiety. These symptoms, however, differ from one person to another depending on an individual body’s ability to manage stress.
Balancing life and work nowadays are not an easy task for many individuals. Workplaces stress is now a common thing in many organizations. To eliminate stress in the workplace, one should examine the cause of workplace stress. Many scholars argue that workplace stress is connected with an employee’s traits and management policies in the organization. The first cause of stress at work is the decreased level of self-esteem (Oginska-Bulik, 2005). People with lower self-esteem often see themselves not worth the employer’s expectations when a problem arises in the workplace. Such people, in return, suffer depression and anxiety, which causes a nervous breakdown. On the other hand, people with high self-esteem often feel like management is biased against them. They often think right, and any criticism by the administration is a personal offense.
Another cause of workplace stress is excessive perfectionism. People who usually set high standards to himself are more vulnerable to focus at the workplace. Even though their productivity level is the same, these people give attention to minor tasks and details not relevant to the organizational duties. They usually want credit on everything, and if they don’t get, they begin to argue that the organization’s management does not value them. Technology in organizations also has caused stress among some employees. Technology is supposed to make people feel relieved of their workload as the machines perform a lot of work. However, technological advancements have increase stress to some employees because of the demand to learn new skills. For example, most organizational information is stored in hard drives as a soft copy with technology. Loss of this information has caused stress to senior employees in these organizations who cannot retrieve and use the lost information for organizational purposes. Again, with technology, innovation comes a fear of being next on the list to be laid off. Adjustments such as the web, networking, and online communications are standard in today’s workplaces, causing daily workplace stress (Quick et al., 1997). Other causes of stress at work include angry customers, too many tasks to perform daily, demanding bosses, long commutes, never-ending workload, and annoying co-workers. Low career development and physical environment are also causes of workplace stress.
Stress is dangerous when it gets into one’s system. One can get stressed so many times that he/she gets used to it. At this stage, one doesn’t notice how much stress is affecting him/her. This paragraph examines the most common symptoms of anxiety. To begin with, the most common sign of stress is feeling sad. People who have stressed often feel like recreation isn’t funny anymore. They tend to stay alone away from others. The next is too much worry about illness and physical exhaustion: muscle tensions and headaches, shortness of breath, and changes in appetite (Quick et al., 1997). Chronic stress comes with several symptoms leading to extreme medical conditions. Primarily the infections are caused by the weak immune system due to biochemical imbalances in the body. The chemical reaction also over-stimulates the nervous system’s part regulating the body’s blood pressure, heart rate, and digestive system.
From the above symptoms, it is clear that stress on health and work performance are adverse. Stress reduces an individual’s life span as it affects an individual, both psychologically, socially, and health-wise. Psychologically, stress affects individuals negatively. People hit with pressure tend to be nervous, upset, and angry. To relieve stress, many take drugs. It is unfortunate that instead of these drugs relieving the stress, they tend to keep the body in the stressed state, causing more harm to body organs. Stressed people can’t concentrate or tackle the most comfortable task given to them. They tense most of the time because of having bad mental health, thereby becoming pessimistic.
Socially, stress makes people anti-social. Besides keeping lonely with themselves, people hit with anxiety tend to argue with people and cannot develop good relations. They tend to do the same things over and over again as new creations develop tension to them. When with people, they tend to keep quiet and think of their problems rather than talking to others. Thereby, people with stress lose a lot of friends. Taking a lot of drugs to reduce stress also has physical problems for our bodies. Healthwise, a lot of studies have shown that stress affects the nervous system majorly. Research has it that stress can cause structural changes in various parts of the human brain. These changes cause a decrease in brain mass and weight, which eventually causes memory loss. Stressed people are more vulnerable to diseases and illnesses. They easily get infected with several conditions (Balcombe, Barnard & Sandusky, 2004). For instance, they quickly get into depression and tension. Stressed people cannot live happy lives. Directly, stress does not cause infections to a person, but the hormones produced in the process of stress affect the immune system’s normal operations. Various studies have proved that stress reduces the functions of the immunes system, immunosuppressive effect.
Sometimes people feel like there is nothing they can do to reduce their stress levels. To manage stress, one needs to take charge of himself/herself, especially in thoughts and emotions. To manage stress, one has to identify the source of stress in life. This is the hardest part of it. Most of the time, the trues source of stress ate not always apparent things. Once the source is identified, be it money issues, job workload, family problems, or any other, then he/she can make the process of managing stress smoothly. Controlling pressure can be done using various ways. Firstly, the pressure is an emotional effect. When one is stressed, he/she should express these feelings and share them with others (Balcombe, Barnard & Sandusky, 2004). Your best friend is the best way to reduce your stress. Secondly, crying also reduces stress; shading tears is part of emotional healing, stressed people are encouraged to cry and not hold onto their tears whenever they feel like. Third, doing art when stressed reduces stress. One can write a poem or sing a song when he is worried. Drawing sketches and writing novels when stressed reduces tension, helping to forget his/her problems. Also, doing exercise when stressed is a natural response to stress. Playing your best game or going swimming. The moment you feel stress, you can take up a walk to a longer distance to help reduce your worries. Walking also reduces your stress, and you can realize that you will feel better after a little walking. Finally, listen to some music when stressed and enjoy going out with a friend, doing things that makes you happy.
A stressed person should look at their life on paper. This means that writing down everything to you do from morning to evening on a paper. By doing this, one can gauge how much time each activity is given in a day and see if to reschedule the day’s training accordingly. For those who are seriously depressed, and their health is at risk, they might need to see a doctor. Some need physicians, and some need stress and management individuals to help. The most important thing is that you identify your problem and source of stress and take the necessary action before late.
In conclusion, stress is a fact that runs our society today. It affects several individuals amongst us. The effects of stress range from mild to severe impacts and can lead to severe health problems. Depression is the final and the worst stage of stress and can lead to death if not managed well; when stress hits employees in an organization, it costs both the management and the organization productivity. In an organization, the pressure is seen in lower productivity and reduced motivation and job skills. However, emotional intelligence plays a role in creating abilities in an individual to better control workplace stress.
Balcombe, J. P., Barnard, N. D., & Sandusky, C. (2004). Laboratory routines cause animal stress. Journal of the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science, 43(6), 42-51.
Krause, N. (2006). Gratitude toward God, Stress, and health in late life. Research on Aging, 28(2), 163-183.
Oginska-Bulik, N. (2005). Emotional intelligence in the workplace: Exploring its effects on occupational stress and health outcomes in human service workers. International journal of occupational medicine and environmental health, 18(2), 167-175.
Quick, J. C., Quick, J. D., Nelson, D. L., & Hurrell Jr, J. J. (1997). Preventive stress management in organizations. American Psychological Association.